Sana Ginwalla and Kerstin Hacker will discuss their CVC Fellowship contribution ‘ An Exhibition That Nobody Will See – A Collaborative Intervention’ and the creative and decolonial practice research methods that support this research. This creative intervention in Cambridge University Library (the UL) juxtaposes the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) archive material with material from Zambia Belonging (ZB) – a digital counter-archive of found and crowdsourced images developed by Ginwalla.

While both the collections include photographs, and share similar stories of migration and (in)visibility, the content and intention behind the photographs – and how value and meaning has been created through them – stand in stark contrast.

Sana Ginwalla and Kerstin Hacker have curated the intervention in the publicly inaccessible crevices and spaces of the basement stacks of the UL, where images from the ZB collection will be temporarily exhibited. This creative outcome aims to interrogate the purpose of traditional archives and their colonial beginnings, in relation to images from a post-colonial, self-governed archive such as ZB, allowing us to imagine an alternative, pluralistic narrative of the African continent. Furthermore, the interventions will symbolise the potential of how new research can emerge if two contrasting archives from the Global North and the Global South are brought together to cross-fertilise ideas.
The seminar will invite discussions on decolonial, collaborative, non-traditional, and creative practice research methods.

Recommended Reading

– Morton, C. and Newbury, D. eds., 2015. The African Photographic Archive. London: Boomsbury. – Introduction p 1-16 can be found online:
– Hacker, K., 2022. Us in Relation to the Universe—Collaborative North-South Photographic Practice Research. Photography and Culture, 15(1), pp.33–57.