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A woman standing in front of Nigerian crude oil as part of the Series of Personal Questions exhibitionblank projects

Lives of Objects

Decoloniality and the Afterlife of Cultural Heritage Objects

In recent years, ongoing debates about the restitution of cultural heritage objects that were stolen within various colonial contexts have gained momentum in tandem with a general awareness about the prevalence of various social injustices throughout society. While these discussions have primarily involved scholars, academics and museum professionals, artists, activists, and community members have also played an important role in reconfiguring and complicating the discourse around decoloniality, restitution, and reparations.


An image of Gala and James with the logo Pieter Hugo and Eber Lee

Talking Culture #15: Lives of Objects: Gala Porras-Kim and James Webb

This is the first podcast episode of the Lives of Objects series, which is an extension of our Practicing Freedom project. We invited eminent artists Gala Porras-Kim and James Webb to discuss the ways in which we think about the lives of objects through an artistic lens, particularly those that carry historical, socio-political and spiritual importance. 

Still from video Atlas Fractured installed at documenta14 ©Theo Eshetu

Wed 10 May 2023, Talk, Goethe-Institut London
Theo Eshetu: Reflections on the Lives of Objects

On this special evening, Theo Eshetu, artist in residence at the Goethe-Institut London, will give an informal presentation of his works, an occasion to view and discuss some of his more celebrated video installations: The Return of the Axum Obelisk, Atlas Fractured and Ghost Dance.

Final Reste Supreme Museum Performance © Alun Be

Cultures of Equality
Practicing Freedom

Practicing Freedom is a transcultural research and artistic project which aims to harness ongoing conversations and initiatives within the overriding concepts of decoloniality and restitution. Working with cultural practitioners, researchers, museum professionals, and existing collaborative initiatives and research programmes, we envision Practicing Freedom to consist of workshops, residencies, panel discussions, lectures, podcasts, artistic interventions, and a final exhibition and publication which will tie together the numerous threads of the project. We are currently thinking of Practicing Freedom as Phase 1 of the Lives of Objects greater project.