Tate Encounters Britishness and visual culture

An encounter between students with a migrant family background and Tate Britain

The project aims to provide an in-depth account and analysis of a sustained encounter between London South Bank University (LSBU) students who have a migrant family background and Tate Britain as an important national cultural site.

It will develop knowledge and understanding of how narratives of Britishness are contained, constructed, and reproduced within the curatorial practices and collection of Tate Britain; and of how such notions are received and valued by different migrant and diasporic family members within the context and cultural practices of their everyday lives. From this encounter the project will develop new curatorial and educational perspectives relevant to wider and more culturally diverse audiences and will contribute towards cultural change within the museum and galleries sector.

A public programme of events

In April 2009 Tate Encounters concluded its two-year fieldwork period with a month-long programme of public research interviews, discussions and ethnographic film screenings at Tate Britain. The programme was divided into four strands which reflected the key areas of enquiry within the project:

  • the history of gallery education practice at Tate since 1970
  • the relationship between the museum and the digital realm
  • the impact of cultural policy on the museum and specifically cultural diversity policy
  • the forms and expressions of the diasporic encounter with the museum.


There are currently six issues of [E]ditions online, which contain working papers and some earlier fieldwork materials.

See also