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EMPIRE LINES uncovers the unexpected, often two-way, flows of empires through art. Interdisciplinary thinkers use individual artworks as artefacts of imperial exchange, revealing... more

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Avi-Alarm, Hanna Tuulikki (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Invasion Ecology)

Artist Hanna Tuulikki connects plantation landscapes in Finland, Scotland, and across the South West of England, making kin across species... more

11 Jul 2024 · 17 minutes
The Time is Always Now, Ekow Eshun (2024) (EMPIRE LINES x National Portrait Gallery, The Box)

Curator Ekow Eshun reframes the Black figure in historic and contemporary art, surveying its presences, absences, and representations in Western/European... more

27 Jun 2024 · 17 minutes
Taboo Durag, Paul Maheke (2021) (EMPIRE LINES x MOSTYN, Glasgow International)

Contemporary and performance artist Paul Maheke moves between France, Congo, and Canada, exploring the ‘archive of their body’ through drawing... more

13 Jun 2024 · 16 minutes
Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x Invasion Ecology)

In this special episode, EMPIRE LINES returns to Ingrid Pollard’s 2022 exhibition, Carbon Slowly Turning, the first major survey of... more

30 May 2024 · 14 minutes
Twist, LR Vandy (2024) (EMPIRE LINES x October Gallery, Chatham Ropery)

Artist LR (Lisa) Vandy shows EMPIRE LINES the ropes in a studio visit to Chatham’s Royal Navy Dockyard in Kent,... more

16 May 2024 · 30 minutes
Melted into the Sun, Saodat Ismailova (2024) (EMPIRE LINES x Fondazione In Between Art Film, Venice Biennale)

Filmmaker Saodat Ismailova traces stories of spirituality, dissent, and environmental extraction around the Aral Sea from post-Soviet Uzbekistan and Central... more

02 May 2024 · 15 minutes
Decolonised Structures (Queen Victoria), Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (2022-2023) (EMPIRE LINES x The Serpentine Galleries, Venice Biennale)

Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, and Hans Ulrich Obrist and Tamsin Hong of the Serpentine Galleries, coat London’s historic statues... more

18 Apr 2024 · 25 minutes
Dreams Have No Titles, Zineb Sedira (2022-Now) (EMPIRE LINES x Whitechapel Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Venice Biennale)

Artist Zineb Sedira records cultural and postcolonial connections between Algeria, France, Italy, and the UK from the 1960s, featuring films,... more

04 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
Giolo’s Lament, Pio Abad (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Ashmolean Museum)

Artist and archivist Pio Abad draws out lines between Oxford, the Americas, and the Philippines, making personal connections with historic... more

28 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Camera Obscura, Pia Arke (1990) (EMPIRE LINES x John Hansard Gallery, KW Institute for Contemporary Art)

Curators Ros Carter and Sofie Krogh Christensen chart Pia Arke’s photo-activism across the Arctic region, from a pinhole view to... more

21 Mar 2024 · 19 minutes
Medium and Memory, Griselda Pollock (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x HackelBury Fine Art)

Art historian and Professor Griselda Pollock traces the memories of contemporary artist women like Sutapa Biswas, one of her students... more

14 Mar 2024 · 21 minutes
Lost Threads, Lubaina Himid (2021, 2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Holburne Museum, British Textile Biennale)

Artist and curator Lubaina Himid unravels entangled histories of transatlantic slavery and textile production, across continents, and Britain’s museum collections,... more

07 Mar 2024 · 15 minutes
The Black Atlantic, Paul Gilroy (1993-Now) (EMPIRE LINES Live, with Radical Ecology)

Decolonial thinker Professor Paul Gilroy joins EMPIRE LINES live in Plymouth, to chart thirty years since the publication of The... more

29 Feb 2024 · 48 minutes
Noko Y3 Dzen (There’s Something in the World), Serge Attukwei Clottey (2018-Now) (EMPIRE LINES Live at the Eden Project, Cornwall)

Artist Serge Attukwei Clottey joins EMPIRE LINES live at the Eden Project in Cornwall, to discuss Afrogallonism, uplifting communities with... more

22 Feb 2024 · 1 hour,
Habitat, Taloi Havini (2017) (EMPIRE LINES x Artes Mundi 10, National Museum of Wales, Chapter, MOSTYN)

Artist - and winner of Artes Mundi 10 - Taloi Havini mines connections between extractive industries in the Pacific Islands,... more

08 Feb 2024 · 18 minutes
Freud: El Mago de los Sueños (The Wizard of Dreams), Vidas Ilustres Comic Book (1963)

Jamie Ruers, Mariano Ben Plotkin, and Mariano Ruperthuz Honorato, from the Freud Museum in London, reinterpret psychoanalysis through 20th century... more

01 Feb 2024 · 17 minutes
The Madras College of Arts and Crafts, India (1850-Now) (EMPIRE LINES x The Noble Sage, Brunei Gallery)

Jana Manuelpillai revisits the Madras College of Arts and Crafts, the first British colonial art school set up in India, through... more

25 Jan 2024 · 13 minutes
Queer Feet, Osman Yousefzada (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Charleston)

Interdisciplinary artist Osman Yousefzada crafts stories of working-class migration experiences, unwrapping the influence of his mother and many other textile... more

18 Jan 2024 · 13 minutes
Learning from Artemisia, Uriel Orlow and Orchestre Jeunes Étoiles des Astres (2019-2020) (EMPIRE LINES x Eden Project)

Curators Hannah Hooks and Misha Curson connect global environments and food practices, from guerrilla gardeners in the Democratic Republic of... more

11 Jan 2024 · 16 minutes
White Zombie, Victor Halperin (1932) (EMPIRE LINES x Visions of Haiti, Barbican Cinema)

Curator Matthew Barrington marks 220 years since the Haitian Revolution, the only successful slave uprising, unreeling how resistance continues with... more

05 Jan 2024 · 17 minutes
The Black Triangle, Armet Francis (1969) (EMPIRE LINES x Autograph)

Photographer Armet Francis documents African diasporic cultures across ‘The Black Triangle’, and captures the co-founding of the Association of Black... more

28 Dec 2023 · 15 minutes
Whites Can Dance Too, Kalaf Epalanga, translated by Daniel Hahn (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Kizomba Design Museum, Africa Writes 2023)

Writer and musician Kalaf Epalanga moves between Angola, Portugal, and Brazil, sounding out colonial histories and contemporary migrant experiences through... more

21 Dec 2023 · 15 minutes
Where Worlds Meet, Maha Ahmed (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Leighton House)

Contemporary artist Maha Ahmed reconnects Asian art forms along the Silk Road, migrating between traditional Mughal and Persian miniature paintings,... more

14 Dec 2023 · 15 minutes
Arcadia, John Akomfrah (2023) (EMPIRE LINES at 100 x The Box, Sharjah Biennial 15)

For EMPIRE LINES’ 100th episode, we join artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah to journey the Columbian Exchange, connecting continents from... more

07 Dec 2023 · 13 minutes
Africa Series, Carrie Mae Weems (1993) (EMPIRE LINES x Kunstmuseum Basel)

Curator Alice Wilke transports from Switzerland to sub-Saharan cities in Africa, tracing Carnival traditions across continents, via Carrie Mae Weems’... more

30 Nov 2023 · 13 minutes
Did You Come Here To Find History?, Nusra Latif Qureshi (2009) (EMPIRE LINES x MK Gallery, The Box)

Curator Hammad Nasar expands ideas of miniature painting, moving around South Asia and Western Europe from the 17th century to... more

23 Nov 2023 · 22 minutes
Hélène Amouzou: Voyages (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Autograph)

Photographer Hélène Amouzou, and curator Bindi Vora, capture the in/visibility of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, moving between 21st... more

16 Nov 2023 · 16 minutes
Against Apartheid, Ashish Ghadiali (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Radical Ecology, KARST)

Curator and filmmaker Ashish Ghadiali connects climate science, contemporary art, and activism, cultivating a radical, cultural ecology in the countryside... more

09 Nov 2023 · 23 minutes
And I Have My Own Business In This Skin, Claudette Johnson (1982) (EMPIRE LINES x The Courtauld Gallery)

Curator Dorothy Price outlines the figures of Claudette Johnson, a founder member of the Black British Art Movement (Blk Art... more

26 Oct 2023 · 19 minutes
Declaration of Independence, Barby Asante (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Art on the Underground)

Contemporary artist Barby Asante moves through the London Transport Museum to Stratford Station, coming together with Black women TfL staff... more

18 Oct 2023 · 14 minutes
Story, Place, Tony Albert (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Sullivan+Strumph, Frieze London)

Artist and curator Tony Albert collects Aboriginalia, colonial kitsch still found in Australia’s second-hand and souvenir shops, to reconstruct historic... more

12 Oct 2023 · 14 minutes
Chorus in Rememory of Flight, Julianknxx (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Barbican)

Curator Eleanor Nairne traces the migrations of contemporary artist Julianknxx, as he travels between European port cities, and back to... more

04 Oct 2023 · 15 minutes
Living in the Wake of the Lust for Sugar, Elsa James (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Museum of London Docklands)

Contemporary artist Elsa James moves through the Museum of London Docklands’ London, Sugar & Slavery gallery - and so, the missing... more

28 Sep 2023 · 15 minutes
Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Fitzwilliam Museum)

Curators Jake Subryan Richards and Vicky Avery locate Cambridge within the transatlantic slave trade, connecting global commodities and local consumption,... more

21 Sep 2023 · 26 minutes
UNRWA Dress from Ramallah, Palestine (1930s) (EMPIRE LINES x Kettle’s Yard)

Curator Rachel Dedman unpicks the personal and political histories woven into Palestinian textiles, the role of the ‘embroidered woman’ in... more

14 Sep 2023 · 17 minutes
Home is Not a Place, Johny Pitts and Roger Robinson (2021-Now) (EMPIRE LINES x The Photographers’ Gallery)

Writer and photographer Johny Pitts captures everyday experiences from Black communities around the British coast, bringing together the sights, sounds,... more

07 Sep 2023 · 14 minutes
What Remains at the End of the Earth?, Imani Jacqueline Brown (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x Hayward Gallery)

Multimedia artist and activist Imani Jacqueline Brown maps out the long history of extractivism in southern America, constellating 18th century... more

31 Aug 2023 · 18 minutes
Lagos Soundscapes, Emeka Ogboh (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x South London Gallery, Southbank Centre)

Curator Folakunle Oshun links Peckham in the UK, and Lagos in Nigeria, with water and two centuries of shared colonial... more

24 Aug 2023 · 25 minutes
WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts at Japan House London (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x historicity Tokyo)

In this bonus episode, brought to you with historicity Tokyo, Japan House London curator Hiro Sugiyama, and contemporary artists Tsuzuki... more

18 Aug 2023 · 10 minutes
Photographs of the Polar Silk Road, Gregor Sailer (2017-2021) (EMPIRE LINES x Natural History Museum)

Photographer Gregor Sailer exposes the neo-imperial scramble for resources in the Arctic Circle and the Polar Silk Road, with stills... more

17 Aug 2023 · 11 minutes
Exile is a Hard Job, Nil Yalter (1974-Now) (EMPIRE LINES x Ab-Anbar Gallery)

Artist Nil Yalter, a pioneer in 20th century video and multimedia installations, explores the often challenging experience of being an... more

10 Aug 2023 · 16 minutes
A History of a City In a Box, Ndidi Dike (2019) (EMPIRE LINES x Tate Modern)

Curators Osei Bonsu, Jess Baxter, and Genevieve Barton cross the diverse landscapes, borders, and generations of contemporary African photography, exposing... more

03 Aug 2023 · 18 minutes
From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, Carrie Mae Weems (1995–1996) (EMPIRE LINES x Barbican)

Curator Florence Ostende visualises how violence against African Americans has been perpetuated throughout history, and challenged with contemporary art, by... more

26 Jul 2023 · 15 minutes
The Casablanca Art School (1962-1987) (EMPIRE LINES x Tate St Ives)

Curator Morad Montazami assembles the revolutionary artist-professors and students of the Casablanca Art School who constructed the post-colonial state of... more

20 Jul 2023 · 19 minutes
Oneness, Shahrzad Ghaffari (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x Leighton House)

Artist Shahrzad Ghaffari replies to orientalism in the Arts & Crafts Movement, William De Morgan’s Arab Hall, and the new... more

13 Jul 2023 · 13 minutes
Silent Protests, Tewa Barnosa (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Shubbak Festival, The Africa Centre)

Curator Najlaa El-Ageli explores how Colonel Muammar Gaddafi colonised Libya’s character and identity from the 1960s to its post-Arab Spring... more

06 Jul 2023 · 10 minutes
Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman, Vincent van Gogh (1890) (EMPIRE LINES x Van Gogh Museum)

Nienke Bakker, curator at the Van Gogh Museum, unpacks how the artist encountered Japan in Europe, and how woodblock prints... more

28 Jun 2023 · 15 minutes
Barbershop, Hurvin Anderson (2006-2023) (EMPIRE LINES x The Hepworth Wakefield)

Curator Isabella Maidment steps into Hurvin Anderson’s studio and barbershop, a point of cultural connection between Birmingham and the Caribbean,... more

22 Jun 2023 · 11 minutes
Dal Puri Diaspora, Richard Fung (2012) (EMPIRE LINES x Museum of London Docklands)

Curators Shereen Lafhaj and Makiya Davis-Bramble unwrap the underrepresented history of Indian indenture in the British Caribbean in the 19th... more

15 Jun 2023 · 23 minutes
Too Loud a Dust, Musquiqui Chihying (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Tabula Rasa Gallery)

Artist Musquiqui Chihying brushes up the history of displaying sick and strong Asian bodies, from the Formosa Hamlet or human... more

08 Jun 2023 · 14 minutes
The Evolution, Paintings for the Temple, Hilma af Klint (1908) (EMPIRE LINES x Tate Modern)

Tate Modern curator Nabila Abdel Nabi plants European abstract art in transnational networks of spirituality and theosophy, through Hilma af... more

31 May 2023 · 10 minutes
The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend (20th Century-Now) (EMPIRE LINES x Royal Academy)

Raina Lampkins-Felder, Curator at the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, weaves together the histories of Black artists who stayed in Southern... more

25 May 2023 · 23 minutes
The Experiment with the Bird in the Air Pump, Joseph Wright of Derby (1768) and Nalini Malani (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x National Gallery, Holburne Museum)

We return to Nalini Malani’s immersive installation My Reality is Different as it iterates in London, where curator Priyesh Mistry... more

18 May 2023 · 21 minutes
We Kiss the Earth: Danish Modern Art, 1934-1948 (EMPIRE LINES x Cobra Museum of Modern Art)

Winnie Sze and Pim Arts, curators at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands, carve out the connections... more

19 Apr 2023 · 18 minutes
Spouts, Ai Weiwei (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Design Museum)

Design Museum curator Rachel Hajek makes sense of Ai Weiwei’s ‘fields’ of found objects, from ancient Chinese porcelain to Lego... more

13 Apr 2023 · 12 minutes
Red-Figure Hydria of Oedipus and the Sphinx, Ancient Greece (380-360BCE) (EMPIRE LINES x Freud Museum London)

Professors Miriam Leonard and Daniel Orrells, curators at the Freud Museum London, dig into the Austrian’s collection of ancient objects,... more

05 Apr 2023 · 9 minutes
River Atlas, Law Yuk-Mui (2021) (EMPIRE LINES x Two Temple Place and Kakilang)

Could the state of state-lessness mean a more continental, inclusive sense of belonging? The contemporary Southeast and East Asian artists... more

30 Mar 2023 · 12 minutes
Slavery: Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery (EMPIRE LINES x Rijksmuseum, United Nations)

Rijksmuseum curator Valika Smeulders polishes and personalises our understanding of the Dutch Golden Age, from their joint exhibition with the... more

23 Mar 2023 · 18 minutes
Antique French Military Uniform with Kumihimo, Hasegawa Akira (2021) (EMPIRE LINES x Japan House London)

Japan House London curator Hashimoto Mari and translator Eyre Kurasawa unravel kumihimo, the ancient craft of Japanese silk braiding, and... more

16 Mar 2023 · 9 minutes
Painting on an Island (Carrera), Peter Doig (2019) (EMPIRE LINES x The Courtauld Gallery)

Curator Barnaby Wright transports us from the Courtauld Gallery in London, to the Caribbean island of Trinidad, as seen -... more

02 Mar 2023 · 16 minutes
Children of the Manston US Air Force Servicemen Print Series, Richard Birch (2023) (EMPIRE LINES x Turner Contemporary)

We're back offline, and inside Banned., a new exhibition blending archive and present-day photography at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.... more

16 Feb 2023 · 21 minutes
(Re)Introducing: EMPIRE LINES

EMPIRE LINES uncovers the unexpected, often two-way, flows of empires through art. Interdisciplinary thinkers use individual artworks as artefacts of imperial... more

14 Feb 2023 · 1 minute
Kiti Cha Enzi (Swahili Chair of Power), East Africa (19th Century)

Dr. Sarah Longair unseats European powers' efforts to control the East African coast, through a Kiti Cha Enzi, or Swahili... more

05 Jan 2023 · 15 minutes
Thabo, Thabiso and Blackx, Araminta de Clermont (2010)

Dr. Chris Spring tears up stereotypes of African textiles, through Araminta de Clermont's 2010 photograph, Thabo, Thabiso and Blackx. Three young... more

22 Dec 2022 · 22 minutes
We Came Here, Harold Offeh (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x Van Gogh House Interview)

We're back offline, and in the artist's bedroom at Van Gogh House in London, as Vaishnavi Mohan pins down Harold... more

08 Dec 2022 · 18 minutes
Indigenous Intermediary Geua in ‘Photographs Mainly of Port Moresby’, George Lawes, (1880s)

Deborah Lee-Talbot exposes the political agency of Indigenous women in British New Guinea, through a photograph of the Papuan Geua,... more

24 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
The Luxborough Galley on Fire, 25 June 1727, John Cleveley the Elder (c. 18th Century)

Dr. Helen Paul bursts the South Sea Bubble, tracing the triangular trade of slavery between London and Britain's colonies in... more

10 Nov 2022 · 16 minutes
Vinyl Record of Drive My Car, The Beatles (1965)

James Marriott traces the flows of Britain's global oil empire in the 20th century, from a village in Nigeria to... more

27 Oct 2022 · 17 minutes
My Reality is Different, Nalini Malani (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x National Gallery, Holburne Museum Interview)

We're back offline, and into the deep black exhibition space of Bath's Holburne Museum, where artist Nalini Malani coats fresh... more

20 Oct 2022 · 9 minutes
The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba (8th Century)

Dr. Michele Lamprakos reconstructs the imperial flows of Islamic and Byzantine architecture from 8th century Spain, through the Mosque-Cathedral of... more

13 Oct 2022 · 12 minutes
We Came Here, Harold Offeh (2022) (EMPIRE LINES x Van Gogh House Interview)

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We're back offline, and in the artist's bedroom at Van Gogh House in London, as Vaishnavi Mohan pins down Harold Offeh's sound... more