Melanie Keen is Director of Iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts), an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalization. With the Stuart Hall Library acting as a critical and creative hub for its work, Iniva collaborates with artists, curators, researchers and cultural producers to challenge conventional notions of diversity and difference. It engages a wide audience, particularly young people, in discourse and debate on issues surrounding the politics of race, class and gender. Through Iniva’s programme, it works predominantly with British-born and British-based visual artists of African and Asian descent supporting them at different stages in their careers.
Melanie has been an independent curator and consultant. Her curatorial projects include Figures of Speech for Film & Video Umbrella; Oscar Muñoz: Mirror Image for Iniva; A Better Place? with Erika Tan and Melissa Bliss for Space’s Bow Festival. She was a curator at Iniva from 1997 to 2003 and projects include Yinka Shonibare’s Diary of a Victorian Dandy and Simon Tegala’s Anabiosis. She has contributed to several publications and she also co-wrote Recordings: a selected bibliography of contemporary African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian British art with Elizabeth Ward. Prior to joining Iniva, Melanie was a senior manager at Arts Council England.
Melanie has participated in international conferences including the March Meeting 2016, Sharjah Foundation, and Curating the International Diaspora, Asia Culture Centre and ICF, Gwangju, South Korea. She is co-curator of recent major solo exhibition of new work by Keith Piper entitled Unearthing the Banker’s Bones which was presented at Bluecoat, Liverpool and New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2016/17.
Melanie is an Independent Advisor to the Government Art Collection, sits on the British Council’s Visual Arts Advisory Group and the Mayor of London’s Suffrage Commission Group.