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Decolonial Curatorial Methodology: En intervju med Natasha Marie Llorens [ENG]

In late October, The Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet announced its support and funding for the artistic research project Decolonial Curatorial Methodology conducted by Natasha Marie Llorens and Myriam Amroun, administrated by Royal Institute of Art. 

The project will be publicly accessible as it takes shape with exhibitions in the Nordic region (2025) and North Africa (2026) as well as public discussions and a forthcoming publication (2027). To gain deeper insights into the project, we meet with Natasha Marie Llorens (Professor of Art Theory at the Royal Institute of Art). 

Hi Natasha Marie Llorens, you are co-leader of Decolonial Curatorial Methodology. Could you tell us in short about the project?
– Myriam Amroun and myself propose curatorial practice as a form of artistic research that goes beyond “metaphorizing decolonization”. The project has four principle aims: to centre the knowledge produced by the practice of curating (rather than that which it simply presents in the exhibition); to experiment with infrastructures that support “minor transnational” relationality; to experiment with institutional scale in relation to the exhibition; and to work from and between two important margins of the European project—the Nordic region and North Africa—in an embodied manner that nevertheless acknowledges our distance from both. 

What is the primary objective and motivation behind the research project? 

– The project is addressed to a lack of methodological reflection within the field of contemporary curating on how to practice the curatorial from a decolonial perspective in non-metaphorical or non-performative sense. The primary objective is a publication produced in the third year of the project that synthesizes the experience of research, production, and translation of an exhibition in the Nordic region and the North African region. 

Who are the main researchers, individuals and organisations involved in the project, and what knowledge do they bring? 

– Together with Myriam Amroun, I am one of the two core researchers associated with this project.Our respective experience has been centered on working ethically in relation to contexts for which decoloniality is not an abstract idea. Fundamental to the proposed research is our embodied knowledge of the friction caused by curatorial practices that seek to redistribute both attention and infrastructure.

Can you tell us something about the methodologies, timelines, and key activities for the project? 

– We will begin work in earnest in September 2024, and aim to produce an exhibition in the Nordic region in 2025 and its pair in the North African region in 2026. The remainder of our working time will be focused on the final publication, which will be launched in the fall of 2027. But we have already begun some of the groundwork: in August 2023, we took part jointly in the Curatorial Program for Research’s residency, (Re)Presentation in the Nordics, a two-week collective trip through northern Norway, Sweden and Finland. We met with both artists and institutional actors, as well as learned about Nordic models of indigeneity, and the intersection between land use and aesthetics. We appreciated this model of research, and would like to borrow it for two longer research trips during the fall of 2024 in Morocco and a return to northern Norway and Sweden. We were also awarded a residency at Nordiska Konstförbundet (NFK) in Stockholm for 2024, which we hope to use as a platform to host public discussions with key interlocutors from the Nordic region as part of the research process. That is where we are at the moment: activating existing infrastructure to ground our working methodology securely in local discussions here, with the aim to initiate a similar process in North Africa.  


Myriam Amroun is an independent curator based in Algiers focused on the conditions for public-facing artistic production in Algeria. As project coordinator for El Medreb in 2015 and 2016, Amroun conducted research on the gentrification processes taking place in the historical district of El Hamma, Algiers. She contributed to a temporary reactivation of two abandoned industrial warehouses as community centers as a proposition about how arts and culture can foster alternative forms of solidarity in the contested Algerian public sphere. Her experience with El Medreb was founded on several years of experience with similar projects in Algeria—the DURAR project, located at the intersection of art and traditional crafts, and DJART, a research initiative on the impact of music, visual art, and theatre on urban public space. In 2017, she co-founded rhizome, an independent project space for contemporary art located in the center of Algiers. In 2022 she left rhizome to focus on her independent practice: she took part in a study of the Algerian cultural and creative sector commissioned by the Delegation of the European Union to Algeria, was invited to participate in the Mobile Lab hosted by documenta15, served as a mentor for the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture’s Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship program, and was in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris. 

Natasha Marie Llorens is Professor of Art Theory at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholmand co-chair of the Centre for Art and Political Imaginary with Mick Wilson from HDK-Valand. Her curatorial and art writing practices are based on a decade of curatorial experience in the US, France, and Algeria working on decolonial themes. The invisibility of whiteness, structural racism and xenophobia, the persistent center/periphery binary that privileges knowledge produced in the center—all these aspects of a decolonial critique depend on an embodied experience of the place from which one is speaking, as well as a deep sense of its local interlocutors. Llorens’ doctoral thesis, completed between 2015 to 2020, focused on Algerian experimental film from the 1960s and 1970s. In parallel, she worked extensively with contemporary artists and small-scale institutions based in Algeria such as Box24 and rhizome to organize three large-scale survey exhibitions on art from Algeria and its diaspora, all entitled “Waiting for Omar Gatlato.” She publishes regularly on art and politics in both academic journals and in the art press — a commitment that was recently recognized in 2022 with an Arts Writers Grant in short-form art criticism from The Warhol Foundation