Prisoners of Love: Affect, containment and alternative futures

Connecting UK museum collection items with home and diasporic communities through virtual visits and art practices. 
Handling visit to Pitt Rivers Museum, ©PoL Project Team
Connecting UK museum collection items with home and diasporic communities through virtual visits and art practices. Handling visit to Pitt Rivers Museum, ©PoL Project Team


Accra, Ghana;  Mootookakio’ssin Project, Treaty 7 Territory, Canada; Mumbai, India; London, Oxford & East Sussex, UK

Synopsis and Position

The Prisoners of Love (PoL) project aims to connect UK collection items with their trans-national home peoples and bring emerging artists from diasporic communities in the UK, curators and researchers into conversation, to work responsively with complex histories and material practices, opening out extra-institutional art and archival practices in the form of artwork, story and theory.

The project focuses on the relevance of indigenous knowledges; approaches to the archival process in relation to displaced or marginalised people and contexts; and innovative approaches to archiving, specifically through visual arts practice. It works with collaborators from Blackfoot Territory; Ghana;  India; UK. It aims to catalyse under-represented artists’ careers and work towards meaningful change in collections, and to connect and strengthen links between people who are geographically separated but culturally related, past ancestors, present day and future generations.

Objectives and Methods

Our project will convene in-person, transdisciplinary conversations and international virtual visits combining workshops, discussion and participatory research on materialities in museum collections. This model for interaction will encourage dialogue, co-creation and social discourse, bringing together narratives and imaginative experiential dialogue, recognising trans-nationalism across home peoples, displaced objects and diasporic communities. We will activate material knowledge immanent in collection items through visits, gatherings, material and conversational exploration. We seek to work between registers often treated as mutually exclusive: aesthetic and investigative, documentary and imaginary.

Workshops and Events

The Prisoners of Love project has an active, live blog here, where you can keep up with events and activities of the project.


Virtual Visits:

Mootookakio’ssin Project, University of Lethbridge Canada & Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, East Sussex, UK. [April 2023]

Compound 13 Lab, Dharavi, Mumbai, India & The Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, UK. [Nov 2022, Jan 2023]

University of Ghana & Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford UK. April & May 2023

Presentations, Training & Workshops: 

Words Into Action, Manifesto for Imagining Futures, Accra, Jan 2023

Imaginando Futuros, Encuentro III Conocimientos Indígenas y Tradicionales, Mexico March 2023

Plastik ka Mela: waste work and the art of survival, Compound 13 Lab, Dharavi, India March 2023

Virtual Visit Technologies: Horniman Museum Collections Centre August 2023

Reflectance Transformation Imaging and Photogrammetric Capture: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Economic Botany Collection. May 2023

The Power In/Of Collections, Berlin Science Week, Nov 2023


Prisoners of Love, Vestibule, Lethaby Gallery, London Jan 2023

OST project residency and exhibition. OPENing Gallery, Angel Court, London Aug & Sept 2023

Mootookakio’ssin, Creating in Space Time, Hess Gallery, University of Lethbridge, Canada. Nov & Dec 2023

Agents of Deterioration, Sideshow, Lethaby Gallery, Jan 2024