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Decolonising Culture: In Conversations with…

An evening of discussions led by a panel of speakers around "What does decolonising culture mean?". Speakers from Coventry University, Decolonising the Archives project, Kings College London, Royal Academy of Arts and Goldsmiths University will be sharing their thoughts and examples of how we can decolonise our cultural institutions and deal with challenging uncomfortable topics.

Following the discussion you are invited to join in with the free after-hours event Herbert Lates: Punjab Party. Tickets can also be booked online.

Details about speakers:

Dr. Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is research fellow in Faith and Peaceful Relations. Her research focuses on the lived experiences of religion or belief in modern Britain, with particular emphasis on Islam, feminism, inter-faith relations and democratic methodologies. Her vision is to uncover what communities and individuals are already doing to find shared space, common values and practical solutions. She works to find solutions and to recognise the good practice within our communities, to replicate this in policy and practice, and to thus advance social justice and equality in Coventry, Britain and beyond.

Priya Khanchandani is a curator and writer based in London. She has published dozens of articles for publications ranging from Disegno Magazine to Bloomsbury’s Encyclopaedia of Design and spoken at numerous festivals, conferences and on BBC Radio 4. She previously worked as Head of Arts Programmes for India at the British Council in New Delhi and at the V&A Museum as lead of the Design Fund for contemporary acquisitions. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as an international lawyer at Clifford Chance before obtaining an MA in the History of Design with Distinction from the Royal College of Art. 

Radha Kapuria is a Commonwealth Scholar currently completing her PhD on ‘Music in Colonial Punjab: A Social History’, at King’s College London. She completed her MPhil in Modern Indian History from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. She has previously worked as Editorial Assistant at the journal Studies in History (published by SAGE) and also taught History at Delhi University's Indraprastha College for Women. Her talk focuses on ‘Decolonising Narratives on Female Performers in Ranjit' Singh's Lahore.’

Sara Wajid is Head of Interpretation at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. She has joined BMAG, as one of the inaugural cohort of Arts Council sponsored Change Makers and leads the StoryLab project to re-interpret the collections for a modern multi-cultural audience. Sara first became interested in the project to decolonise museums while working at National Maritime Museum. Prior to her museum career, she was a journalist specialising in cultural politics. She is the founder of the Museum Detox network for Black Asian Minority Ethnic museum workers and a trustee of the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Shaheen Kasmani is a textile artist and pattern maker, and specialises in Islamic, South Asian and North African art forms. She also curates and teaches, and her work is about challenging dominant narratives, history, heritage, culture and conversation.  Shaheen is also a co-curator for The Past is Now exhibition at Birmingham Museum Art Gallery, programmer for the Decolonise not Diversify festival that took place in Birmingham last year and co-founder of the Art Against the Grain collective. Prior to her creative career she was a teacher of English language and Literature. 

Nirmal Puwar is Reader in the Sociology Department of Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where she has lectured for over ten years. She has authored Space Invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place (2004). The concept of Space Invaders has been developed and discussed in a number of institutional sectors. Puwar has co-edited 17 Collections, including: Post-colonial Bourdieu; Orientalism and Fashion; Intimacy in Research; Live Methods and, South Asian Women in the Diaspora. A number of her writings have been translated into different languages. She takes a critical historical approach to ‘public engagement’ and has worked collaboratively using creative methods.

Free, book online in advance.


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