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Ama Josephine B. Johnstone - Researcher / Pleasure Activist

Ama Josephine B. Johnstone is a researcher and pleasure activist  whose work navigates speculative explorations of erotics, art, ecology and Blackness. Ama is a PhD candidate in Psychosocial Studies with Dr Gail Lewis at Birkbeck. Her research takes a queer, decolonial approach to challenging climate colonialism, with a particular focus on inherently environmentalist pleasure practices in Ghana and across the Black diaspora. Ama is the 2020/21 Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism with BARD College, and will be based in upstate New York from January 2021. 

Ama Josephine B. Johnstone.JPG

Photo Credit: Zachary Maxwell Stertz

Ama has worked with arts institutions across the UK and abroad including the ICA, Free Word, Tate, Wellcome Collection and the V&A. She has been published by Aperture, Whitechapel Gallery & MIT Press, the Feminist Review, Critical Arts Journal, Afropunk, The Independent Newspaper, Dispatch Feminist Moving Image, Media Diversified, Skin Deep, Consented, CHEW Magazine, B. Dewitt Gallery and Autograph ABP, and commissioned to respond to the work of artists Travis AlabanzaZanele Muholi, Gray Wielebinski, BBZ Alternative Graduate Show and Alberta Whittle.  Ama is a member of the Board of Trustees at ArtsAdmin.


Ama Josephine B. Johnstone is an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins on the BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, London; a Lecturer on the MA Ecologies of Transformation at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam and the 2020/21 Keith Haring Fellow at the Centre for Curatorial Studies and Human Rights Programme at Bard College, NY.

Book Chapters

Eugenics – Population Control
Informatics of Domination ed. Jennifer Rhee, Zach Blas, Melody Jue Duke University Press (2021)

What We Stay For
The Material Kinships Reader, Onomatopee Press (April 2021)

Pollination as Praxis: The  Queer Temporalities of Intimate Ecologies 
Conversations Across Place ed. Frances Whorrall-Campbell & Nicola BrandtThe Green Box Press (July, 2021)

Ama Josephine Budge in conversation with Angela Chan
Science Fiction (Documents of Contemporary Art), Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press (2018)


Journal Publications

"A City Wages Love"
Architectural Review, New Cities, (forthcoming) 2021

No Home Left Behind”,
Architectural Review, Lands Issue, October 2020

Speculative Fabulations: Beneath Yaba's Garden”,
Feminist Review: Archives July 2020     
Imaging an Assisted Evolution: The environmental futurity of Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama”,      
Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, Issue: Curatorial Care,  2019                                                  


PhD Psychosocial Studies - Birkbeck University (2018 - 2022)

MA Postcolonial Culture & Global Policy - Goldsmiths University of London (2015 - 2017)

BA Performance Practice - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2009 - 2013)


International & Local Planetary Fictions Fellowship Curatorial Frame & EVA Internationa (2021)

Keith Haring Fellow in Art & Activism, Bard College (2021)​​​



Insta: @amajosephine

Twitter: @pleasureprof



Pleasurable Ecologies – Formations of Care: The Impossibilities of Invitation

Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion 3, Archive Books and Frame Contemporary Art Finland, September 2021


(Commission) In Search of God, Dirt, and Ecstasy

HOLDING THE LINE - A refrain in two parts (Film) and DIS-A Lesson in Reversal or Unlearning, 2021


Platform London, January 2021

Ama Josephine Budge in Conversation with Angela Chan

in Science Fiction, Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press: Documents of Contemporary Art, 2020

Of Parables, Patterns, and Progeny — Rethinking Trans Theory with Octavia E. Butler 

Think Pieces by the UCL IAS Review, Ama Josephine Budge & Christine ‘Xine’ Yao, Issue 2: Turbulence

Fragments of Exercises For Learning How To Remember/ To Member The Harems Tha Haunt, DelicatelyHow Flexible Can We Make The Mouth - Alberta Whittle, 2019

BBZ 2019 Graduate Show: From Loneliness into Abundance

Afropunk, September 2019

(Commission) Well Hung: reflections on Gray Wielebinski’s Shaved in Opposite Directions 

b.Dewitt Gallery, 2019

(Fiction) Watching the Channel 

Consented Magazine, Issue 7: Environmentalism, 2019

(Fiction) A Shoal of Lovers Leads me Home

Anathema Spec from the Margins, Issue 5, Canada, 2018

(Comission) Rupturous Desires: Queer Bodies Are Made from Mountains 

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, Aperture, 2018 

Just Like Us: Queer Intimacies Familiar

Chew Magazine, Issue 1, Toronto, 2018

Wet and Blue

Consented Magazine, Issue 5: Love & Desire, 2018

(Fiction) Feeder 

Skin Deep Magazine, Issue 7: The Food Issue, 2017

Wodo Nublanuito - Last One Correct

Mixed-Race, Queer, Feminist(MRQF) Zine, Issue 3: I am a bridge // I am not your bridge, 2017

The Future Belongs to Gastropods

Consented Magazine, Issue 3: Gender, 2017


Seeing in colour

The Bookseller, 2016


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