Due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) we have made the decision to postpone this conference. We hope to reconvene this autumn at the same venue; subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Tuesday 31 March 2020, 10:00 – 16:45

Programmed by artist and academic Sonya Dyer, part of a series of events by the Understanding British Portraits Network

Join us for a one-day conference exploring the possibilities of decolonial action in the interpretation of museum objects.

What do we mean when we talk about decolonisation? Why is it necessary? What specific challenge does portraiture as a genre present? What strategies can museums and galleries put in place to support the process of decolonisation? What is the difference between being de-colonial and anti-colonial?

Dealing with the impact of Britain’s colonial history within the cultural sector is a process – an on-going series of actions and activities that aim to change the way we interpret our complex and contentious history through portraiture.

By sharing ideas, strategies and activism, delegates are invited to take part in a day of conversation aimed at inspiring and empowering them to action within their institutions.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Anjalie Dalal-Clayton, Decolonising Art Institute, University of Arts London
  • Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Subhadra Das, UCL Culture
  • Sarah Thomas, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Michael I. Ohajuru, Senior Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies
  • Alice Procter, Uncomfortable Art Tours

Download booking form: From De-Colonial to Anti-Colonial conference, 31 March 2020 – booking form

Limited complimentary places (museum/gallery staff) now available. Travel grants available. See booking form for details.

Travel advice

If you’re arriving at Birmingham New Street station, take the exit towards the Bullring. Once outside the station, cross the road (St. Martins Queensway) and you’ll see bus stops directly outside Boots (shop); you can take the 61, 63, X20, X21 or X22 to the University campus. Payment by contactless card or cash (£4 for day return, no change given).

Alternatively, take a train from Birmingham New Street two stops to the University (National Rail site).

More info on the Barber here: http://barber.org.uk/how-to-find-us/

Info on public parking at the University of Birmingham: Directions from North East Car Park to Barber Institute

If you have special access needs, please get in touch with the conference coordinator in advance to discuss disabled parking and access to the Barber.