Creative Fellowship (Archives & Special Collections)

Uncovering objects and layers of narratives within the archives and library special collections

About the Project

While exploring and uncovering often less visible objects from the V&A’s archives and library special collections, Creative Fellow Amina Jama reflects, through film, poetry, and collaborative making and thinking, on the complex, interwoven relationship between museum objects, body, space, and land.


Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, VARI Creative Fellowships bring together creative practitioners with curators, scholars, and diverse audiences to explore cross-disciplinary connections and strategies. Practitioners are invited to consider, see, and show the V&A’s collections in innovative ways by creating encounters with new constituencies and exploring new methodologies for disseminating and communicating research. The 2023/24 VARI Creative Fellowship focusses on objects from the archives and library special collections.


The Creative Fellowship is part of a portfolio of research projects to incubate new methods for interdisciplinary collections research within the Museums by inviting an external, independent voice to help develop new ways of engaging with members of the public. Within her practice of writing and curation, Creative Fellow Amina Jama creates approaches of engagement that do not shy away from the inherent colonial legacies within the special collections whilst creating safe spaces for members of the public to explore, challenge, and interpret the dis- and uncovered material.


While engaging with the archives and library special collections’ spaces, structures, and knowledge systems and the unique combination of text, image, and materiality they embody, Amina Jama shines a new light on these collections revealing their many layers of narratives. In her poetry film 'Unearthed', the artist weaves together items from the archival, poetry, body, space, voice, and interview, while looking at ‘archives as repositories of memories’. Her poetry writing workshop with Rohan Ayinde focused on Concrete Poetry sparking a creative dialogue with library and archives collections.

The Team

Amina Jama

Creative Fellow

Amina Jama is a writer, facilitator and curator. She is a member of Octavia WOC Poetry Collective and inaugural Frieze x Deutsche Bank 2021-23 Curatorial Fellow at Chisenhale Gallery. Amina Jama's debut poetry pamphlet, 'A Warning to the House that Ho ... Read more


Poetry Writing Workshop with Creative Fellow Amina Jama & Poet Rohan Ayinde

Looking directly at selected texts found in the National Art Library, this workshop offers an approach to listening to archival materials, and tracing its creative practice in the simple form of storytelling.