Ana Varas Ibarra

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Art History and Theory
 Ana Varas Ibarra



Ana Varas Ibarra is a PhD candidate in Art History and Theory at the University of Essex, UK. Her research focuses on tracking artistic responses to ecological, social, and economic sustainability, as well as social responses to artistic movements that go beyond turning art into a commodity. She is co-editor of re·bus the postgraduate Art History and Theory peer-review journal of the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex. She completed her MA in History and Philosophy of Art at University of Kent, UK (2014) and my BA in Art History at Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico (2012). Her work has been supported by grants from Fomento Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, FONCA-CONACYT, Gilchrist Grant and the Andrew Carnwath Prize.


  • MA in History and Philosophy of Art University of Kent (2014)

  • BA in Art History Universidad Iberoamericana (2012)

Research and professional activities


This thesis provides a critical analysis of engaged art projects that claim to challenge dominant models of world-building and present alternative forms of living through the use of decolonial thinking and political ecology approaches. In particular, it examines case studies of ‘alter-institutional practice’ and proves the effectiveness and sustainability of their endeavour at a discursive and practical level.

Supervisor: Dr Michael Tymkiw

Research interests

Engaged Art

Her research centres on artistic practices that interrogate social, political and/or ecological issues. Focusing on the discourses and narratives surrounding such practices, her research aims to understand the different levels in which engaged art operates in relation to aesthetic imperatives, institutional demands, socioeconomic and environmental ramifications and its political efficacy.



Colchester Campus