Ros Gray is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Critical Studies in the Art Department at Goldsmiths where she has led the development of the MA Art & Ecology programme.
Her research has investigated militant filmmaking, particularly in relation to liberation struggles and revolutionary movements in Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.
This research informs her monograph Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution: Anti-Colonialism, Independence and Internationalism in Filmmaking, 1968–1991 (James Currey, 2020), among many other publications in journals and books.
In recent years, her research has increasingly focused on artistic interventions in the fields of soil care, cultivation and decolonial ecologies more broadly.
In 2018 Ros co-edited with Shela Sheikh a special issue of Third Text entitled 'The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions', and in 2020 they produced ‘The Coloniality of Planting’ for the Camden Art Centre’s podcast series The Botanical Mind, which was also published as an article in Architectural Review in 2021.
She has contributed to numerous publications by artists whose practice involves cultivation, including by Cooking Sections, Åsa Sonjasdotter and Carl Gent. Ros is a founding member of the Critical Ecologies research stream at Goldsmiths and she is on the Editorial Board of Third Text.
Ros coordinates the Goldsmiths Allotment, which provides a space for plant cultivation for staff and students, is a platform for various seasonal cultural events, workshops on aspects of sustainable gardening, and is a space for meditation and developing thinking around forms of ecological ‘care’ in the context of an educational institution.
She is currently leading the planning of an Art Research Garden at Goldsmiths and has convened the CHASE series of lectures and workshops ‘What Can a Garden Be?’, which seeks to explore and challenge the coloniality of the garden through artistic research and activist practice that involves anti-racism, climate justice and rewilding.
Ros primarily teaches on the BA and MFA Fine Art programmes at Goldsmiths. She also occasionally lectures for the Extension Degree, the MA Artists’ Film and Moving Image and the MFA Curating programmes and contributes more widely to the department through PhD supervision.
Ros’s research on the trajectories of militant filmmaking in contexts of anti-colonial and revolutionary struggles in Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso has involved exploring the use of film and video in rural development, the setting up of cooperatives, and the denunciation of colonial exploitation of natural resources, as well as the representation of radical social change.
This research informs her forthcoming monograph entitled Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution (James Currey, 2020).
Ros has analysed the ecological and planetary resonances of work by artists including Renée Green, Antonio Ole and Kiluanji Kia Henda.
Her research interests in environmental violence and the politics of the soil is explored in a special issue of Third Text (Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture), which she co-edited with Shela Sheikh, entitled ‘The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions’ (January 2018).
Ros is the Coordinator of the Goldsmiths Allotment, which, as well as providing a space for plant cultivation for staff and students, is a platform for various seasonal cultural events, workshops on aspects of sustainable gardening and plant breeding, and a space for meditation and developing thinking around forms of ‘care’ in the context of an educational institution.
Her current research is focused on developing new forms of eco-pedagogy concerned with soil care and cultivation through artistic practice.
Publications and research outputs
Gray, Ros. 2020. Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution: Anti-Colonialism, Independence and Internationalism in Filmmaking, 1968-1991. Martlesham: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9781847012371
Gray, Ros. 2021. Vous n'avez jamais entendu parler d'internationalisme?: Les amitiés socialistes du cinéma mozambicain [translation]. In: Maria-Benedita Basto; Françoise Blum; Pierre Guidi; Héloïse Kiriakou; Martin Mourre; Céline Pauthier; Ophélie Rillon; Alexis Roy and Elena Vezzadini, eds. Socialismes africains / Socialismes en Afrique. Paris: Les Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme. ISBN 9782735126989
Sheikh, Shela; Gray, Ros; Wolf, Nicole; César, Filipa; Grisey, Raphaël and Touré, Bouba. 2018. Fugitive Remains: Soil, Celluloid and Resistant Collectivities. In: Cooking Sections, ed. The Empire Remains Shop. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, pp. 209-223. ISBN 978-1-941332-37-5
Gray, Ros. 2017. Clear Lines of an Internationalist Map: Foreign Filmmakers in Angola at Independence [English translation]. In: Maria do Piçarra and Teresa Castro, eds. (Re)Imagining African Independence: Film, Visual Arts and the Fall of the Portuguese Empire. Oxford: Peter Lang. ISBN 9781787076396
Gray, Ros. 2016. Você já ouviu falar de internacionalismo? As amizades socialistas do cinema moçambicano [translation]. In: Lucia Monteiro, ed. África(s): Cinema e revolução: As Independências de Angola, Guiné-Bissau e Moçambique em filmes de luta e memória (catálogo de mostra de cinema, realizada no cinema Caixa Belas Artes, São Paulo, de 10 a 23 de novembro de 2016). São Paulo: Caixa Belas Artes.
Gray, Ros. 2015. Linhas Claras num Mapa Internacionalista: Cineastas Estrangeiros em Angola durante a Independência. In: Maria do Carmo Piçarra and Jorge Antonio, eds. Angola - O Nascimento de Uma Nação: O Cinema da Independência. 3 Lisbon: Guerra & Paz.
Gray, Ros. 2012. Haven’t you heard of internationalism?: The Socialist friendships of Mozambican cinema. In: Lars Lyngsgaard and Fjord Kristensen, eds. Postcommunist Film - Russia, Eastern Europe and World Culture: moving images of postcommunism. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 53-74. ISBN 9780415671644
Gray, Ros and Sheikh, Shela. 2021. The coloniality of planting: legacies of racism and slavery in the practice of botany. The Architectural Review(1478), ISSN 0003-861X
Sheikh, Shela and Gray, Ros. 2018. La terre damnée: conflits botaniques et interventions artistiques. Le journal des laboratoires (Cahier C), pp. 3-6.
Gray, Ros and Sheikh, Shela. 2018. Editor's Introduction: The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions. Third Text, 32(2-3), pp. 163-175. ISSN 0952-8822
Gray, Ros. 2014. A Lingering Lusotopia: Thinking the Planetary from Angola. Art Margins, 3(1), pp. 3-27. ISSN 2162-2574
Gray, Ros and Eshun, Kodwo. 2011. The Militant Image: A Ciné-Geography: Editors’ Introduction. Third Text, 25(1), pp. 1-12. ISSN 0952-8822
Conference or Workshop Item
Gray, Ros. 2014. 'O Anticolonialsimo da Imagen Militante in the Próximo Futuro series Novos Poderes'. In: A arte do comum e a produção da cultura: O Anticolonialismo da Imagem Militante à Guerra das Escritas. Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal.
Gray, Ros. 2007. 'Third Cinema: Filming the Revolution in Mozambique'. In: Curating the Postcolonial, conference organised by the Royal College of Art. Goethe Institute, London, United Kingdom.
Gray, Ros. 2005. '‘Algumas experimentações emergentes nas telas em Moçambique’'. In: Encontros – Maputo 2005, Festival of Documentary Films at the Centro Cultural Franco. Moçambicano, Maputo, Mozambique 27 September–4 October 2005.
Gray, Ros and Sheikh, Shela, eds. 2018. The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions, Third Text, 32(2-3). 0952-8822