In Conversation - Africa Fashion Exhibition Curator, Dr Christine Checinska and V&A East Director Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

Key information

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Brunei Gallery
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)
Event type
Event highlights

About this event

Dr Christine Checinska (Exhibition Curator) and Dr Gus Casely-Hayford (V&A East Director)

This event will be held in-person only.

The SOAS Centre of African studies and the School of Arts in collaboration with the V&A Museum are pleased to present the Africa Fashion Expanded Series.

V&A exhibition: Africa Fashion

Speaker Biographies

Dr Casely-Hayford is the inaugural Director of V&A East, appointed in March 2020. He is a curator and cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture, having presented a number of series for Sky, BBC radio and television and other channels. Formerly Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, (Britain’s major Art’s funder) and Ex-Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art, he has offered leadership to both large and medium scale organizations including the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. He has served on the boards of many cultural institutions, including the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery. Gus has lectured widely on culture, including periods at Sotheby’s Institute, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, City University, University of Westminster and SOAS. He has advised national and international bodies on heritage and culture including the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils. In 2005 he deployed these leadership, curatorial, fundraising, communications skills to organize the biggest celebration of Africa Britain has ever hosted when more than 150 organizations put on over 1000 exhibitions and events.

Gus gained a PhD from SOAS and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship. He is a Cultural Fellow of King’s College London, a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, a Board Member of the Creative Industries Federation and a Trustee of the Karun Thakur Foundation. Gus is also a member of the Art Mills Museum Scientific Committee and the English Heritage Blue Plaques Committee. Gus was awarded an OBE in 2018.

Dr Christine Checinska is the V&A’s inaugural Senior Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion and Lead Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition, July 2022 – April 2023.

Prior to joining the V&A, Christine worked as a womenswear designer, academic, artist and curator. Her creative practice and research explore the relationship between fashion, culture and race. Christine’s recent exhibitions include an intervention for Makers Eye: Stories of Craft, July-October 2021, Crafts Council Gallery, and Folded Life February 2021, Johanne Jacobs Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. Her recent publications include ‘Re-Fashioning African Diasporic Masculinities’ in Fashion and Postcolonial Critique, Elke Gaugele and Monica Titton (eds.), 2019. In 2016 she delivered the TedxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism.

In industry for over thirty years, Christine has created womenswear collections for iconic British brands such as Margaret Howell, where she was a Senior Designer, during the late 1990s.

Chair: Dr Polly Savage (SOAS)

The event is followed by a drink reception at 7.30-8.30pm


This event is free and open to public. If you would like to attend the event please register. Please register via Microsoft Forms .

Please note that this event will be held in-person only.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of African studies and School of Arts in collaboration with the V&A Museum

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