Limerick, Ireland
Image Description: A freckled, brown-skinned woman looks intently into the camera, her arms crossed to present her left side. Her black curly Afro hair is glinting in the light and she wears a pleated red dress and red lipstick. She has tortoiseshell, cat-eye glasses on, a gold nose ring and mottled white cowbone earrings. Image Description Text: Ama Josephine Budge. Photo Credit: Zachary Maxwell Stertz

Pleasurable Ecologies – Formations of Care: Curation as Future-building

Pleasurable Ecologies – Formations of Care: Curation as Future-building is a research project by Ama Josephine Budge, recipient of the Frame Curatorial Research Fellowship (2020-2021) in partnership with EVA International. Led by Frame Finland, the Fellowship is the first in a four-year programme for contemporary art curators, exploring new forms of research that renew curatorial and institutional working habits. The research project is led by independent practice, supported by site-visits and organisational facilitations in Ireland and Finland respectively.

Research Project Description 
“Pleasurable Ecologies – Formations of Care: Curation as Future-building engages and interrogates the processes and possibilities of actively pleasurable collaborative praxis under conditions of climate and neo-colonialism in contemporary Europe. It is an in-depth exploration of decolonial and intersectional curatorial care practices between artists and curators, artists and institutions, curators and institutions, and then the institution and the alter-life that funds/inhibits/fuels it. This research works to acknowledge the entire ecosystem of socio-historical politics involved in creating, curating and organising contemporary art and cultural production. Drawing from my own research, activism, and interdisciplinary creative practice, as well as in-conversation with a mycorrhizal network of collaborative practitioners the project is divided into three subsections:

Doing the Work: Institutional Safer Space Policies and Working Practices is a research-led gathering of some of the key safer-space policies that have emerged out of our current and problematic “diversity programming” moment, comprising assessment of their site-specific success and shortcomings.

Formations of Care: the Ethics of Curatorial Care and Facilitation asks what does care look like for the curator within the institution? What are the relationships of care needed in order for a curator to extend or enact that care ethically and safely? It challenges curating as an ethnographic and raciogenic arrangement of marginalised bodies. It acknowledges the need for care of subjectivities and “presences” instead of caring for objects.

Pleasurable Ecologies: Curation as Future-building is rooted in practices of Black feminism and queer critique. It calls for curatorial research that remains deeply and wholeheartedly committed to the ethics of pleasure activism. By prioritising the pleasurable practices, joy and emancipation of the most oppressed first, we can begin to build sustainable futures that fundamentally differ from the white supremacist, colonial, ableist hetero-patriarchy.”

– Ama Josephine Budge


Ama Josephine Budge is a Speculative Writer, Artist, Curator and Pleasure Activist whose work navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism, working to activate movements that catalyse human rights, environmental evolutions and troublesomely queered identities.

Ama is a PhD candidate in Psychosocial Studies with Dr Gail Lewis at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research takes a queer, decolonial approach to challenging climate colonialism with a particular focus on inherently environmentalist pleasure practices in Ghana and across the Black diaspora. Ama is a member of Queer Ecologies 2020, runs the Apocalypse Reading Room project, and is the lead artist on the MycoLective project with Chisenhale Studios and Feral Practice.

Ama’s artistic and curatorial work has been presented at Nottingham Contemporary, the Other Futures Festival, Casco Art Institute and b.Dewitt Gallery. Her writing practice has been published internationally in Aperture, The Bookseller, The Independent, Media Diversified, Autograph ABP Newspaper, CHEW Magazine and Spec from the Margins, Consented Magazine and SKIN Deep. She has given talks at Southbank Centre, Wits University Johannesburg, Goldsmiths University, ICA London, Glasgow School of Art and University of Minneapolis.


Related Links
Open Call, Frame Curatorial Research Fellowship (05/05/2020)
Frame Curatorial Research Fellowship (e-flux) (05/05/2020)
Pleasureable Ecologies – Podcast#1 (01/10/2021)
Pleasureable Ecologies – Podcast#2 (22/02/2022)
Putting the Cooker on Low (video) (27/05/2022)

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