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Research Network: Archipelagos in Reverse

01 Apr 2021-31 Mar 2022

The mountain peak is a tip
A tip is also a clue
A clue to the archive’s archipelagic relations
No archive is an island

susan pui san lok, 'Tiohtià:kee, Tāmaki Makaurau, somewhere over the under, beneath the between' essay in Alexandra Chang, Charlotte Huddleston, Janine Randerson eds. Ngā Tai o te Ao: Global Tides(St Paul St Publishing, Auckland University of Technology / Global Art Exchange, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University). E-publication.

What could the archipelagic awaken in a small-scale research institution such as iniva? What could it mean to map the resonances and resistances carried by the sea, in waves, that ebb and flow through time and space to displace chronology? Could the archives be understood as fragments that when meshed together form new subjectivities and therefore new bodies of thought. The archipelagic as a cartography of thought that finds commonalities and affinities in waves, movement, resistance, rhythm, migration, notions of return, anti-capitalism, spiritualism, post-colonial & ecological Black and Asian feminist practice, to map new encounters of meaning.

iniva has invited several partner institutions to nominate a researcher or fellow to be part of the Research Network, ‘Archipelagos in Reverse‘. ‘Archipelagos in Reverse’ is the research practice that brings curators, writers, artists, designers together to share their ongoing research through close study (reading and listening) and in dialogue with others through a series of open conversations.

Six Research Associates will be joining us throughout 2021-2022: Adjoa Armah (Afterall), Cairo Clarke (LUX), Rahila Haque (TrAIN), Daniella Rose King (Tate), Lola Olufemi (Stuart Hall Foundation) and Rose Nordin.


Adjoa Armah  is an artist, writer, curator, and educator, with a background in material anthropology and design. She is associate lecturer in Fine Art: Critical Studies at Central Saint Martins and researcher for Black Atlantic Museum, a Paul Mellon Centre funded transversal digital mapping of black British art history and socio-political movement, to be hosted on Afterall Art School. Her work is concerned with the entanglement between narrative form, archival practice, mapping and spatial consciousness, pedagogy, Black ontology, ethnology, and the political. She is founder of Saman, an archive of photographic negatives collected across Ghana. Through this work, Adjoa explores what it might mean to dwell in an archive otherwise, as praxis and an extension of the epistemological horizons in imagination.

Cairo Clarke is a curator, and writer whose work is informed by slowness. Her work centers forms of knowledge production and dissemination that slip between the cracks, are formed on unstable ground and take on multiple temporalities. Supporting strands of theorising taking place in autonomous spaces and holding space for the mess. Cairo has worked closely with artists to develop and share instances of work across film, performance, printed matter and events as well as sharing self-led curatorial projects. In 2019 she launched SITE, a publication and curatorial project exploring alternative encounters with artist practice and the dissemination of research. Cairo is the 2020/21 Curatorial Fellow at LUX. Previously she was a member of The Black Curriculum, and continues to work in educational spaces. 

Rahila Haque is a curator and researcher, and currently a PhD candidate at the centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at Chelsea College, University of the Arts London. Her research centres black, postcolonial and decolonial feminist knowledges as discursive frameworks in developing an intergenerational study of diaspora artists in the UK, focusing on feminist praxis in the work of artists of African, African-Caribbean and Asian descent since the 1980s. She is also co-authoring a forthcoming publication about the Dhaka-based artist-led initiative Britto Arts Trust. She was previously Residencies Curator at Camden Art Centre; Assistant Curator at the Hayward Gallery; and Assistant Curator of the 58th Venice Biennale exhibition May You Live in Interesting Times. She was the recipient of a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant in 2017 and a Gasworks/Triangle Network Fellowship in 2018. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and CREAM/Stuart Hall foundation researcher who works and organises in London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relationship to cultural production, political demands and futurity. She is author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020), Experiments in Imagining Otherwise, forthcoming from Hajar Press in 2021 and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective. Her latest short story, “Red” was shortlisted for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing prize. Alongside writing, she facilitates reading groups, workshops and occasionally curates. 

Daniella Rose King is a curator and writer concerned with artistic practices of the Caribbean diaspora with a particular focus on feminist readings of transatlantic geographies and their histories of extraction. She is Adjunct Curator of Caribbean Diasporic Art, Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, where she works closely with the curatorial teams at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. Between 2017-2020 she was the Whitney-Lauder Curatorial fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where she curated two interrelated exhibition and publication projects that addressed concerns at the intersection of black geographic thought, feminism, and the environment: The Last Place They Thought Of, (2018) and Deborah Anzinger: An Unlikely Birth (2019). Prior to this she worked in New York in curatorial capacities with artists including Simone Leigh and Naeem Mohaiemen, and was the 2015-16 Whitney Independent Study Program Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow. She has held institutional positions at Nottingham Contemporary; Iniva, London; Cornerhouse (now HOME), Manchester, and MASS Alexandria, Egypt. She holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.

Rose Nordin is a graphic designer and artist in residence at Somerset House Studios, London. She is a founding member of OOMK (One of my Kind) art publishing collective — focused on supporting self-publishing as “a vehicle to an independent validation to ones’ own culture, history, politics and sense of self” [John La Rose]. Collectively OOMK runs community Risographpress  Rabbits Road Press. Rose functions independently as an artist and graphic designer with an emphasis on publishing as creative and social practice. She produces publications and printed matter, often embedded in educational projects, research residencies or exhibitions. Rose has a focused interest in typography books as sites of  collaboration and the book as an object of representation.  

 Image credit: Adjoa Armah, 2019, View Cape 3 Points Lighthouse, Western Region. Ghana 
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