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The Reverberations podcast was created to discuss marginalisation, underrepresentation and erasure in the UK’s cultural and creative sectors.

Organised around three key themes - “institutions”, “divergent models”, and “decolonising design and culture” - season one of the podcast broadly focuses on history making, particularly in relation to design history. The conversations that feature implicitly reflect on how and where our histories have conventionally been told, and who gets to tell them through considering the work and experiences of BIPOC peers and colleagues, who have navigated, continue to navigate, and frequently resist institutional structures and frameworks in varying ways.

This initiative was originally imagined as an event series (in late 2018), and was re-worked into a podcast format (in late 2020) due to the impact of COVID-19.

Season 1

“The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” - Audre Lorde

For this first set of podcasts, Zara Arshad speaks to Arike Oke (Managing Director of the Black Cultural Archives), Sumitra Upham (Senior Curator of Public Programmes at Design Museum, London), and Yewande YoYo Odunubi (independent artist and creative practitioner) about working in, for and with museums, cultural organisations, and institutions more broadly.

“We cannot decolonise what was never ours to begin with - but we can always create. When we face the past we understand the present. In understanding the present, we shape our future” - Decolonising the Archive

The second group of podcasts highlights the work of those who operate outside of traditional (institutional) structures - those who are rallying their own networks to form independent collectives and bottom-up initiatives. In this set of conversations, Zara Arshad talks to Vivien Chan (co-founder of the Hong Kong Design History Network), Debika Ray (writer, editor, and founder of Clove magazine), and Etienne Joseph (co-founder of Decolonising the Archive).

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare“ - Audre Lorde

How can we decolonise design and culture, as well as the establishments (e.g. universities, museums, archives) through which histories are shaped and taught? Speakers Danah Abdulla (designer, educator, researcher and co-founder of Decolonising Design), Tanveer Ahmed (PhD researcher, and visiting tutor for the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins), and Rachael Minott (artist, curator and researcher) share their thoughts.


Click for full speaker biographies (text only).

Podcast curated and hosted by Zara Arshad.
With thanks to Davinia Gregory, Elli Michaela Young, and Megha Rajguru for their long-term support and guidance.
Funded by the Design History Society UK.