Lindsey de Roos
— Edited interview

Race and epistemological decolonisation

Finding racial equity in art

Linsdsey De Roos’ project Race and Epistemological Decolonisation: Finding Racial Equity in Art is an in-depth inquiry into experimental, relational modes of creating art that prioritises the safety, wellbeing and care of black, indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC). It does so by reflecting and critiquing on the experiences and consciousness of BIPOC, and how the exploration of race is an active pursuit in the social freedoms of our community. The following is an edited interview with de Roos.

“I’m a process-based artist, who uses materials with a photographic perspective to make art function as a process of healing. The work I’m making at the moment is challenging my preconceived ideas of being a practising artist, by exploring my experiences from my undergraduate studies through paper making and writing.

“I am studying for a Master of Visual Arts. The end of year show at the end of my Bachelor’s felt as though many of the ideas my project was exploring had just scraped the surface. During my undergrad I was really interested in de-colonialism and the ethics of photography. Initially I proposed a sort of mapping out of the elements, I was interested in considering what elements of de-colonialism don’t work.

“I wanted to continue on with my interest in the ethics of photography and map out a space and I called it counter-colonialism. The idea came from a writer who coined this idea of having a counter memory, which is not to overwrite the narratives or the memories that currently exist but to create a space where they can sit alongside each other.  I am interested in seeing how we can explore this idea as it sits alongside the ideas of colonialism. I have narrowed in more recently and I’m now exploring cultural diasporic experiences and how they sit within educational systems and seeing where the spaces are that those experiences have agency.

“For me to understand what “cultural agency” looks like in education, I am having to look inwards into my undergraduate experiences as a student and as a staff member. What this will mean is that I’m unlearning the values, the dynamics and the ways of making that would be understood as important to my artistic field.

“Right now, there is a lot of writing with the coursework, but I am really excited to get into the thesis period and get back into making, and seeing where the possibilities of my ideas can go. Being back in the space is where ideas or big thresholds are and the making is the part that I think I am most looking forward to.”

Centre for Design Research
Te Kura Toi a Hoahoa
School of Art and Design

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau,
Auckland University of Technology


Susan Hedges
Mandy Smith

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish images or illustrations with their papers in CDR; neither editors nor publishers of CDR accept responsibility for any author’s/authors’ failure to do so.

© Centre for Design Research, AUT University 2021