Anna Sephton

Research Summary

Anna is an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Programme student at the Pitt Rivers Museum and University of Brighton, supervised by Prof Darren Newbury and Dr Julia Winckler (Brighton) and Dr Christopher Morton and Prof Jonny Steinberg (Oxford). She completed her BA in Modern History and International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, and an MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society at the University of Cambridge. 

Anna’s research centres on the apartheid-era photographic collection of Bryan Heseltine, considering it as a curated descriptor which reflected, distorted, and maintained both the narrative and lived experience of Black South Africans at the time. Undertaking an interdisciplinary approach, this project will examine the living nature of the archive, and the hierarchical relationships present in the cyclical acts of recording, witnessing, and curating. Anna’s work will ultimately consider possible routes for repatriation, engaging in community-based fieldwork in South Africa aimed at collaborative storytelling and immersive, alternative exhibition spaces.