Leah Gordon (born Ellesmere Port, UK) is an artist, curator, and writer. Her work explores the intervolved and intersectional histories of the Caribbean plantation system, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Enclosure Acts, and the creation of the British working-class. Gordon’s work amplifies ‘histories from below’ and recognises the role of carnival, folk traditions, grassroots religion in both performing and sustaining radical histories. Gordon’s film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale; the National Portrait Gallery, UK and the Norton Museum of Art, Florida. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was co-curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, History & Art’ at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; and 'PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince' at Pioneer Works, NYC in 2018. Gordon’s book KANAVAL was published in 2021 and in 2022, her award-winning feature-length documentary Kanaval: A People’s History of Haiti in Six Chapters, was screened in cinemas and on BBC 4’s Arena. In 2022, Gordon exhibited in and curated the Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale exhibition at documenta fifteen, Kassel; her work showed at MOCA North Miami; Power Plant Gallery, Duke University, NC, USA; and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany. In 2023 Gordon’s works were acquired by the Kadist Collection and the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Selected Exhibitions as Artist

Home and the World, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam, N
Death is not an End ? Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris

UNDEAD, Museen Stade, Germany
Kingdom of this World: Reimagined, Galleries of the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University
A Figuration of Chronicles, Myrlande Constant and Leah Gordon, Karma International, Zurich
Monument to the Vanquished | Part II, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
Kanaval, Ed Cross Fine Art, London UK

St Kunigundis Church at documenta fifteen, Kassel, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, USA
Sacred & Profane Love Machines, Power Plant, Duke University, Durham, N. Carolina, USA
Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
Trilogie de Cendres (v3), Frac des Pays de la Loire, France
Château des ducs de Bretagne, Musée d’histoire de Nantes, France
Blow Up, Saint George Street Gallery, Mayfair, London
Once Upon a Time…, Flora Fairbairn, Mayfair, London
Monument to the Vanquished | Part I Commoners , Hive Gallery, Shrewsbury
Summer Show, Ed Cross Fine Art, London

Origin Stories: Photography of Africa and Its Diaspora, Norton Museum of Art. FL, USA
The Kingdom of this World : Reimagined, Pensacola Museum of Art, FL, USA
Fuera de Lugar, Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid, Spain

The Body Says: I am a Fiesta, Norton Museum of Art, FL, USA
Format Festival19, Derby, UK

Out of the Whirlwind’s Radiance, 50 GOLBORNE, London
Vernacular Universalism: Freemasonry in Haiti, The Clemente Center, NY NY, USA
Haiti Aqui, Fundacion Casa Cortes, Puerto Rico
Bordering the Imaginary, BRIC Cultural Center, Brooklyn, USA

Hierophant, Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
The Tailors of Port-au-Prince, Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK
Chita Tann, with Andre Eugene, Havre Magasinet Museum, Boden, Sweden

Atlas [of the ruins] of Europe, CentroCentro Cibeles de Cultura Ciudadania, Madrid

From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography, MOA|FL Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, USA
Meeting Point, Kunstverein Konstanz, Germany

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dak'art 2014, Senegal
Les Rencontres Photographiques de Guyane, French Guiana
Alles Maskerade! MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany
Ort Gallery, Birmingham, UK (Solo Show)
HOUSE 2014, Regency House, Brighton, UK
Médiathèque Intercommunale André Labarrère, Pau, France (Solo Show)
It’s Folk, Let’s Dance, 99 Mary St, Sheffield, UK

Kanaval, PHI Centre, Montreal, Canada (Solo Show)

Taboo, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney
Kanaval, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (Solo Show)
Caste, Riflemaker Gallery, London (Solo Show)

Kanaval, Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (Solo Show)

The Invisibles, Riflemaker Gallery, London (Solo Show)

Kanaval, Photofusion, London (Solo Show)
Kreyol Factory, Parc de la Villette, Paris

Selected Exhibitions as Curator

Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale, UMOCA, Salt Lake City, Utah
8th Ghetto Biennale 2024 Jacmel | KANAVAL ZANSÈT YO

RISING, Performance & Arts Festival, Melbourne, Australia

Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale, St Kunigundis Church at documenta fifteen, Kassel, Germany

PÒTOPRENS | The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince, (co-curating with Edouard Duval-Carrie) at MOCA, North Miami, FL, USA

PÒTOPRENS | The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince, (co-curating with Edouard Duval-Carrie) at Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY NY

5th Ghetto Biennale 2017 - A Cartography of Port-au-Prince

Guest Curator at the Outsider Art Fair NYC, Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC

4th Ghetto Biennale 2015 - KREYÒL, VODOU and the LAKOU : forms of resistance, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013: Decentering the Market and Other Tales of Progress, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Toward a Creole Procession, (co-curated with Ranu Mukherjee) in collaboration with CCA at Luggage Store, San Francisco

Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou, (co-curated with Alex Farquharson), at the Nottingham Contemporary, UK
In Extremis, (on curatorial team) at Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles & Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec City, Canada.

The 2nd Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Death & Fertility, adjunct curator, Haitian Pavilion at 54th Venice Biennale
Nouvo Rezistans, Institut Français, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

1st Ghetto Biennale, director and co-curator, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Curator for sculpture commission for the International Museum of Slavery, Liverpool.

Selected Publications

Leah Gordon, Everything that glitters ain't fishscale…navigating the abyss with Florine Démosthène’s mellifluous figuration, (Mariane Ibrahim 2024)
Leah Gordon, Vernacular Historians – Hauntologies from Below in Thomas Berghuis & Victor van Drielen, Home and the World (Museum van Loon 2024)

Leah Gordon, Duvalierville | The Black Dog of Civic Space, (The Modernist 2023)

Leah Gordon (ed.), PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince, (Pioneer Works Publishing 2021)
Leah Gordon, Kanaval, (Here Press 2021)

Leah Gordon, You Can’t Always Curate Your Way Out! Reflections on the Ghetto Biennale, in Nanne Buurman, Sarah Dornhof, Birgit Hopfener & Barbara Lutz, (eds.), Situating Global Art : Topologies – Temporalities – Trajectories (Transcript 2018)
Leah Gordon, A Legacy of Abstruse Laws: Haitian Cultural Abstraction and the Paintings of Tomm El-Saieh, (ICA Miami 2018)

Leah Gordon (ed.), Ghetto Biennale | Geto Byenal 2009-2015, (No Eraser Publishing 2017)
Annalee Davis; Joscelyn Gardner; Erica Moiah James; Jerry Philogene, Introduction: Art as Caribbean Feminist Practice
(Small Axe Volume 21, Number 1 2017)

Natasha Hoare & Rafal Niemojewski (ed.s), The New Curator, (Laurence King Publishing 2016)
M. Attah, B. Burbridge & C. Davies (ed.s), Self Styled, (Photoworks Annual Issue 23 2016)

Claire Tancons & Krista Thompson (ed.s), EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, (Independent Curators International (ICI) and the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans 2015)
Barbara Lynes (ed.), From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography, (NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, USA 2015)
David Bindman (ed), The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume 5 Part 1, The Twentieth Century: the Impact of Africa, (Harvard University Press 2014)
Dr. Stephanie Dathe & Dr. Axel Lapp (ed.s), Alles Maskerade!, (Museum Villa Rot & MEWO Kunsthalle 2014)

Brook Andrews (ed), Taboo, (Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia 2013)

Leah Gordon, Kreyon Pèp La Pa Gen Gòm (The People’s Pencil has no Eraser), in Alex Farquharson & Leah Gordon (ed.s) 'Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou', (Nottingham Contemporary 2012)
Leah Gordon, Gede, The Poster boy of Vodou, in Don Cosentino (ed.) 'In Extremis: Death & Life in 21st Century Haitian Art' (Fowler Museum, UCLA & University of Washington Press)

Leah Gordon, Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti, (Soul Jazz Publishing 2010)

Research, Production Grants & Awards

RAD grant from the Doc Society to further research film on the Enclosures.

Meadows Arts Commission to further production and creation of ‘Monument of the Vanquished’

The GRAIN bursary to support the making of new photographic work in the rural West Midlands.

Invited for Artist residency at Hangar: Centre of Artistic Research, Lisbon funded by the Triangle Network

Recipient of the 2015 Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean

HOUSE festival commission for the project Caste | Cast at Regency Town House, Brighton

Recipient of Research Institute for Media Art and Design (University of Bedfordshire) award for the Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive in New York

Speaking Engagements

In conversation with Adam Szymczyk at Karma International, Zurich
Cosmology of the Rural, online conversation with Stephen Ellcock and Annabel Edwards, Meadow Arts
Revelling the Past, Carnivalizing History, in conversation with Claire Tancons at Ed Cross Fine Art, London

The Rural Gaze Symposium, GRAIN Projects CIC

Aquapolitics Along the Gulf Stream, Ocean Archive, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
UNESCO ResiliArt Debate - Reimagining festivals in the Global South
Keynote Speaker at Panel Discussion: EDGING THE CENTRE – World Biennales at NIRIN, Sydney Biennale, Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW Australia

Keynote Speaker: Konesans: New Perspectives on Haitian Studies in Europe, Newcastle University, UK

Afro-Gothic, Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY NY
Gruselkabinett - Kleist In Haiti, Kleist Festival, Frankfurt Oder, Germany
Art of Haiti: 1940s to the present at College Art Association, Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles
Black Mirror: Magic in Art, Arts University Bournemouth, UK

Catalogues, Culture and Structural Adjustment, Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford

Leah Gordon | Alternative Strategies in the Caribbean at ICI Curatorial Hub, NYC
Artist Talk, Havremagasinet, Boden, Sweden

First International ICOM Dominican Republic: Museums for a Sustainable Society, Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo
After Revolution: Versions and Re-visions of Haiti, Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Artist Talk, Trampolinhuset, Copenhagen
Ghetto Biennale at Udstillingsstedet Q, Royal Academy Fine Art, Copenhagen
Intervolved Histories at Uncertain States Critical Visual Dialogues

Biennials: Prospect and Perspectives, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany
Alternative Methods: Art and Education, Futurecamp, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
Perspectives: Barbara Kruger, Modern Art Oxford, UK
Transcultural Trajectories of Art History: Legacies of Modernity and Global Entanglements, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg, Germany
Collecting Geographies Conference, Global Collaborations, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Communities in Conversation, Konsthall C, Stockholm, Sweden
Artists’ Talk, Konsthallen Goteborg, Sweden
Artists’ Talk, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Artists’ Talk, Centre of Contemporary Art, Derry-Londonderry
The Tailors of Port-au-Prince at the Newcastle Photography Festival

‘The Ghetto Biennale’, Open School East, London
‘In Conversation’ with Michaelle Jean, ex Governor General of Canada, PHI Center, Montreal
‘Battle of Images’ invited speaker at CIC (Contemporary Image Collective), Cairo, Egypt

International Congress on Global art, visuality and coloniality, invited speaker, Centro dos de Mayo, Madrid
TrAIN lecture, Chelsea College of Art, London

'Global art education and the Biennale aesthetic', Soundings, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy
Artists’ Talk, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, USA

Opening Forum of the 17th Sydney Biennale: Power, Poverty, Equality and Freedom (and how we relate to art...), invited speaker, Art Museum of NSW, Sydney:

‘In Conversation’ at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.


Visiting artist, MFA in Social Practice, California College for the Arts, San Francisco
2011 – 2013
Senior Lecturer in Photography & Video Art at University of Bedfordshire
2003 – 2021
University of the Creative Arts, Farnham: Visiting lecturer for BA Digital, Film and Screen Arts
Visiting artist, MA in Photographic Arts, Paris 8, St Denis, Paris
California College of the Arts, San Francisco for lecture programme and as visiting artist for MFA in Social Practice.
Visiting artist, Dept. of Afro-American Studies at Bates College, Maine, USA.

Selected filmography and screenings

Leah Gordon (as co-director & producer), Eddie Hutton-Mills, Joel Honeywell, Xanna Ward-Dixon, Natasha Dack-Ojumu 2022
A Tigerlily Production for the BBC Arena strand. Magic realist film based on Haitian carnival bringing Leah Gordon’s book, Kanaval to the screen.
2024 - Ciné-Dimanches, Musée d’ethnographie de Genève
2024 - PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
2024 - 3e édition au Festival International du Film Documentaire de Jacmel
2024 - Museum Ethnography Geneva
2024 - Afridelic and Caribbean Creative at Melkweg, Amsterdam
2023 - Rencontres du Documentaire en Haïti
2023 - Le Festival International du Film des Droits humains de Guadeloupe, Alliance Ciné Caraïbes.
2023 - FIFAC, St-Laurent de Maroni, French Guyana
2023 - Roxy Cinema, Lower Manhattan
2023 - St Moritz Arts Film Festival
2023 - Screened at Hot Docs Festival, Toronto
2023 - Winner of best documentary by Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards
2023 - Special mention and screening at DIFF (Dublin International Film Festival)
2022 - Nominated British Independent Film Awards for best debut feature documentary director and best cinematography
2022 - Nominated Grierson Documentary Award at LFF
2022 - London Film Festival

Ti Tonton Bat Tanbou (Little Uncle Plays the Drums) by Eugene Andre, Leah Gordon & Evel Romain 2018
The split screen film is an artistic gesture towards the transcendence of the borderline, and a transnational Hispaniolan sensibility.
2018 - Bordering the Imaginary, BRIC Cultural Center, Brooklyn, USA

Atis-Rezistans: the Sculptors of Grand Rue: Leah Gordon 2008
DV 34 mins film essay documenting a collective of majority class Vodou artists in Port au Prince, Haiti and a meditation on the links between sex, death and creativity.
2013 - Musée de la Civilisation, Québec, Canada (in exhibition)
2012 - Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney, Australia (in exhibition)
2012 - Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA (in exhibition)
2012 - Kafou, Nottingham Contemporary, UK (in exhibition)
2010 - Musee de l'Homme, Paris, France
2009 - World Nomads Film Festival, curated by Jonathan Demme, Mayles Documentary Theatre, Harlem
2009 - Mercredis, Musee de l'Homme, Paris
2009 - Puerto Rico Ethnographic Film Festival (prize winner)
2008 - Afro-American Studies Society, Bates College, Maine USA
2008 - Caribbean Studies Conference, Edinburgh

Bounda pa Bounda: A Drag Zaka; Leah Gordon 2008
DV video observational film that documents Bounda pa Bounda (Cheek by Arse), a character from Jacmel carnival, as he drags up in a sacred space before going onto the streets with his Rara band.
2019 - A Slippery Land: Recent Short Films from Haiti, DuSable Museum, Chicago, USA
2014 - Médiathèque Intercommunale André Labarrère, Pau, France
2014 - Les Rencontres Photographiques de Guyane, French Guiana
2012 - Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney (in exhibition)
2012 - Nottingham Contemporary
2011 - Side Gallery, Newcastle (in exhibition)
2009 - Photofusion Gallery, London (in exhibition)

The Thames Leah Gordon 2005
DV 14 mins Poetic film essay exploring the mythology of rivers and the link between the Thames and the Slave Trade
2005 - Zanzibar International Film Festival
2005 - Jakmel Film Festival, Haiti

A Pig's Tale, directed and produced Leah Gordon & Anne Parisio 1997
16mm film 54 mins, A piggyback ride of a documentary linking Haitian pigs, Vodou and US economic imperialism.
A Parisio Production for Channel 4 TV in association with Arte/ Crowing Rooster Arts Inc./ Dominant 7
Broadcasts & Screenings
1997 - Channel 4 TV
1997 - Arte France
1998 - Free Speech TV, PBS, USA as part of Just Solutions Series commemorating 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Prizes and festivals
1998 - Best Documentary - UK Environmental Media Awards
1998 - Berlin Black Film Festival - commended
1998 - Montreal Film Festival - jury's special mention
1999 - Tampere Film Festival 


1980-1983 BA Hons in Film & Photographic Arts from Polytechnic of Central London
2004-2006 MA in Film & Photographic Studies from University of Westminster