Micheal McMillian

McMillan, Michael (BA Honors, Sussex University 1984, Master of Arts, Central St Martins School of Art 1991, Doctor of Arts, Middlesex University 2010). As a writer, playwright, mixed-media artist, curator and scholar DR McMillan’s practice is transdisciplinary and explores migration, identity, gender, sexuality and hidden histories through ethnography, material culture, oral history, performance texts, installation and audio-visual media.

Within Dr McMillan’s curatorial practice and mixed-media installations the following critically acclaimed projects include: The West Indian Front Room (Geffrye Museum 2005-06) that had over 35,000 culturally diverse visitors, which led to international commissions: Van Huis Uit: The Living Room of Migrants in The Netherlands (Imagine IC, Amsterdam 2007 – Holland wide tour 2008) & A Living Room Surrounded by Salt (Instituto Buena Bista Artist Residency, Curacao 2008). There is also a BBC4 documentary, Tales from the Front Room (March 2007), an interactive website , and a publication  The Front Room: Migrant Aesthetics in the Home (Black Dog Publishing 2009).

Dr McMIllan is currently a Visiting Prof. of Creative Writing (LCC-UAL 2003-present), an Associate Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies (LCF, UAL), an  RAS Associate Researcher (UAL), as well as a member of the Royal Literary Fund (RLF).

Recent curatorial work/mixed-media installations:

No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990, curated the Walter Rodney Bookshop installation (Guildhall Art Gallery 2015-16)

Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers: Sound Systems back in da Day (New Art Exchange, Nottingham 2015-16 & 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, London 2016)

Doing Nothing is Not an Option (Peckham Platform, London 2015)

My Hair: Black Hair Culture, Style & Politics  (Origins of the Afro Comb, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge 2013)

I Miss My Mum’s Cooking (Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, KAdE Kunsthal, Amersfoort, Netherlands 2012)

The Waiting Room (Stories & Journeys, Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, Bangor, North Wales 2012)

The Southall Story (South Bank Centre 2010 & Dominion Centre, Southall 2011)

The Beauty Shop (198 Contemporary Arts & Learning 2008)

Conversations in the Front Room – installation & website launch, InIVA, 2007)

The West Indian Front Room (Zion Arts Centre/NBAA 2003 & The Albany, Deptford 2004, Wycombe Museum, Slough Museum 1999 – 2000

Plays/ performance installations:

Doing Nothing is Not an Option (Theatre Peckham, Peckham Square 2015)

The Good Person of Sezuan – a new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s play set in Jamaica 1980 (MAT 2010 & 2012)

Master Juba (Theatre Is & GLYPT 2006)

Babel Junction (Maya Productions 2006)

Blood for Britain (BBC Radio 4 Drama 2001)

Invisible (Double Edge Theatre 1993 & Kings Head Theatre 1998)

Brother to Brother (B2B 1996 & Talawa Theatre 1998) pub.

Portrait of a Shopping Centre as a Cathedral (Art & Society 1990)

First Impressions (New Perspectives Theatre, Mansfield 1988)

On Duty (Black Angels 1982 & Channel 4 1984) pub.

Hard Time Pressure (Royal Court Activists Youth Theatre 1980)

The School Leaver (Royal Court Young Writers Festival 1978) pub.

Authored publications:

The Waiting Room: An audio-visual tale of an artist in residence at the Alaw Ward (Cancer & Palliative Care Unit/Rheumatology Clinics) in Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor: AIHWB, 2012.

The Black Boy Pub & Other Stories: the black experience in High Wycombe (Wycombe District Council 1997)

Living Proof: Views of a world living with HIV & AIDS- Photography & Writings (Artists Agency 1992)

Published essays:

‘De Mudder Tongue: Oral History Work as an Arts Practice’, in Oral History in the Visual Arts, eds. Linda Sandino & Matthew Partington, Oxford: Berg, 2013.

‘The West Indian Front Room: Reflections on a Diasporic Phenomenon’ ,ed. David Scott, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, SX 28, Vol. 13, No.1, March 2009.

‘Ter speak in yer mudder tongue: An interview with playwright Mustapha Matura’ in ed. Kwesi Owusu Black British Culture & Society: A Text Reader  (Routledge, 2000)


Writer – A Walk Around Bloomsbury with Sir Hans Sloane (Healing Histories 2012),

Artist in Residence (Arts in Health & Wellbeing – BCUHB 2010-11), Arts Fellowship (Byam Shaw CSM-UAL 2010-11)

RLF Writing Fellow (LCC-UAL 2000–4 & UEL 2011-12)

Felllowship in Creative Writing (Leeds Univ. 2001)