Senior Curator of Africa Style on the V&A, Dr Christine Checinska — That’s Not My Age

{Photograph} by Kayvan Michael Bazergan


In case you’re a fan of BBC2’s Secrets and techniques of the Museum, the sequence filmed behind the scenes on the V&A, then you’ll recognise my newest podcast visitor. Dr Christine Checinska is the Senior Curator of Africa and Diaspora: Textiles and Style, and Lead Curator of the Africa Style exhibition, presently exhibiting on the museum. ‘ We needed to do the present now as a result of the up to date trend scene on the continent is so inspirational, so modern – we couldn’t wait,’ she says, ‘African creatives and African diaspora creatives are pushing boundaries and altering the form of trend. We’d nearly describe it as a trend revolution. Now could be the time to interact.’

Having began her profession as a dressmaker, working for top avenue and designer manufacturers, together with Margaret Howell, Christine returned to review a PhD at Goldsmith’s College, in 2009. Colonizin’ in Reverse! examined ‘the impression of the creolised aesthetic of the Windrush Era on English male costume’. With analysis impressed by her personal expertise within the trend trade and the dearth of culturally various voices, and her nattily dressed father. On completion, she moved into the artwork world and academia and began giving public talks, educating and writing – whereas persevering with to behave as a design marketing consultant – and ultimately took the job on the V&A in 2020.

‘I’ve spent over three many years exploring the connection between material, tradition and race,’ Christine says of her profession and on-going analysis, ‘ the cultural exchanges that happen on account of motion and migration, expressed by the garments we put on, the objects we accumulate, the artwork we make and the tales we inform.’



Africa Style pictures courtesy of the V&A

Christine continues to construct on the themes of race, tradition and equality in her position as on the V&A Museum, London, and as Analysis Affiliate on the Visible Identities in Artwork and Design Analysis Centre (VIAD), College of Johannesburg. In 2016, she delivered the TEDxTalk Disobedient Costume: Style as On a regular basis Activism (hearken to it after the podcast!).


Africa Style on the V&A.


I actually loved chatting to Christine about her profession, the dearth of range within the trend trade, private fashion and age. She admits that in her mid-50s and fairly snug along with her freelance portfolio, she initially dithered concerning the V&A place, till a superb good friend satisfied her to take the leap. Of the Africa Style exhibition, she says, ‘ The enjoyment for me of assembly inventive particular person after inventive particular person of African heritage has personally been so enriching –  after working in trade for over 30 years and barely seeing anybody who seemed like me, as somebody of color, it has been such an inspiration.’

The Africa Fashion exhibition is gorgeous, when you haven’t seen it already it’s on till 16 April 2023 and when you’re unable to go to the V&A, it is occurring tour! Learn extra about Africa Style HERE.

Christine is studying: Manorism by Yomi Sode, likes seafood and occasional ‘rice and peas remedy.’

Take heed to Christine’s TEDxTalk HERE.




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Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-Tebaldi

Host: Alyson Walsh

Visitor: Dr Christine Checinska

Music: David Schweitzer

Paintings: Ayumi Takahashi

Coordinator: Helen Johnson