Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ. Her work is concerned with the politics of place, space memory and the histories and legacies of slavery and colonialism.
Asante’s work is collaborative, performative and dialogic, often working with groups of people as contributors, collaborators or co-researchers.
She resists the idea that the stories of ‘Other-ness’ are alternatives to dominant given narratives. For her these stories and narratives are interruptions, utterances, presences that exist within the dominant, that are invisible, unheard, missing or ignored. By making these narratives and stories visible, asking questions and making proposals she is interested in what these possibilities offer as we examine our present and envision our futures.
To address these ideas in her work, Asante explores memory and archival injustice through re-collecting, collating, excavating and mapping such stories and narratives, through collective writing, re-enactment and creating spaces for transformation, ritual and healing. With a deep interest in black feminist and decolonial methodologies, Asante also embeds within her work notions of collective study, countless ways of knowing and dialogical practices that embrace being together and breathing together.
In 2018 Peckham Platform commissioned Asante for Southwark Education Resource Network Reactivated, a radical education project that meaningfully addresses the erosion of arts in education today.