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Hosting Ideas for Progress: Mark Sealy in conversation with Yinka Shonibare

POSTED: 28 April 2022

Yinka Shonibare and Mark Sealy discuss the work of representation in cultural institutions for UAL's Research Season 2022, exploring the theme Earth and Equity: integrating environmental and racial justice

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Watch back the keynote conversation between Autograph's Director, Mark Sealy, and renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE in which Shonibare shares work from his creative practice, discussing the use of satire to portray Black agency, and expounds on the charitable work of the Yinka Shonibare Foundation in facilitating international cultural exchange.

"Satire is a very important way of dealing with all these issues because there is a sense in which one is expected, as somebody of African origin, to be angry, to be the victim, you know - it just seems to be what's expected. I'm not giving you that - I'm not going to be your victim."

— Yinka Shonibare

The conversation took place during UAL’s research season of events exploring the broad theme of Earth and Equity: integrating environmental and racial justice and is part of PARC’s webinar series, 'The Decolonising Lens' which brings together a range of guests from across the creative sectors to both discuss and challenge traditional academic and cultural canons. Presented by Mark, the series takes its name from his seminal work, Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time (2019).

The event was chaired by Professor Pratap Rughani, documentary filmmaker, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Documentary Practices at London College of Communication and features an introduction from Professor David Mba, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise.



Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA is a British-Nigerian artist living in the United Kingdom. His work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. A hallmark of his art is the brightly coloured Ankara fabric he uses.

Mark Sealy

Professor Mark Sealy OBE is interested in the relationship between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. He has been director of Autograph (London) since 1991 and in his role as director has produced artist publications, curated exhibitions, and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide. Mark is Professor of Photography Rights and Representation and a core member of UAL's Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC).


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This event was organised by Photography and the Archive Research Centre at London College of Communication and hosted by its Director Brigitte Lardinois.

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Images on page: 1) Yinka Shonibare, Royal Academy of Arts 2014, London. Photograph: Marcus Leith. 2) Mark Sealy. Photograph courtesy of Steve Pyke.

Discover more images: 1) A selection of publications from Autograph's collection 2) Wilfred Ukpong, At the Centre of the Delta, I Come Settled to Bear Your Grand Entry (2017). © and courtesy the artist. 3) David Uzochukwu, Rising, from Mare Monstrum / Drown In My Magic (2019). © and courtesy of the artist and Galerie Number 8. 4)Wilfred Ukpong, BC1-ND-FC: Are My Dreams too Bold for the Carbon Skin I Bear #1 (2017). © and courtesy the artist.