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Gus Casely-Hayford

Artist in residence, Department of English


Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is an art historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on African culture. He gained a PhD in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies

He is best known for his major BBC TV series The Lost Kingdoms of Africa, using new archaeological and anthropological research to explore the pre-colonial history of some of Africa’s most important kingdoms. Former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and previously Director of the Institute of International Visual Art, he has advised the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils and Tate. He initiated and became the Director of Africa 05, the largest African arts season ever hosted in Britain, when over 150 venues collaborated to host more than 1000 events.

Recently, he has co-written and edited the book West Africa: word, symbol and song, and has published many articles including in the popular press. He is a Research Associate at SOAS and recently chaired the development and delivery team on the British Library’s biggest ever exhibition to focus upon African intellectual tradition, Africa: word, symbol song, whilst advising Tate Britain on a major exhibition, Artist and Empire. Gus is also a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, a Caine Prize Council Member and an Ambassador for Sense International.