This event will explore practical examples of ‘failed’ anti-racist work. Our speakers will share how they navigated through them and equip participants with tools to deal with ‘failure’. Working in an anti-racist way is ‘messy’, non-linear, highly emotive and requires time and pacing, all of which are antithetical to institutional cultures and can result in ‘failure’. This event will enable reflective space for participants to share their own experiences and best practices for ongoing anti-racist work.


Trâm Nguyễn is a curator, programmer and researcher with a practice focusing on anti-racist education and practices of care in relation to contemporary art and the museum. They are currently curator of young people’s programmes at Tate, co-chair of LGBTQIA+ network, member of Race Equality Task Force and previously co-chair of BAME network. Some of their previous programming and curating includes Art in the Age of Black Girl Magic, Women of Colour Index Reading Group, Rosana Antoli: The Kick Inside, The Loop Outside, East London Cable: TV Dinner. They are also currently a non-practicing artist, exploring the idea of cringe through painting, singing, dancing, photographing—for pleasure.

Hassan Vawda is currently a Doctoral Researcher at Tate and Goldsmiths University. His research focuses on religion and secularism within British art museums – with a specific focus on Islam and the experiences of Muslims in art museums. Hassan is also a lead Engagement Officer at the Greater London Authority working on the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.

Anthony SchragDr Anthony Schrag is a practising artist and researcher, and Senior Lecturer at Queen Margaret’s University (Edinburgh). The central focus of his work examines the role of art in participatory and public contexts, with a specific focus on social conflict, agonism and ethics. His PhD and current research examines the notion of ‘Pro-Social Conflict’ within participatory and social-practice projects. His most recent publication The Failures of Public Art and Participation (co-edited with Cameron Cartiere) was released in Sept, 2022. He has worked nationally and internationally, including residencies in Iceland, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Finland, The Netherlands and South Africa, among others. He leads on both the MA Applied Arts and Social Practice and MA Arts, Festivals and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University and is a member of the Centre for Communication, Cultural and Media Studies Research Centre, leading the Practice Research Cluster: Finding and Using Creative Knowledge. For more information, visit 

teresa cisneros is a Chicana Londoner from the Mexico-Texas border, ‘La Frontera’, she practises where she is from not where she is at. A curandera and recovering art colonial administrator, currently she is Senior Culture Equity Diversity Inclusion Practice Manager at Wellcome Trust. However, she prefers the title Curator of People. She recently worked with Wellcome Collection where she conceptualised, instigated, and created the framework for their mandatory Social Justice Curriculum. teresa received a grant to deliver Object Positions to explore cultural equity, decolonial processes, and colonial administration at the Showroom Gallery in 2018. cisneros has worked with sorryyoufeeluncomfortable and numerous institutions including Nottingham Contemporary, Goldsmiths, and University College London to explore care, policy making, learning, colonial infrastructures, institutional/behavioural change, and rethinking power dynamics in institutions. In 2018, she published document0 a publication exploring our inability to ‘diversify’ the arts and her own complicity. She is interested in reconstructing systems and institutions to work towards transformational and institutional justice by creating the systems to hold staff accountable for their bad behaviours. cisneros centres her life and work practice in collaboration, care relations, and collectivity.

This conference is part of a series of events by the Understanding British Portraits network, programmed by writer, Black-Feminist Cultural Producer and Curator and agitator, Janine Francois.

Janine Francois is a Black British Feminist-Killjoy, Educator, Writer, Academic in Exile and Professional Heckler. Janine is known for their insightful, humorous as well as critical perspectives on race, whiteness, gender, and emotionality; their practices explore racial equity, intersectionality, care, and climate justice by way of writing, producing/programming, research, and teaching. Janine is a strong advocate of complaint activism and believes in abolishing the bio-industrial-complex; you either know who I am, or you do not, and both are okay. If you feel compelled to know more, you can follow me via Twitter/ Instagram at: @itsjaninebtw or visit my blog:

Museum, gallery and heritage professional, and academics engaged with portrait research, interpretation and display are invited to attend this free event.

Click here to book your place

For details on the first event in this series, Care, Repair and Intersectional Re-Imaginations, click here.