Since 2015 Brighton Museum and Art Gallery has collected over 300 examples of clothing, textiles, accessories and photography which reflect the style, artistry, and innovation of African fashion in the postcolonial era.
My role has been to document the new collections, and to ensure the legacy of the project is preserved in the museum’s archives. The project has involved a collecting panel made up of people with a range of knowledge of African cultures, including academics and experts from the African Diaspora. Going beyond object cataloguing, this has been a chance to ensure that all the research, community engagement, and the experiences of the owners, designers, and makers of these fabulous garments is recorded for the future.
Fashioning Africa is a three year project to enhance Brighton Museum’s collection of African textiles. To complement and add new meaning to the significant examples collected within a colonial context, the museum was awarded a Collecting Cultures grant to collect post-colonial fashion and textiles from across the continent dating from the 1960s to 2000s.