Sarah Parker Remond Centre


Sofia Victorino

Project: The Contribution of Contemporary Artistic Practices to Decolonise Art Institutions: A Transnational Perspective 

Sofia Victorino
Year of start: 2021
Home University: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Instituto de História Contemporânea
Supervisors: Prof Manuela Ribeiro Sanches (principal) and Prof José Neves (subsidiary)
Supervisor at UCL: Prof Paul Gilroy

PhD Research: My research project investigates the intersections between postcolonial and decolonial discourses, contemporary art practices and the shifting geo-politics of cultural institutions. In times of global pandemic, climate emergency, escalating precarity, threats to democracy and human rights, and the rise of populist regimes worldwide, can art be a language for radical transformation and hope? As we witness the collapse of a western model of institution-building based on capitalist growth, infrastructure expansion and the marketisation of the artworld, in what way are artists reimagining institutions and forms of artistic, civic and political intervention that disrupt hegemonic and universal narratives? Drawing on traditions of thought from postcolonial and decolonial studies, this research examines a range of art practices that propose new ways of relating to the politics of history and memory. It explores concepts of temporality, diaspora, repair and ecology considering transnational debates within academia, museums and social movements on what it means to decolonise institutions and forms of knowledge.

Professional History:
From 2011 to 2021, as Director of Education and Public Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery, London, I was responsible for a programme of artists’ residencies and commissions, exhibitions, discursive and performative events; schools and community projects. From 2002 to 2011 I served as Head of Education and Public Programmes at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto. I am on the advisory board for the Documents of Contemporary Art series, co-published by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press. I lecture on the MA in Curating Art and Public Programmes (London South Bank University).

Education History:
MA in Contemporary Cultural Practices, Goldsmiths, University of London (1998-1999)

Honours, Awards & Funding:
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia