ReImagine Value

ReImagine Value header image 1
May 10, 2019  

(2) Finance Capital and the Ghosts of Empire: Traces of Nitrate and Museum of British Colonialism

May 10, 2019

"Tracing Imperial Legacies: Interventions" with the Traces of Nitrate project and the Museum of British Colonialism.

On April 5-6, 2019 RiVAL was among the hosts of a two-day symposium at the University of Sussex on the topic of "Finance Capital and the Ghosts of Empire" which brought together artists, activists and academics. For more information, visit:

This second panel brought together two important projects that aim to trace the material, cultural and financial legacies of empire.

The Museum of British Colonialism is a UK / Kenyan collective encouraging a more truthful account of Britain’s colonial past through a wide variety of media interventions. Their first exhibition has focused on Mau-Mau detention centres.

Traces of Nitrate: Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile explores the histories and legacies of British investment in Chilean nitrate mines and involvement in its global trafficking. Through an examination of sites, artifacts and images, the project traces nitrate’s route from natural mineral state processed in the oficinas of the Atacama desert through transported commodity and stock market exchange value to become, ultimately, part of the material and symbolic inheritances of London mansions and of estates in the capital’s surrounding countryside. It undertakes new photographic documentation of geographically disparate but historically connected landscapes, remote nitrate fields and metropolitan financial districts, accompanied by an analysis of nitrate’s material and visual culture.