An online conversation to celebrate the publication of Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict And Upholding Integrity, London: Routledge 2020

Book cover imageWednesday 21st October 2020

4pm/16.00 UTC
11am/11.00 Bogotá
12pm/12.00 New York
5pm/17.00 London
12am/24.00 Hong Kong

To register and receive participation details and a password, email [email protected] with your name and affiliation. Registration is limited to 100 participants.


Özge Ersoy, Public Programmes Lead, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
Candice Allison, Director, The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Johannesburg
Cristina Lleras, Independent Curator, Bogotá, Colombia
Jack Persekian, Director, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art and Gallery Anadiel, Jerusalem

Moderated by the editors, Janet Marstine and Svetlana Mintcheva

The event will be live-streamed on NCAC’s Facebook page. Follow #curatingunderpressure for updates.

The launch marks the publication of the first book to look at pressures to self-censor and the curatorial responses to these pressures from a wide range of international perspectives. In the months since the book went to print, the conversation it has started has become increasingly relevant. Social justice and anti-racism protests are often accompanied by calls for the cancellation of exhibitions. At the same time, state governments are developing new means to discredit emergent civic discourse by drowning it out and questioning its veracity. Free expression today is very different from what it was even ten years ago. How should institutions respond? The answer, according to Curating Under Pressure, does not lie in making a reductive choice between either self-censorship or forging ahead without acknowledging complex sensitivities and tangible risks. Instead, it entails a nuanced process of listening, negotiation and response.

Some questions we will discuss:

  • To what extent should the pursuit of curatorial autonomy be balanced with respect for diverse local, regional and national contexts?
  • Is it necessary to respond to social media attacks or is it wiser to ignore them?
  • How can a commitment to politically meaningful exhibitions and programming be balanced with the ethical responsibility to protect artists from government retaliation and to create spaces respectful of diverse audiences?

Tag #curatingunderpressure to add your questions to the conversation.


Book launch hosted by the National Coalition Against Censorship