Challenging Times: Decarbonising, decolonising, race and racism

Wednesday 27 October - Wednesday 3 November 2021

Challenging Times is a series of online talks from the Culture and Enterprise Programme at Central Saint Martins. We ask artists, curators, filmmakers, writers, scientists, academics, and students to respond to imposing and inspirational events which are — and should be — framing and shaping curatorial and cultural practices and interventions.


This event is part of Carnival of Crisis: Mobilising Creative Action in the Age of Emergency, hosted by the UAL Climate Emergency Network. Challenging Times will be focusing on the climate emergency and how it intersects with issues of race. Through a series of events timed to lead up to COP26, we will instigate discussion around the ways that forms of systemic oppression are embedded in the climate movement, and how to build awareness of and solidarity with those who are most devastatingly affected by climate change.

All talks are online. All members of the community are welcome.

Wed 20 October, 1pm – 2pm GMT

Challenging Times: Urgent Work / Radical Networks / Immediate Spaces

Wed 27 October, 1pm – 2pm GMT

Challenging Times: The Challenge to the Climate Movement from the Global South

Wed 3 November, 12.30pm – 2.30pm GMT

Challenging Times: Open forum at CSM in The Street

Panellists Biographies

A conversation with artist, illustrator and activist Jacob V Joyce, arts administrator Teresa Cisneros and curator, writer, producer Nichol Keene. Through exploring murals, zines, podcasts and more, they will together discuss making urgent work inside and outside of galleries and institutions, and how radical collectives and networks can support this.

Jacob V Joyce’s work ranges from afro-futurist world-building workshops to mural painting, comic books, performance art and punk music with their band Screaming Toenail. Best known for their illustrations, Joyce has self-published a number of books and illustrated international human rights campaigns for Amnesty International, Global Justice Now and had their comics in national newspapers. Recent TFL Arts Grant awardee, artist in residence at Gasworks and the Tate Galleries Education department Joyce is a non-binary artist amplifying historical and nourishing new queer and decolonial narratives. Find out more: and via @jacobvjoyce on Instagram.

Teresa Cisneros is a Chicana living in London. An arts administrator by choice though she has practiced as a curator and an educator. Cisneros has worked with many art institutions including Nottingham Contemporary, Tate, Spike Island and Serpentine to explore care, policy making, learning, and institutional change. In 2016-18 at The Showroom she curated Object Positions to explore cultural equity, decolonial processes and colonial administration. She is a part of agency for agency and is Inclusive Practice Lead at Wellcome Collection. She co-founded sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, a collective creating intentional spaces for radical study, conversation and multi-disciplinary art-making. She is interested in reconstructing cultural institutions from the inside to begin working towards forms of transformational justice. Find out more:

Nichol Keene is a writer, curator, poet, lecturer and cook. She works at the intersection of creative practice, learning and public engagement. She is currently exploring ideas around belonging, expanded writing, and public programming as an alternative curriculum through independent publishing projects, research and public programming. In her own practice, Nichol has run a small press publishing artists and writers, created DIY podcasts and as a poet, she has performed all over the world. Nichol is currently Creative Programmer at V&A Dundee and has previously worked with Central Saint Martins, the Roundhouse and ArtReview among others. Find out more: @nicholkeene on Twitter.

Janine Francois and two special guests will be addressing the crucial issue of where and how the impact of climate change is greatest. A much-needed hearing of voices from the global south.

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