Terms of Engagement: Curatorial Practice

Sat 07 May 2022 - Mon 13 Jun 2022

Learn about the varied and changing role of the 'curator' in this eight-week course.

Colour photograph of other photographs lain on top each other with a concrete background

Terms of Engagement: Curatorial Practice

Sat 07 May 2022 - Mon 13 Jun 2022

Learn about the varied and changing role of the 'curator' in this eight-week course.

This event is part of our Past Programme

Saturday 07 May at 10.00-16.00 BST (at LCC)
Monday 09 May at 16.00-19.00 BST (at LCC)
Monday 16 May at 16.00-19.00 BST
Monday 23 May at 16.00-19.00 BST
Monday 30 May at 16.00-19.00 BST
Monday 06 Jun at 16.00-19.00 BST
Saturday 11 June at 10.00-16.00 BST (at LCC)
Monday 13 June at 16.00-19.00 BST
**Unless listed otherwise, the above sessions will be taking place at The Photographers' Gallery

This course examines past and recent opportunities and strategies related to curating exhibitions of contemporary photography and art, in particular through co-authored and participatory approaches. You will be introduced to ideas for creating meaningful relationships with the public, supporting artists in different ways of working and developing innovative methods for showcasing work that centres on audience engagement. Together we will consider the methods adopted around alternative approaches to curating, by offering a range of perspectives that bring focus and understanding to the practice.

Over eight weeks, course participants will take part in long-table discussions, in-conversations and interactive workshops with guest speakers who work across disciplines. We will look at a range of approaches to curating as guest speakers are invited to unpack key terms, reflect on their work and share knowledge from the socially diverse and interdisciplinary approaches their work presents. Artists and educators Becky Warnock and Kate Watson will facilitate the sessions.

Terms of Engagement is an ongoing project which reflects on the language of participation. We explore curatorial practice and the ways in which we might work with and engage community groups and the public. The course will provide a valuable space for critical reflection and contribute to a published resource that further these dialogues.  


Session 1 | Underexposed (Sat 7 May)
We start the course with a practical workshop in which we interrogate the role of the Curator through collective play with UnderExposed. Based in Brighton, England, UnderExposed is a platform and collective dedicated to encouraging artistic collaboration and facilitating spaces for sharing. UnderExposed believes in global collective action and since 2018 has worked to curate a network of art practitioners to collectively address the different challenges people face.

Session 2 | Curation: An Introduction to Curation as Socially Engaged Creative Practice (Mon 9 May)
Karen Shepherdson leads us through a brief history of curatorial approaches to socially engaged practice and asks us to reflect on how we position our own work within the field. Karen is a curator, writer, practising artist and academic research within the field of photography. She is currently Reader and Programme Director for Photography at London College of Communication.

Session 3 | Ali Eisa (Mon 16 May)
In this workshop we will explore ways of using the curation of photography and visual material to think differently about race, representation, identity, citizenship and human rights inspired by Autograph's extensive archive. Led by Autograph's Learning and Participation Manager Ali Eisa, an artist and educator who works creatively with young people and getting their voices heard on the social issues we all face.

Session 4 | Jamila Prowse (Mon 23 May)
What is the role of care in curatorial practice? With artist and writer Jamila Prowse we will consider how we can care for ourselves, the work and the audiences we serve. Jamila is an artist, writer and researcher who works across moving image and textiles to consider methodologies for visualising mixed-race identity and the lived experience of disability.

Session 5 | Mariama Attah and Liz Weiwora (Mon 30 May)
With Open Eye Gallery staff Mariama Attah and Liz Weiwora, we reflect on the role of institutions. How can we develop long-term relationships in which organisations are able to respond to the needs of their local community? Open Eye produces exhibitions and long-term collaborative projects, with a focus on bringing different voices, photographers and communities together, locally and internationally. Mariama Attah is a photography curator and editor with a particular interest in overlooked visual histories, using photography and visual culture to amplify under and misrepresented voices. Liz Weiwora is an artist and curator and is the Head of Social Practice for Open Eye Gallery, leading on the socially engaged programme working with and for communities and cross-sector partners.

Session 6 | Emily Stone (Mon 6 Jun)

In this session we will reflect on: how do we consider communities in our approach to curation? How do we engage with them and centre them in our work? Emily Stone is Participation Manager for the National Portrait Gallery, working on co-produced partnership projects focusing on identity and storytelling. She is an arts producer and facilitator with significant experience co-producing alongside artists and diverse communities. Her interests lie in creating fascinating, complex and creative programmes and events that are ambitious, inclusive and stimulate curiosity.

Session 7 | Eliza Hatch (Sat 11 Jun)

How can curation be part of wider social change agendas? What are the curatorial strategies that might provide alternatives to traditional and often exclusionary models of collecting and display. With photographer and gender equality activist. Eliza Hatch, this session seeks to question the role of activism in curatorial practice. In 2017 Eliza founded Cheer Up Luv, a globally renowned photo series and multimedia platform, which facilitates a podcast, art, design, submission, workshops, lectures and a safe space for discussions around street harassment, misogyny and sexism. As part of this year's Women’s History Month, Eliza alongside and Bee Illustrates present their debut group show, Hysterical - an exhibition celebrating women and marginalised genders whose work is centred on community, activism and uplifting voices of those around them.

Session 8 | Next steps (Mon 13 Jun)
With course leaders Becky Warnock and Kate Watson, this session will build on the learnings from across the programme and seeks to set our intentions moving forward.

Produced in collaboration with London College of Communication


Becky Warnock is an artist and organiser whose work engages with the politics of representation and questions of identity. Interested in authorship, her practice is rooted in participation and community engagement. Alongside her practice, she currently lectures at the London College of Communication. 

Kate Watson is an artist, researcher and educator. Her practice is an exploration of representation, authorship and the power structures involved in the production of images. Kate has worked internationally to develop visual advocacy programmes and support other organisations to communicate their stories powerfully and ethically. Kate is an Associate Lecturer at LCC and has recently joined the socially engaged arts organisation, Peckham Platform as Learning and Communities Engagement Manager.


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