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British Art Network Newsletter Winter 2021-22

Emerging Curators Group Takeover

Portrait photos of 9 people
The ECG 2020-21 Newsletter Editing Team

Welcome to the ECG newsletter takeover! 
Content can be accessed via the coloured blocks at the bottom of the page. But first, an introduction from the group:

An Easy Read Fully Accessible PDF version of the newsletter introduction is available to download below.

Newsletter Introduction

This Newsletter is a conversation born out of the context in which the fifteen members of this year’s Emerging Curators Group (ECG) operated. Starting in October 2020, this collaborative project began as a series of remote conversations online, which became more consolidated as we finally met in person in September 2021. Navigating the challenges of online working with 14 other people, we learned to recognise our different areas of expertise, when to push and when to compromise. This was not always an automatically smooth process. But when is decision making ever smooth? One thing to note is that accessibility should have been embedded in everything we did. Over the year, we learnt as a group that some modes of communication actually excluded some members. Our learning has hopefully been reflected in this newsletter. 

Who Are the ECG? We are Artists, Art Practitioners, Co-ordinators, Curators, Educators, Guides, Researchers, Workshoppers, Writers and many other things. Our backgrounds range across working with, inside, outside or detached from institutions. However we recognise that as individuals, we are all committed to institutional change and social justice. The themes we chose to cover in this newsletter – Precarity and Who Gets to Be a Curator? – emerged from our experiences navigating the museum and cultural sector. While not necessarily new topics, we felt there was a need to push beyond just talking about these issues. How can spaces such as the Emerging Curators Group offer practical support and avenues to move away from the cyclical patterns that prevail in most discussions around precarity, implementing change and the agency of our curatorial voices? 

Nine members of the Emerging Curators Group have contributed to this newsletter as editors. It doesn’t represent a sole, collective voice of the ECG but instead some of the open-ended conversations we’ve been having, among our diversity of experiences and interests. Naturally there are other ideas and perspectives within the group and other avenues to explore in the future, as we continue to be in touch with each other and the British Art Network. 

We are excited to share with you now the first piece of content for our BAN newsletter takeover, Who Gets to Be a Curator? In the new year, we look forward to sharing the second piece with you, Slow Reflections on Precarity.

Our parting thoughts…Barriers to Change
Barriers to Change was an overarching theme throughout the ECG’s conversations. And so we invite you, members of the British Art Network and beyond – perhaps those with more agency than us ‘emerging curators’- to reflect on what barriers to change are standing in your institution or sector? And what are you doing to help break them down?

Emerging Curators Group 2020-21 Newsletter Editing Team

Janet Couloute, Lauren Craig, Harvey Dimond, Lisa Kennedy, Siobhan McLaughlin, Chiedza Mhondoro, Umulkhayr Mohamed, Prerona Prasad, Jess Starns

More information on the 2020-21 ECG and its 15 members can be found via the Emerging Curators Group page.