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

{Photograph} by Kayvan Michael Bazergan


Should you’re a fan of BBC2’s Secrets and techniques of the Museum, the collection 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 Trend, and Lead Curator of the Africa Trend exhibition, at present exhibiting on the museum. ‘ We needed to do the present now as a result of the modern style 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 style. We’d virtually describe it as a style revolution. Now could be the time to interact.’

Having began her profession as a designer, working for prime road and designer manufacturers, together with Margaret Howell, Christine returned to check 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 style business and the dearth of culturally numerous 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 guide – and finally took the job on the V&A in 2020.

‘I’ve spent over three a long time exploring the connection between material, tradition and race,’ Christine says of her profession and on-going analysis, ‘ the cultural exchanges that happen because 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 Trend images 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 Gown: Trend as On a regular basis Activism (hearken to it after the podcast!).


Africa Trend on the V&A.


I actually loved chatting to Christine about her profession, the dearth of variety within the style business, private model and age. She admits that in her mid-50s and fairly comfy together with her freelance portfolio, she initially dithered in regards to the V&A place, till an excellent buddy satisfied her to take the leap. Of the Africa Trend exhibition, she says, ‘ The enjoyment for me of assembly artistic individual after artistic individual of African heritage has personally been so enriching –  after working in business for over 30 years and infrequently 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 happening tour! Learn extra about Africa Trend 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