CURATORIAL ACTIVISM

DWC Imagery by Onyx artist Priya Mistry 

Disability Arts Online | 2021- Present, UK / International. Disability Arts Online is a UK-based non-profit organisation occupying a unique global position championing the development of disability arts. DAO’s team is a group of expert individuals working together to take action for social justice with a rich history challenging dominant narratives, breaking down barriers to arts engagement from an intersectional disability-led position, embracing neurodiversity and chronic physical and/or mental conditions. Growing out of DAO’s Covid-19 response and anti-racism activism, with the aim of diversifying, decentralising and impacting the sector and society, the Onyx Pilot Project puts ethnically diverse disabled creatives in the driving seat by establishing an artist collective which will meet, articulate their own leadership, and create new work, culminating in a publication, supported by a big London-based launch event in the spring of 2022. The Onyx Collective will also select and commission other artists to deliver accessible artist presentations for audiences across UK and the world. And DAO will employ ethnically diverse disabled freelance creatives as artists mentors to deliver one-on-one artist development sessions.  

Freelance Project Manager | Project planning, administration, communication, reporting, monitoring, evaluation, coordination and co-facilitation of meetings, research and coordination of partnerships, and production of design and delivery of a publication and launch event sticking to timeline and budget. Co-management of Artists Presentations programme. Ethnically diverse disabled artists research and recruitment as artists mentors for one-on-one artist development sessions in liaison with the CEO. Key achievements: Facilitating the foundation of a brand new artist collective at the intersection of disablism and racism. Fostering diversity in the disability arts sector.

COUNTERSPACE LOGO

Counterspace's cultural strategy by Cristina Morales
Counterspace’s cultural strategy by Cristina Morales

Counterspace | 2019 – Present – London, UK / International.  Counterspace is an independent curatorial platform and the first decolonial thinktank mapping cultural activism worldwide. Shaped by the phases of the decolonial process, Counterspace’s unlearning toolkit proposes common resources and experiences to unpack and redefine so far consisting of online and printed decolonial publications, an online ‘Decolonial Library’, online and live ‘Decolonial Labs’, and online and live forum talks. And Counterspace’s relearning toolkit proposes common resources and experiences to reconnect holistically so far consisting of an online ‘Radical Imagination Library’, an online ‘Mutation School’,  ‘Mutants podcast’, and a cultural activism global directory browsable by continent, praxis and social construct. A Beuys-inspired ‘social sculpture/organism’ network which by connecting the dots, links the experiences and culture shakers creatively decolonising culture, while inspiring others to join the collective machinery towards change. A net where -as he defined it- every human being is an artist who shapes his/her/their state of freedom, where the position of freedom he/she/they experiences/experience at first-hand learns to determine the other positions of the total art work of the future social order. 

Founding Curator | Researcher. Curator. Editor. Author. Speaker. Decolonial Labs Facilitator / Critical Pedagogue. Podcaster. Communication. Fundraiser. Key achievements: Founding curator of the first decolonial thinktank mapping cultural activism worldwide. Founding curator of the first Decolonial Lab. Published by Humanities, Arts and Society + Memory of the Future (Paris); London Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); A Beautiful Resistance (Seattle); Ouvrage (Montreal); and Inhabit (Global). Partnered up with Actipedia by the Center for Artistic Activism (New York), Social Art Network (UK), Primary (Nottingham), -Ism (London), Socially Engaged Art Salon (Brighton), Publib (UK), Utopian Studies Society (UK), Ephemera Conference (International), Narratopias by Plurality University Network (Paris), and Antiuniversity Now (London). Community organising fostering social practice art global networks, and unity bridging neocolonial and hierarchical gaps, as a key collective liberation factor in a – still dividing – identity politics activism scene.

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Haringey Arts | 2016-2017 – London, UK. Haringey Arts was a community interest company developing the North London living/working converted warehouses district of Haringey connecting the creative talent in the area through events, workshops and collaborations creating profile.

Assistant Curator | Curation of commissioned artwork for warehouse related projects. Social media manager of Tottenham Creative Warehouse District. HA website updates & newsletters. Art programme curation for Haringey primary schools with HA artists. Key achievements: Groundbreaking neighbourhood-based platform for displaced artists, contexts of care/ dissent/ liberation and intentional intersection spaces for community development.

Black Cultural Archives | 2015 – London, UK. BCA is the first national Black Culture heritage public institution in the UK. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and celebrate Black culture in Britain.

Relationship & Development Assistant | Digital marketing. Key achievement: Revealing hidden histories of Britain’s Black heritage focusing on social and political issues through art.

Peckham Platform | 2015 – London, UK. Peckham Platform is a social art gallery connecting people, art and place in the South London neighbourhood of Peckham believing that communities can inform and shape their engagement with their locality by working with contemporary visual artists bringing meaningful contemporary social practice alive influencing policy making in the area and beyond.

Social Art Gallery Assistant | Assisting ‘Twelve’ exhibition by Melanie Manchot, ‘Cuming: a Natural Selection’ exhibition by Janetka Platun and ‘Doing Nothing is Not an Option: in Memory of Nigerian Writer and Activist Ken Saro-Wiwa’ exhibition by Michael McMillan. Key achievement: Fostering social practice art in disenfranchised and gentrified Peckham neighbourhood.

Interarts | 2014 – Barcelona, Spain / International. Interarts is a private agency which specialises in human development through culture via cultural policies and cultural cooperation.

Project Assistant  – Content Curator | Curator of Fomecc – Creative Industries Networking Platform in Spain, South America and West Africa, researching and curating content, community building and follow-up. Key achievement: Community organising fostering tricontinental creative industries networks.

Ribermusica |  2007-2009 – Barcelona, Spain. Ribermusica is a non-profit organisation with a long trajectory working on social art using music as a tool for cohesion in Barcelona’s neighbourhood La Ribera through several community-based projects. Among them, Ribermusica Festival which brings music performances into unusual places.

Freelance Assistant Curator | Liaison and booking of 20 unusual concert venues (shops, libraries, barbershops, bakeries, parks, restaurants, hotels …) for Ribermusica Festival editions 2007, 2008 and 2009. Key achievements: Hosting horizontal music performances, creating contexts of care / dissent / liberation and intentional intersection spaces for community gathering / development.

HostelArt | 2005-2013 – Barcelona, Spain / International. HostelArt was a groundbreaking platform in the independent backpackers hostel sector creating an alternative room for arts & culture in Equity Point hostels chain by developing a non-profit project where artists, travellers + city audience, and hostels, benefited from a free monthly cultural programme including international art residencies.

Founding Curator / Project Manager |  Production, programming, organisation, administration and communication of ninety-six art exhibitions, four hundred concerts, four hundred Dj sessions, four hundred screenings, two charity theme festivals, a fashion catwalk, one hundred design markets, five outdoor live graffiti paintings, five big decoration projects and three international art residencies in other European independent backpackers hostels.  Key achievements: Democratising art, creating different art circuits, providing space for Barcelona’s multidisciplinary arts underground scene, facilitating international and local community gathering and intentional intersection contexts of care / dissent / liberation. Inspiring following independent backpackers hostels to bring arts & culture to their spaces worldwide.


Featured image: Fluxus Manifesto, 1963.