7th December
Place: auditorium of National Gallery of Art (Konstitucijos pr. 22, Vilnius)
Time: 2 pm

Moderator: Dr Marquard Smith Professor of Artistic Research at Vilnius Academy of Arts; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Visual Culture; and Programme Leader, MA Museums & Galleries in Education, UCL Institute of Education, London.

Contributors include:

Dr Almira Ousmanova is Professor at the European Humanities University. She has published extensively on convergences of cultural practices, Feminist Studies, Film and Media Studies, Political Philosophy, and studies of the Soviet and Post-Soviet condition, Almira is also a curator and programmer, and runs the Laboratory for Studies of Visual Culture and Contemporary Studies:

Dr Danah Abdulla is a designer, educator and research. She is Senior Lecturer in Communication Design at Brunel University London, a founding member of the decolonising design platform, and the founder of Kalimat Magazine.

Dr Michelle Williams Gamaker is a moving image/performance artist and activist, co-founder of the Women of Colour Index Reading Group, and member of Fine Art staff at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Dr Ieva Mazūraitė-Novickienė is a curator at the Art Information Centre, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania. A researcher of soviet period Lithuanian Photography, she is author of articles: Mazūraitė-Novickienė, I. „The analyses of photography concept in the discourse of Lithuanian photography of 1960’s“, in: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. 2014. T. 75, p. 89–102; Mazūraitė-Novickienė, I. „Medium of photography as artistic problem in late soviet Lithuanian photography“, in: Menotyra. 2016. T. 23. Nr. 4, p. 73–87. Curated exhibitions (selected): ’A Place of Images. Lithuanian Photography in Illustrated Magazines of the 1960s-70s.’ (2013) and retrospective of Algimantas Kunčius “Visual Scripts” (2015).

The Decolonising debate is raging passionately!
It’s raging in our public institutions, in our universities and art schools, and on the streets. Artists, designers, academics, critics, curators, educators, and activists internationally are demanding a decolonising of the museum, a decolonising of the curriculum, a decolonising of knowledge, a decolonising of the mind.

Why? Because as ‘inventions’ of the West’s global blueprint, museums, institutions of higher education, and the worlds of art and design are always already aligned with the logic of coloniality.

The decolonialising perspectives and practices from different continents, territories, and geographies are thus necessary and welcome; and all the more urgent in our fraught political moment. Such challenges and possibilities flow from the Americas of the South, the post-Soviet states, the ends of the British Empire, and elsewhere, amplifying alternative voices, and enabling us to see and think, educate, write, curate, and know otherwise.

To decolonise, then, is to democratise.

So what are the benefits of this decolonising impulse, its rhetoric, activism, its protests? What does it really mean – conceptually and practically even - for the museum and its collection, the art school and the university’s curriculum, the mind, and knowledge itself to decolonise? And what might a decolonising aesthetics, politics, and ethics be and do?

The event is organised by Vilnius Academy of Arts in collaboration with National Gallery of Art.

Photo author A. Sutkus, "Sudie, partijos draugai", 1991.