Team

Rita Keegan — Creative Director

Born in the Bronx in 1949, Rita is of Caribbean and Black-Canadian descent and moved to London in 1980 having studied Fine Art at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1969-1972. Her work explores memory, history, dress and adornment, often through the use of her extensive family archive – a photo- graphic record of a black middle class Canadian family dating from 1890s to present day.

Alongside contemporaries Keith Piper and Gary Stewart, her practice is a defining example of the ways in which new media experimentation intersect with the British Black Arts Movement. In the aftermath of the 1981 Brixton uprisings, Rita helped establish the Brixton Art Gallery, curating Mirror Reflecting Darkly, the first exhibition by The Black Women Artists collective in 1982.

She was the co-founder in 1984 of Copy Art, a resource and education space for community groups and artists working with the emerging technologies of computers, scanners and photocopiers. From 1985 – 1990 Rita was a staff member of the Women Artists Slide Library (WASL), where she established the Women Artists of Colour Index. In the early 1990s she was the Director of the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive (AAVAA). Alongside her artistic and archival practice, Rita also taught New Media and Digital Diversity at Goldsmiths, where she helped establish the digital-media undergraduate course in the Historical and Cultural Studies department.

Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski — Project Lead and Archivist

Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski holds a Master’s degree in Archives and Record Management (International) from University College London. Her work explores archives in relation to Black histories and experiences in Britain and throughout the diaspora. She is currently the archivist for the Rita Keegan Archive Project and a member of the Remembering Olive Collective 2.0. She is a board member for YO MAMA! Housing Cooperative, founded by Amoke Kubat, a creative and healing focused initiative. She also holds positions on the board for LUX, an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practice and Not/Nowhere, an artist workers’ cooperative.

Kelly Foster — Historian

Kelly is a public historian and London Blue Badge Guide who specialises in the histories of Black women in London. She was part of the team that reopened Black Cultural Archives (BCA), subsequently working on the ‘Oral Histories of the Black Women Movement’ project alongside a number of other oral history projects including ‘Do You Remember Olive Morris?’ and ‘The GLC Story’. Kelly is a founding member of Transmission, a collective of archivists and historians of African descent.

Matthew Harle — Editor

Matt is a writer, film programmer and the Archive Curator of the Barbican Centre. He teaches Cultural History at King’s College, London and regularly programmes archive film and moving image seasons around the UK. His book, The Afterlives of Abandoned Work: Creative Debris in the Archive was published by Bloomsbury in January 2019.

Naomi Pearce — Curator

Naomi is a curator living in Glasgow. Recent projects include the LUX Artists Moving Image Festival 2018, Tramway, Glasgow and the group exhibition 56 Artillery Lane, Raven Row, London. In 2009, she co-founded the Woodmill, an artist-led charity based in Bermondsey, South London. She is currently finishing an AHRC-funded PhD in Art at the University of Edinburgh.

Gina Nembhard — Creative Assistant

Gina Nembhard has spent a number of years involved in art and design projects both practicing and assisting artists.

Initially Gina developed her practice in mixed media and fine art textiles embroidery and later, whilst studying, worked in a London-based all female architecture practice (A.T.A.P).

Later, her studies in sustainable product design led her to develop a business/practice combining both art/craft workshops focusing on a broad range of making, including: upholstery, textiles, stitch and dyeing. Within her practice she tries to maintain a consistently sustainable perspective.As a member of X Marks the Spot, a Collective of women practitioners and artists initially formed whilst in residency at Studio Voltaire, Gina has been involved in a number of talks, workshops and residencies on the subject of artists and archives.    

Lauren Craig — Archival Trainee

Lauren Craig is a London-born artist of Jamaican heritage. Her practice encompasses her lived experience and auto-ethnographic approach as a cultural researcher, full-spectrum doula and celebrant, living and working in London and Central Italy.

Through photography, video, text, installation, performance and writing, she explores equally broad themes of ecofeminism, spirituality, health, memory and the propositional. Craig’s current research/practice incorporates restorative writing circles with photographic, moving image and therapeutic and reparative archival methods to create and document the creative genealogies of contemporary celebration, rituals and commemoration within the practices of womxn of colour artists and their allies.

Lauren holds an MA in Enterprise and Management for Creative Arts from the London College of Communications, University Arts of London.

Dominique Zenani Barron — Project Administrator & Designer

Dominique is a visual artist originally from Chicago, IL, USA, now based in London, UK. Her academic background is in visual sociology and political science, and her research has explored place-making and political resistance through various methodologies, including audio soundscapes, mapping, oral histories, photography, film, and ethnography. She’s particularly interested in expanding access to political education tools and autonomous mutual aid practices.