Wednesday 28 September 2022
10am – 11am
We may know the story of emperor Mansa Musa, the richest man who ever lived, a medieval African king who built a vast kingdom on the edge of the Sahara. But less is known of the man himself – the charismatic political strategist who would use control of West African gold production to transform his kingdom into an unchallenged intellectual powerhouse. This is his story.
Speaker: Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE, Director of V&A East, Professor of Practice, SOAS, University of London
Dr Casely-Hayford is the inaugural Director of V&A East, appointed in March 2020. He is a curator and cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture, having presented a number of series for Sky, BBC radio and television and other channels. Formerly Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and Ex-Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art, he has offered leadership to both large and medium scale organisations including the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. He has served on the boards of many cultural institutions, including the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery. Gus has lectured widely on culture, including periods at Sotheby’s Institute, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, City University, University of Westminster and SOAS. He has advised national and international bodies on heritage and culture including the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils. In 2005 he deployed these leadership, curatorial, fundraising, communications skills to organize the biggest celebration of Africa Britain has ever hosted when more than 150 organizations put on over 1000 exhibitions and events.
Gus gained a PhD from SOAS and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship. He is a Cultural Fellow of King’s College London, a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, a Board Member of the Creative Industries Federation and a Trustee of the Karun Thakur Foundation. Gus is also a member of the Art Mills Museum Scientific Committee and the English Heritage Blue Plaques Committee. Gus was awarded an OBE in 2018.