Creative Conversations /digital

WED 3 JUNE 2020
12 – 1:30 PM CDT


About the Event

FotoFest and Autograph present a conversation between artist Faisal Abdu'Allah and Mark Sealy, curator of the FotoFest Biennial 2020 central exhibition African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other.

The relationship between Faisal Abdu’Allah and Mark Sealy spans over 27 years. As Director of Autograph, Sealy has presented Abdu’Allah’s work, commissioned projects, and added the artist’s works to Autograph’s renowned collection.

The two will discuss their history working together, the presentation of Abdu’Allah’s work in the African Cosmologies exhibition, and the ideas and issues explored in the artist’s work as they relate to the Biennial’s broader curatorial theme.

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Rivington Place



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This is event is part of FotoFest's series Creative Conversations/digital - bringing together artists, creatives, and online audiences for an in-depth conversation on social, cultural, and aesthetic issues in relation to creative praxis. Each program will be composed of a moderated conversation and a live Q&A with the online audience.

How to join this event

Register for a free ticket to watch live and interact via Zoom, or watch live on FotoFest's YouTube channel. If you would like to support Fotofest, you can also make a donation with your ticket. Fotofest is managing tickets for this event.

Questions for the Q&A will be collected live via Zoom’s audio stream and YouTube’s comment function.

Please note that this online event starts at 12pm CDT, which is 6pm in the UK.

Faisal Abdu’Allah

Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah is an associate professor of art and faculty director of University of Wisconsin–Madison's Creative Arts Community, The Studio. He graduated from the Royal College of Art, and completed his PhD in 2012 at the University of East London.

His work has been exhibited widely, including at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2012); National Portrait Gallery, London and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); British Film Institute Gallery, London (2008); Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2003); and The Studio Museum in Harlem (1997). His works are in the collections of Tate Britain, London; the V&A, London; the National Maritime Museum, London; the Chazen Museum, Madison; CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; and the British Arts Council.

Mark Sealy

Dr. Mark Sealy MBE is interested in the relationships between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. He has been director of London-based photographic arts institution Autograph since 1991 and has produced numerous artist publications, curated exhibitions, and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide, including the critically acclaimed exhibition Human Rights Human Wrongs at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto in 2013 and at The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 2015.

Sealy has written for international photography publications, including Foam Magazine, Aperture, Creative Camera and Next Level, and written numerous essays for publications and artist monographs.Read More

In 2002, Sealy and professor Stuart Hall co-authored Different, which focuses on photography and identity politics. Recent notable projects include the exhibition The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding/Decoding for the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and critically acclaimed exhibitions on the works of James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, Rotimi Fani-Kayode and on the works of Mahtab Hussain and Maud Sulter.

His most recent book, Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time, was published in 2019 by Lawrence and Wishart.


African Cosmologies book

New photobook to add to your reading list


Visit Faisal Abdu’allah's website


Tickets for this event are booked through, and managed by, Fotofest. For any queries about their ticketing or privacy policies, please visit


Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Sample Logo

Images, from top: 1) Faisal Abdu'Allah: The Duppy Conqueror & Other Stories exhibition gallery installation at Autograph, London. 15 December - 14 April 2018.  Photograph: Zoe Maxwell. 2) Wilfred Ukpong, BC1-ND-FC: By and by, I Will Carry this Burden of Hope, till the Laments of my Newborn is Heard #2, 2017. From the series Blazing Century 1, Niger-Delta/Future-Cosmos, 2011–17. Courtesy of Wilfred Ukpong and Blazing Century Studios, Nigeria. 3) Faisal Abdu-Allah, The Barber’s Chair, 2017 [detail]. Commissioned by Autograph. Installation photograph by Ben Reeves.