Decolonising the Cultural Institution? A Critical Intervention into Discourses of Decolonisation in the Cultural Sphere

Key information

9:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Main College Buildings and Brunei Gallery, SOAS
DLT, G3, B111, B102

About this event


What does it mean to decolonise a cultural institution, particularly one whose very raison d’être is inherently enshrined in the colonial project? Is it possible to reform such institutions from within or should alternative structures be sought to converse with them? Who gets to define what shape these processes of decolonisation might take, and what are the power dynamics involved in this? How do issues of class, gender, religion, race, language and (hyper)nationalism intersect with processes of decolonisation in the cultural sphere? And what might be the role of cultural and artistic production in driving this kind of change?

Decolonising the Cultural Institution? invites graduate and post-graduate students to interrogate what processes of ‘decolonisation’ might mean in the contexts of the production, dissemination and consumption of cultural practices, as well as for processes of knowledge production and the assignment of value onto ‘art’. We anticipate papers which explore: the politics of aesthetics and the aesthetics of politics; the financial contingency of artistic production; the politics of representation; processes of erasure, inclusion and exclusion; challenges to existing power relations and hierarchies; and the role of nationalism.

The conference will include a screening and discussion of the film ‘Rati Chakravyuh’ (Ashish Avikunthak, 2013) on Thursday evening as well as a round-table discussion with artistic and cultural practitioners on Friday afternoon.

The conference is free and welcome to all!

To register please use the following link:

Website: https://decoloniseculture.wixsite.com/soas
Facebook: http://fb.me/decoloniseculture
Email: decoloniseculture@soas.ac.uk

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Rolando Vázquez (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University)

Rolando Vázquez is assistant professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt (UCR) of Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He coordinates the Decolonial Summer School at UCR together with Walter Mignolo.

Professor Anthony Downey (Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa, Birmingham City University)

Anthony Downey is an academic, editor and writer. He is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa within the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz ( ibraaz.org ) and sits on the editorial advisory board of Third Text ( thirdtext.org ).

Keynote Speakers, Participants and Conference Schedule:

Decolonising the Cultural Institution? participants and schedule (pdf; 165kb)

Organiser: CCLPS, SOAS

Contact email: decoloniseculture@soas.ac.uk