The British Council is delighted to announce that Rita Aktay will be representing Turkey and Ritika Biswas will be representing the UK as co-curators in the next iteration of Museum Withtout Walls to be opened in May 2021.

The theme of this year's digital exhibition was annouced as ‘Women and Solidarity’. Under the mentorship of the artistic consultant Elliott Burns, selected through an open call last November, curators Rita Aktay and Ritika Biswas will be focusing on developing their new exhibition concept while having the opportunity to work closely with the British Council Collection team, creating new connections with sector professional from the UK and Turkey and learning about digital showcasing and accessibility.

Rita Aktay

Rita Aktay (b.1997, Istanbul) is a curator based in Istanbul and London. Currently a Curatorial Fellow at the Goldsmiths Center for Contemporary Art, she recently completed an MFA in Curating following a BA in Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths University. In 2019, she curated the exhibition “Ubiquitous Surfaces” as part of her residency with Open Space in Istanbul. After setting up the screening website “Roses, Rocks, Dust and Dances” in 2020, she is currently working on launching an online publishing platform supported by the Arts Council England. She has previously worked for various London based galleries and hosted workshops at the Slade School of Fine Art and Deptford Moving Image Festival.

Ritika Biswas

Ritika Biswas grew up in Kolkata, India and holds a Liberal Arts degree from Yale-NUS College, Singapore, and an MPhil in Film and Screen Studies from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a curator, and touring and special projects producer at New Art Exchange in the UK. Her creative and socio-political practice exists at the nexus of deep research, eco-critical play, collaborative kinships, and justice, particularly within the Global South.

Elliot Burns

Elliott Burns is an exhibition curator, co-founder of the online gallery Off Site Project and associate lecturer at the University of the Arts London. Specialising in digital art ecologies, social media and post-anthropocene museology, he has worked on projects for the Austrian Cultural Forum London and the Centre for Investigative Journalism, as well as being invited to speak at Modern Art Oxford, Somerset House Studios, Tate Exchange, the UCL Multimedia Anthropology Lab and the Whitworth Gallery. With a background in arts and technology initiatives he mixes creative and academic approaches with strong administrative and project management skills.

The opportunity

The successful applicants will be responsible for co-curating a digital visual arts exhibition and will work closely with a British Council Project Manager based in Turkey, and an external Artistic Advisor based in the UK. 

The curators will be responsible for:

  • Co-curating a digital exhibition on the theme of celebration of feminist solidarity, working closely with the Project Manager, co-curator and Artistic Advisor. 
  • Together with their fellow co-curator, deliver exhibition texts (i.e. concept, captions, biographies) – (approx. 3500 words). 
  • Support Project Manager with liaison and copyrights of artworks of non-collection works.
  • This opportunity also includes training and development on various topics to support the curation of the exhibition including: digital exhibition making, digital curation, digital accessibility. The content and schedule of training will be confirmed together with and according to the needs of selected curators, but we expect will be weekly for eight weeks. This is a requirement of the opportunity and the selected curator will be expected to attend all meetings.
  • Weekly progress report and evaluation meetings supervised by Project Manager and Artistic Advisor. 
  • Act as spokesperson champion for the project and exhibition.


The successful applicant will be expected to sign a contract with the British Council and will receive a fee of £3,080. This fee is to cover the time and work required to meet the Responsibilities and deliverables outlined in The Opportunity section, of approximately 18 days.

Project timeline

This is not a full-time appointment and is a professional development opportunity that we anticipate will require an overall commitment of 18 days starting in February 2021 and ending in May 2021 when the exhibition launches.

Below dates are for indication only, will be detailed after selection of curators. 

23 December 2020 – 17 January 2021 – Open call for Curators
By end of January 2021 – Announcement of curators 
February – March 2021 – Development of exhibition concept and narrative, Delivery of texts for exhibition
March – May 2021 – Development and design of exhibition platform
Mid-may – Online exhibition launch 

See also