Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, researcher and occasional DJ. Her work is concerned with the politics of place and the histories and legacies of colonialism making work that is collaborative, performative and dialogic. Her artistic practice explores the archival, makes propositions, collects and maps stories and contributions of people of colour using storytelling, collective actions, and ritual, to excavate, unearth and interrogate given narratives. She resists the idea that the stories of "Other-ness" are alternatives to dominant given narratives, but are interruptions, utterances, presences that exist within, that are invisible, unheard, missing or ignored. By making these narratives visible, asking questions and making proposals she is interested in what these possibilities offer as we examine our present and envision our futures. Her current artistic research As Always a Painful Declaration of Independence : For Ama. For Aba. For Charlotte and Adjoa, is being realised in a series of project episodes. The project explores the social, cultural and political agency of women of colour, as they navigate historic legacies of colonialism, independence, migration and the contemporary global socio political climate,to think about propositions for their futures existence in a just world.
Barby’s recent exhibitions include, Intimacy and Distance, Diaspora Pavilion, Venice (2017), The Queen and The Black Eyed Squint, Starless Midnight (2017/18) and Declaration of Independence (2019), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in CREAM (Centre for Research in Education, Arts and Media) at Westminster University. Barby has also taught on fine art programmes in London, Berlin, Gothenburg and Rotterdam and is currently Visiting Lecturer on Contemporary Practice at the RCA and teaches a programme on decolonial arts practice called How We Get Free on the BA Fine Art Critical Practice at Goldsmiths. She is a PhD co founder of agency for agency a collaborative agency concerned with ethics, intersectionality and education in the contemporary arts who are mentors to the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective. Asante is also on the board of the Women's Art Library and 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning.