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Shifting the Centre: Anticolonial Ways of Seeing Exhibition Presented by International Curators Forum & iniva

26 Sep 2023-12 Jan 2024

An exhibition of works that connects history, politics and art, through the lens of anticolonial thought and activism.

Opening Times
Tuesday– Friday, 10am – 5pm

Opening Event 
Monday 25 September 2023, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Shifting the Centre is International Curators Forum’s (ICF) archival activation project dedicated to excavating the radical observations, emancipatory dreams, and revolutionary practices of anticolonial thinkers to develop counter approaches by asking: what kinds of ideas emerge when those resisting dominant forces are the protagonists of world history?

The project locates connections between seemingly unrelated events, people, issues and objects as a way of rejecting a single vantage point from which to understand, tell and mobilise histories. Ultimately, it seeks to widen what dominant forces attempt to narrow: our vision, imagination, and the political possibilities available to us.


Anticolonialism can be understood as a tradition of thought and action; a transnational counter-politics enacted by peoples resisting the material conditions, structural legacies and ideologies that normalise empire. 

Anticolonial Ways of Seeing is the second iteration of ICF’s Shifting the Centre project. It considers the concept of ‘anticolonialism’ as a framework that allows clear links to be drawn between racialisation and capitalism, between past and present-day injustices, and local and global political struggles. The exhibition asks: is a contemporary anticolonial visual language possible? What are its concerns, reference points, and principles? What kinds of demands can it articulate? What sort of education can it provide? What histories does it draw from?

For the exhibition, publications from Stuart Hall Library are placed into dialogue with a variety of materials found in iniva’s archive collection to build a series of constellations. Each constellation draws purposefully tenuous links between ideas, themes, and artistic interventions to posit traces of a shared history that transcend time, place, and rigid notions of racial and national identity. The material on display – exhibition ephemera, photographs, video, texts, excerpts from publications that have underpinned Shifting the Centre – were selected to explore how seemingly disparate ideas, mediums, commitments and histories might come together to constitute a cohesive visual language. 

Whether or not we are aware of it, any time we engage in the act of seeing (listening, reading, thinking, creating) we are drawing from epistemological traditions, ways of knowing and perceiving the world. The traditions we draw from determine how we interact with history, how we engage in politics, and relate to our surroundings. Following on from the Shifting the Centre: Grenada as Reference exhibition at Black Cultural Archives, Anticolonial Ways of Seeing is an invitation to consider the relationship between politics and aesthetics, between anticolonialism – as a tradition of thought and action – and the visual arts.


Orsod Malik, ICF’s Curator and Digital Strategist, is a Sudanese curator, writer, content producer. He’s also the founder of Code__Switch, an archive dedicated to connecting anticolonial struggles and ideas across time and space. Orsod’s curatorial approach focuses on exploring cultural and political entanglements in a variety of visual and textual materials.

He serves as the Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation and held the position of Archivist-in-Residence at the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD) in 2021.

Beatriz Lobo is is a iniva’s curator since 2022. She is also a museologist, researcher and an enthusiast of non-hierarchical thinking. She believes in the equality of ideas and non-linear ways of composing and organizing them. Interested in performance art as a form of critique, and guided by a theoretical approach, she works under an intersectional feminist framework. Her most recent research investigates strategies to decolonize the curatorial through Brazilian art practices.

Kaitlene Koranteng is Archivist and Engagement Producer at iniva. Her work involves increasing accessibility to archive materials and the development of strategies to increase engagement within iniva’s archive. 

International Curators Forum (ICF) was founded by artists and curators in 2007 to offer a programme of commissions, exhibitions, projects, publications and events that respond to the material conditions and cultural contexts impacting creative practitioners today.


It is free to attend this exhibition and everyone is welcome. If you have accessibility requirements or questions please contact Beatriz Lobo (Curator) beatriz@iniva.org

This projected is supported by Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Freelands Foundation.
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