Artist Allan deSouza is internationally acclaimed for his photographic, installation, text, and performance works that restage historical evidence through counter-strategies of fiction, erasure, and (mis)translation. Through the Black Country, or The Sources of the Thames Around the Great Shires of Lower England and Down the Severn River to the Atlantic Ocean tinkers irreverently with iconic colonial narratives of "discovery" and "salvation" in Africa. Comprised of text, photographic, and sculptural works, the installation is based on the 2016 expedition diaries of the Zanzibari crypto-enthnologist Hafeed Sidi Mubarak Mumbai, the fictional great-grandson of the historic figure Sidi Mubarak Bombay - a formerly enslaved African who, upon gaining his freedom in India, returned to Africa to lead numerous British-led expeditions across the continent. In this installation, Hafeed sets off to realize his great grandfather's unfulfilled wish - to discover the fabled and elusive source of the River Thames. In addition to his art practice and writing, Allan deSouza is currently chair of the department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. His current book project, How Art Can Be Thought, an examination of art pedagogy and a lexicon of terms used within the art critique, will be published in 2018.

Curator: Allyson Purpura

Krannert Art Museum exhibitions are made possible in part by a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Contemporary Gallery

Upcoming dates

Download schedule


  • Starting Friday, January 26th, 2018, repeats every day until Saturday, July 14, 2018 — all day


Krannert Art Museum

500 E. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, IL


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