Barby Asante

Staff details

Barby Asante


Lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies




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Artist/ Curator/Researcher working in performance, social Practice, Black Feminism, decoloniality, memory and place

Barby Asante, is an artist, curator, and educator, working in social practice, film, performance, collective writing, and the creation of transformative spaces for ritual and healing. Her work aims to dismantle the enduring impacts of slavery and colonialism in contemporary experiences by delving into the dynamics of place, space, and memory.

Rooted in Black feminist and decolonial methodologies of research, collective study, making, collaborating, and imagining, Asante creates intimate spaces for reflection and dialogue. Her practice draws inspiration from her Akan heritage, family, and broader African Diaspora histories. She examines the connections between post-colonial migrations, revealing conflicting experiences and understandings of history and memory in the U.K. and Europe, inviting collaborators and viewers into a questioning of race, gender, space, and place, to engage with the complex politics embedded within our embodiment and geographic configurations.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Hons Fine Art Time Based Media, University of East London 1995
  • MA Visual Culture, Middlesex University 1999
  • Practice Based PhD, CREAM University of Westminster 2022

Research interests

My research interests are diverse and intersect various critical themes. I focus on Black Feminism and decolonial theory foregrounding the work and knowledges of African, Caribbean, Latin American, and Indigenous thinkers, practitioners and communities. Exploring the implications of bringing a decolonial Black feminist perspective to art practice, institutions and curation I also focus on what it is to think about and practice social justice, care work, environmental justice, and abolition within these contexts. I also have an interest in thinking about expanded ways of thinking about the sources of knowledge bringing West African cosmologies and philosophies into how I am thinking about and understanding Black Feminism and decolonial theories. My inquiries extend to archives, memory practices, and hauntology in art Practice, rethinking conventional archival approaches.

My artistic practice encompasses social practice and performance which has also driven me to explore performativity and performance Studies, particularly concerning race, gender, and queer performative theories. To connect this with my interested in a decolonial Black feminist approach to these practices I extend my interest into liberatory pedagogies such as those proposed by Paulo Friere, bell hooks, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney who's ideas on study, collective learning and reciprocity connect with my approach to art practice, research and my teaching. I am also interested in the ways that new and emergent thinkers, practitioners and activists in these fields are developing ways to think about and challenge our conventional understanding of social, participatory and education practice in the arts.

Additionally, I explore expanded and supportive writing practices for art students, alongside delving into speculative fiction/theory, auto theory, and experimental writing as innovative forms of critical expression within the artistic sphere.

Publications and research outputs


Asante, Barby and Bailey, Giles. 2022. TALKER 10: Barby Asante. Talker(10), ISSN 2632-8496

Asante, Barby. 2022. Countless Ways of Knowing: Looking at Images Beyond the Frame as a Practice of Liberatory Pedagogy. Photography and Culture, 15(1), pp. 97-101. ISSN 1751-4517

Adeniji, Anna; Asante, Barby; Lundberg, Anna and Miller, Monica L. 2020. The Grain of her Voice: Nina Simone, Josette Bushell-Mingo and the Intersections between Art, Politics and Race. PARSE(11), ISSN 2002-0953


Asante, Barby and Sofronijevic, Jelena. 2023. Declaration of Independence, Barby Asante (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Art on the Underground).

Asante, Barby; Oriogun Williams, Femi and Taylor, Foluke. 2020. Declaration of Independence Podcasts.

Book Section

Asante, Barby. 2023. Grounding for Group Work Exercise. In: Jemma Egan; Leyla Gatens; Amal Khalaf and Alex Thorp, eds. How We Hold: Rehearsals for Art and Social Change. London: Walter Koenig/Serpentine Gallery. ISBN 9783753305035

Asante, Barby. 2023. The Women. They Were Plotting Too: Declaring Our Independence in the Spirit of Sankofa. In: Andrea N. Baldwin and Tonya Haynes, eds. Global Black Feminisms: Cross Border Collaboration through an Ethics of Care. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 156-179. ISBN 9780367698539

Asante, Barby. 2021. Now is the Time for the Performance to Become a Reality (I can’t do this without you.). In: Jeanne van Heeswijk; Maria Hlavajova and Rachael Rakes, eds. Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice. Utrecht: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst. ISBN 9780262542500

Conference or Workshop Item

Asante, Barby and Sobers, Shawn. 2023. 'Whose Memorials? with Barby Asante and Shawn Sobers'. In: #ReconstructionWork: Whose Memorials?. Stuart Hall Foundation, United Kingdom 31 May 2023.

Asante, Barby. 2023. 'The Politics of Art & Social Change: Rights in Focus Conference 2023'. In: The Politics of Art & Social Change: Rights in Focus Conference 2023. Camberwell College of Arts, United Kingdom 21 - 22 April 2023.

Asante, Barby; Alhaag, Amal and Pattikawa, Jefftha. 2023. '#2: Dispossesed Archives'. In: This is Film! 2023 Film Heritage in Practice - #2: Dispossesed Archives. Eye Filmmuseum, Netherlands 8 March - 24 May 2023.


Asante, Barby. 2020. Coal After Audre.


Asante, Barby. 2023. Declaration of Independence Performance Art on the Underground. In: "Declaration of Independence Performance Stratford Station", Stratford Station, United Kingdom, 17 September 2023.

Asante, Barby. 2023. Declaration of Independence Performance - Bwa Kayiman: Congressing at the Heart of Liberation. In: "Bwa Kayiman- Congressing at the Heart of Liberation", Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany, 12 August 2023.

Asante, Barby; Taylor, Foluke; Oriogun Williams, Femi; Jones, Hannah Catherine and Wraye, Seah. 2021. These Shoots Need to Grow: An invocation by Asadua. In: "Sensing The Planet: A gathering on climate justice and the intersections of race, art and ecology, part of the Black Atlantic project", Dartington, United Kingdom, 29–31 October 2021.

Professional Activity

Asante, Barby. 2023. Residency, Library of Africa and the African Diaspora.


Asante, Barby. 2017- on going The Queen and the Black-Eyed Squint.

Asante, Barby. 2017- on going Declaration of Independence.


Asante, Barby. 2023. Declaration of Independence. In: "O Quilombismo:Of Resisting and Insisting. Of Flight as Fight. Of Other Democratic Egalitarian Political Philosophies", Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany, 1 June - 16 September 2023.

Asante, Barby. 2023. Declaration of Independence Art on the Underground. In: "Declaration of Independence", Stratford Station, United Kingdom, March 2023 - January 2025.

Asante, Barby. 2022. On-doing Undoing. In: "Ecological Futurisms", Amibika P3, United Kingdom, 11 November - 18 November 2022.


Asante, Barby. 2022. That Bird is Singing Us an Invitation to Meet Our Future: Listening to the Call of Sankofa to Develop Memory Practice Methodologies for Performative Practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Westminster