Anna Colin

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Department Art
Email a.colin (
Anna Colin

Anna has been active as a curator since 2005, both in a freelance and institutional capacity. Her work has been engaged with exhibition making, public programming, commissioning, collective processes and cultural practices invested at local, social, educational, environmental and/or organisational levels. In 2013, she co-founded Open School East, an alternative art school and community space in London, then Margate, where she was a director for 8 years.

Alongside her curatorial and pedagogical work, Anna is completing a PhD in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham, while training in horticulture and garden design.

Academic qualifications

  • MA Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art 2005
  • BA Arts Management, London Southbank University 2003

Research interests

The margin and the alternative, as spaces of resistance and counter-hegemony, are central themes to her practice, which often straddles the curatorial and the pedagogical, and currently engages with open spaces and the notion of values in the contemporary art sector.

Her areas of curatorial engagement started in sound art, experimental music and tactical media, before migrating towards other marginalised and politically symbolic topics, histories, figures and spaces, such as the agricultural and digital commons, the Black Atlantic, the witch as a symbol of feminist and queer resistance, and colonialism’s impact on the natural environment.

Her doctoral research, to be completed in 2022, unpacks the notion of the alternative in multi-public educational organisations from the late 19th century to the present, in the UK and further afield. More specifically, her PhD explores organisations that combine the functions of school, community centre and art centre, and deem themselves alternative for the pedagogical, artistic and programmatic methods they resort to; the ways in which they engage and host publics; their involvement with social welfare and local politics; their governance, management and funding models; their self-scrutinizing and adaptable nature; or their conception or use of architectural space. Other topics and fields of enquiry relevant to her doctoral research include the social reform and cooperative movements, adult and community education, critical pedagogy, community arts and social practice, utopian studies and feminist and intersectional studies.

Further profile content

Past work and residencies

Anna has worked as associate curator at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris (2014-20); associate director of Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research, Paris (2011-12); curator at Gasworks, London (2007-10); and radio presenter at Resonance FM, London (2002-5). She was co-curator, with Lydia Yee, of British Art Show 8 in 2015-16 (Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton), and has curated exhibitions and projects at venues including CA2M, Móstoles/Madrid; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool; Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo; GAM, Turin; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Guarene; La Synagogue de Delme, Delme; The Women’s Library, London; and The European Culture Congress, Wroclaw.

She has done residencies and held fellowships at LUMA, Arles; Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz; FRAME – HIAP, Helsinki; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Contemporary Art Society, London; and La Maison populaire, Montreuil.