East London Strippers Collective (ELSC) is a network of strippers, artists, and performers, supporting and promoting self-organization among strippers, challenging stigma around sex work, and fighting for harm reduction in the wider sex industry. ELSC is a company run entirely by dancers and ex-dancers. From pop-up strip-club parties, to public talks, art exhibitions, and life-drawing classes, ELSC is creating its own working conditions and supporting members of its community. ELSC runs a popular stripper life-drawing class based in London, giving artists a unique opportunity to draw strippers performing and pole-dancing, turning the age-old tradition of artistic nudes on its head.
Espacio Común is an association that works in architecture, art, and research. Its aim is to defend the idea of a city in which caregiving, free play, and coexistence in the public sphere can act as tools for learning, creation, and cooperation. It has a creative approach to built space that encompasses the design, management, and construction of physical interventions; the provocation of situations; and the audiovisual recording of everyday life. It is committed to working in public spaces, while also joining open participatory processes. Together with grassroots organizations and collectives linked to art and culture, it provides support to improve the spaces, and the quality of life, of communities.
LegalAliens is an ensemble of migrant artists and a Theatre of Sanctuary. At the core of its vision is a theater that includes and platforms migrants as artists, creatives, participants, and audiences. Based in Haringey, one of London's most diverse boroughs, its goal is to harness the area's vibrant diversity to make theater that reflects the complex intersection between migrant and international. Its shows are imaginative and unafraid to tackle sensitive themes, but with irony and humanity. Since 2018, it has been running free weekly theater classes with refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants to foster inclusivity and nurture a creative community.
Oroko Radio is a not-for-profit independent internet radio station based in Accra, Ghana. It aims to connect, inspire, and empower through conversation, collaboration, and community. It seeks to reclaim and recenter narratives from the African and diasporic artistic communities, with a particular focus on local perspectives in Accra, in addition to cultivating and nurturing relationships with like-minded projects across the globe.
The DisOrdinary Architecture Project is a not-for-profit platform that promotes alternative models of practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled artists, designers, and architects. It believes that thinking differently about disability (and ability) can open up the design of our built surroundings to new forms of creativity and critique. Instead of treating disabled people as merely a technical or legal “afterthought” for architecture and urban design, it shows how starting from disability—from the rich differences that biodiversity and neurodivergence bring—becomes a powerful and creative design generator.
York Anti Racist Collective (YARC) is a grassroots group based in York that supports Global Majority folks to heal through the power of creative practice and community. YARC facilitates “Art Liberation” workshops that unpack trauma and revive joy through decolonized creative practices, as well as MamaKula, a Mums of Colour Group that utilizes the impact of community in battling isolation. YARC’s approach to care and to subverting imperial oppression is weaved into its governance, events, and community practice. It is starting a journey towards a future that puts York on the map as a safe and joyful place for Black and Global Majority people and their families.
Angelo Ormskerk is interested by everything that has to do with human dignity. The artwork he makes always involves music or interdisciplinarity, and relates to degrading and unjust events, and/or to experiences with a hopeful ending. For Angelo, who is studying at Amsterdam University of the Arts, music responds to emotions, has a healing effect, and makes us resilient. He takes inspiration from the cultural experiences that he grew up with, raising social themes for discussion from an immaterial surrealistic perspective.
Visual artist Ankie van Kasteren explores a variety of different mediums in her work, including photography, moving image, sculpture, and installation art, and is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Themes of trauma, healing after abuse, neurodiversity, and human-nature connections shape her artworks, drawing from her personal experiences. Van Kasteren engages in self-healing through art. She fulfils her desire to share her narrative, encouraging others to connect with the world, and fuels self-reflection for societal change and justice.
Auro Orso is a Berlin-based choreographer, performer, and activist studying at the Berlin University of the Arts who identifies as Trans and Two-Spirit. His artistic research explores decolonizing practices in all aspects of life, as well as questioning the Western/colonial illusion of universality, binaries, and “the appropriate.” His work includes a spectrum of topics including Indigenous Futurism and imaginative gender-riots. Reclaiming, remembering, redoing, and relearning—as well as gentleness, humor, and centering care, intimacy, and pleasure as radical political postures—are omnipresent in his performances. His practice is informed by somatics, perreo, and drag king. He gives workshops and develops projects to empower Queer and BIPoC communities, to both enhance sensibilities and heal.
Daniela Tovar Rodriguez is a Mexican producer, DJ, and promoter based in Madrid, where she is studying at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In 2021, she co-founded the radio show “Latin Tears,” in which Latin artists and collectives are given space to express their manifestos, ideas, and musical visions. “Latin Tears” is conceived as a place for the voices of the Latin-American musical diaspora, as the founders believe that musical and artistic creation is nourished by vital experience of otherness. All of Daniela’s artistic practices are based on the idea that offering a space for otherness can open up the possibility of imagining and creating together possible futures for diverse ways of existence.
Elleanna Chapman is an interdisciplinary artist, interested in the role that art plays politically. Beyond institutional critique and identity politics, Elleanna’s practice is an inquiry into how art might catalyze social change, agitating not just for reform, but for revolution. Her practice explores a kitsch aesthetic, influenced by British working-class aesthetics and the appeal of the utterly adorable. She is currently a finalist at The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, having completed a foundation in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in 2021.
Diren Demir is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist and independent curator. Diren’s work seeks transformative solutions to the challenges posed by patriarchal and authoritarian regimes. Their installations and performances frequently deal with revelation and the body-power relationship as a site of conflict. Diren focuses on transformational activism, participatory practices, and developing new models of resistance in their artworks. Their work includes Queer themes, using their own body to challenge stereotypical gender positions and de-gender memories of place and the city by referring to LGBTIQ+ history in their articles, seminars, and workshops. In 2019, their compilation “A Night of June: A Biographical Analysis of the Stonewall Revolution” was published. In August 2022, their new poetry and illustration book “Hail to the Fallen” appeared in bookstores. Diren has curated more than 30 guerrilla exhibitions on streets and in rural areas, foregrounding the accessibility of art, as well as curating shows at places such as Akbank Art Center and Gazhane Museum, Istanbul. Now studying at Marmara University, Istanbul, Diren's works and projects have been exhibited in many countries, including Estonia, Turkey, Serbia, the Netherlands, Germany, and India.
Halar Soomro is an artist and cultural explorer working with performance, archives, and film as his primary instruments. Currently based at Maastricht Academy of Arts, his artistic wandering is born from the harrowing legacy of the Indian Partition, and navigates the blurred lines between colonial depletion and its aftermath. He acts as both canvas and instrument, invoking resistance and subversion. Such works as the musical reverie “Renegade,” the theatrical battleground “Jewel in the Crown,” and the auditory journey “Fareeda’s Home” dismantle the colonial gaze, forging an identity from trauma. Halar co-founded the Asian Art Workers Collective in Maastricht, where he and his comrades challenge colonial discourse, uniting cross-disciplinary visionaries.
As an artist and facilitator, Melli Erzuah’s greatest joy is collective singing. Singing something bigger than us into existence, traveling through dimensions and portals that bring us back to this: belonging is a given and connection is the through line. In their coaching Melli, who is currently studying at Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, aims to facilitate the experience of belonging through singing, breathing, meditating, and somatic exercises. As many of us come from societies where disconnection is the norm and singing is understood as an expression reserved for a talented few, Melli facilitates spaces with the utmost care and attention, so we can sing ourselves into liberation.
Saman Mahdavi is a versatile artist who seamlessly integrates images (taswir), text, performance installations, and videos into her multidisciplinary practice. Her work delves into the somatic movements of hands and palms, exploring their connection to daydreaming and poetry. A distinctive aspect of Saman’s art lies in the juxtaposition of movement and struggle, serving as a poignant manifesto. In Saman’s poetic realm, hands become a symbolic mirror reflecting the enduring fire of the soul. Her creations are marked by a profound fascination with fire and heat. With a background in theater and dramatic literature, Saman earned her BA from the Art University of Tehran and is continuing her studies at the School for New Dance Development, Art University of Amsterdam. Saman has exhibited her work in both Tehran and Amsterdam, engaging in collaborative projects with fellow artists in these vibrant artistic communities.
Shahd Katba (Gaza, Palestine; Alexandria, Egypt; Berlin, Germany) is a multidisciplinary poet, dancer, and performance artist studying at Bard College Berlin. They are interested in creating art practices based in the body through materials such as movement, text, and voice. They think of their writing as an extension of their body-based practices. They like returning to their body as a site of liberation, oppression, and resistance. For them, the body, and the material it produces, both offer a deep reflection of the systems, people, and spirits that the Queer Trans BIPoC communities are connected with.
Shandrick de Cuba demonstrated a clear vision for the direction of his career - putting his place of origin, Aruba on the map of the film industry. His goal to give a voice and representation to marginalised local communities who've seen trauma and neglect, and who face continual struggle is an important story to be told.
Alcide creates work that reflects on the experience of inhabiting a pathologized body, and negotiating fluid systems of biopolitical power that flow through and between government agencies, private corporations, and themself. They are also a part of an activist educational platform Crip the Curriculum, which is dedicated to dismantling ableist structures.
Anna is studying Graphic Design at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam, developing a practice that explores the themes of solitude, death, and identity. As a visual artist, she works in a variety of techniques, but throughout retains an imaginative and open-minded approach to her image-making.
Sound artist and musician Joe Tatton is currently in his final year studying Creative Music Technology at Salford University. He’s also a member of experimental Rochdale band Prangers, who construct an experimental fusion of percussive-focused industrial sounds.
Seonah Chae is a visual artist based in Berlin. We’re delighted to be supporting Seonah as she develops her artistic practice, which she describes as “often combining painting, drawing and found objects, which have been used, and have traces of time that trigger nostalgia”. Her work investigates spaces in transition, exploring the individual and the collective, and the shifting polarities that mark relationships between humans and space. Seonah has exhibited in Europe and Korea, including her map-based installation “The wind doesn't blow twice in the same place II”, at Cerveira International Art Biennial.
Roggi Black demonstrated their strong ambition and drive to pursue a career in the arts. Despite their challenging background, they have already received recognition for their work and we feel this grant will give them the opportunity to fully focus on their craft and make an impact in their industry.
Ezra’s research specializes in the metabolic commons, ceramic processes, and radical forms of publishing. Currently studying Sculpture at the University of Edinburgh, they’re also an arts educator and disability advocate, working with Articulate Cultural Trust and Birds of Paradise Theatre. Right now, they’re developing a campaign with Unite Foundation to support the housing rights of care-experienced and estranged students.
Daniela captures “out of place” objects from computer simulations, including non-representative portraits that misleadingly depict “familiar strangers” from our everyday lives. Studying Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, her abstract style embodies biomorphic construction and metaphysical theories related to identity, causality, and change. Most of her references are uniquely generated by AI—as her non-representational art evolves, she’s come to prefer such generated subjects over “real” ones.
Passionate about community outreach, with a focus on African Diasporic peoples and experiences, Feven is dedicated to uplifting the work of Black creatives. With The Black & African Solidarity Show (B.A.S.S.), they’re helping to develop transcultural connections through curating inclusive spaces in London and Berlin. Also a performance artist and workshop facilitator in hula-hoop dance, Feven has a storytelling style melding flow movement with spoken-word poetry. In the last year of their studies at SOAS, they’re also undergoing certification at Black Cultural Archives in archiving African material heritage and oral histories.
A Sudanese queer activist and visual artist, Malab is studying Visual Communication Design at the Politecnico di Milano. Their work ranges from conceptual photography to video art and film, focusing on the complex connections and interplays between queerness and culture. Also active as part of collectives Shades of Ebony and Archive, they’re working on a guide to queer dialect, with recent projects including an archive of lesbian history in the SWANA region, plus video work examining our internal monologues at moments of unease.
Deya is an exciting new platform that will connect Black creatives in the UK to the opportunities and resources that they deserve, with the goal of becoming a primary resource for hiring Black creative talent. Spinning out of the experience of supporting Black creatives through the pandemic, Deya will provide a vital space for honing creative practices, finding paid work, showcasing talents, and connecting with like-minded collaborators. And, more than that, it will empower Black creatives of all ages and disciplines, building a community where Black creativity can thrive.
Magical Women creates relaxed, accessible spaces to empower Neurodivergent (ND) artists and their practice. Magical Women’s goal is to remove the risks found in neurotypical systems, structures, and environments, such as a sense of urgency or rush, while liberating ND artists from untrue assumptions, unconscious bias, and discriminatory structures. Free to create art without feeling they must change themselves or overcome their behaviors, they can grow, reflect, create, and be both seen and heard. An invaluable platform and community, Magical Women showcases the work of ND artists to wider and diverse audiences, while disseminating ND language, vocabulary, and ways of working. It is intending to expand its collaborative workshops, mentoring offers, wellbeing resources, and autistic/ADHD-led awareness training.
Commons•Art, in its own words, “endeavors to make funding and organizing artistic activities more horizontal, care-taking based, and in favor of collectivity.” Co-initiated by Yin Aiwen and Binna Choi, Commons•Art is a platform that aims to facilitate and support the creative and social caretaking of art as a way of generating new commons, achieving this through decentralized technology and care-based practices. It also intends to offer artworks or art projects with a set of toolkits and support mechanisms for their use and maintenance. By sharing authorship as much as by increasing the social and affective value of art, Commons•Art aspires to contribute to an art economy that is no longer closed and short-term, but instead opens up to society at large—perhaps even effecting change in our social fabric and in our everyday lives.
Xacara is focused on supporting, and developing Latin American artists, young emerging women artists, migrant communities in the UK and disadvantaged communities, building their skills, knowledge connections, networks and profile in the UK. They’ve identified a real need for a supportive infrastructure within the arts for this community. After self-funding this project, there’s awareness of what money will be used for and a track record of support from reputable organisations, which reiterates the value they provide. The introduction of networking events, showcases and mentoring to ensure a sustained community.
Born as a documentary project, COMO VOCÊ is an example of how a project focused on a specific creative community can grow thanks to the support of cross-cultural initiatives. Art, and music in particular, can become an opportunity for social mobility and professional development, as well as for exchanges across countries. Focused on the production of live events and the release of material (magazines, music, etc.), the grant will help the project grow and become marketable and self-sufficient.
DADDY Magazine confronts us with a missing infrastructure for editorial platforms with high potential that are fuelled by a group of individuals giving all their passion, care and determination. But without support this energy will be burned up. Black-owned, by and for the communities that are often overlooked, they give self determination on narratives that can now only be whispered.
ESEA Music are tackling the key issue of representation within UK music amongst the East and South-East Asian community. Since inception in September 2021 they’ve grown to 200 members and plan to add further value, and grow the community, through mentoring schemes and writing & recording sessions. To sustain impact and raise awareness, they’ll produce a research paper exploring and reporting their experiences within the UK music industry, to hopefully improve representation in the near future.
Cinelogue is a collaborative space for film curation, streaming, and critical dialog around cinema, representation, and politics, presenting cinema exclusively by the Global Majority. Cinelogue represents, revives, and celebrates critically acclaimed cinema from countries and communities within Africa, Asia, South America, and Oceania. In particular, it showcases the work of filmmakers who have used film as a vehicle to explore issues of race, gender, and class, amongst other forms of oppression. Its programs are collective and collaborative, creating dialog between films, contributors, and viewers, and exploring the continued effects of colonialism on global social and political dynamics. As both streaming platform and archive, Cinelogue challenges the status quo, breathing life into discourses around cinema as a vehicle for sociopolitical change, while inviting viewers to reimagine how to watch films from the past and engage with them as commentaries on the present day.
Established during the first year of Covid pandemic, Refuge Worldwide is a radio platform that gives voice to a coalition of organisations by and for refugees, asylum seekers, marginalised people, women and young people victims of domestic violence. Refuge Worldwide is a clear example of how an apparently simple idea can instigate community engagement and solidarity through creation, debate, information and grassroots entertainment. The set of activities covered by the grant are especially focused on strengthening the participants base of the original project by transferring skills to new members.
Beirut Summer School is an outstanding example of how a virtuous loop can be established between the resilience of local communities, international cultural exchanges, and co-funding. This project responds to the basic needs of creative communities in countries deeply wounded by war, violence, economic crisis and weak democratic processes, offering bottom-up theatre training as a viable alternative to restore trust and provide actual professional opportunities across countries.
Starting out as a one-day production workshop for women and non-binary producers in 2018, Cube Space now designs career development spaces for its music network to engage, develop, and play with their practice. With a focus on nurturing minority and local talent, it provides the tools to stimulate creative expression and build sustainable careers in music. Remaining fluid in its approach, and constantly responding to the needs of its community, Cube Space works to center participants’ well-being, widen their industry experiences, and strengthen their networks. Its popular music production camps have become places of camaraderie and solidarity for talents who have been significantly underrepresented within the music industry.
Based out of Scotland, Spit it Out is an award-winning organisation focused on bringing to light topics that are not spoken about due to the structural inequality of our society, through collaborating in a variety of creative and artistic mediums. The organisation has been recognised by the major Scottish funding bodies and has a series of partnerships that show the reputation of the institution. The multi-approach (festival, podcast, workshops, creative events, community gatherings...) to all the work they do is founded in the provision of education, open discussion and support on these subjects often portrayed as taboo in mainstream media. The organisation believes that by providing means for those from queer and LGBTQIA+ communities, BIPoC communities, those of allabilities and means, femme-identifying and all other individuals at the intersection of all of these selves, they can create a safe and sustainable community for creativity and education that is available to all, crucially acting as a bridge between those already integrated into ostracised groups and those who find themselves in the majority.
The Need for Legacy has an impressive list of collaborations in spite of a very young history. It also tackles an artistic domain (theatre) that is not generally used for underrepresented communities and social change. The Need for Legacy Foundation (NFL) is working on raising awareness about BIPOC makers by making a history visible that is in danger of disappearing from the archives. BIPOC makers are underrepresented and have to be made visible permanently. By writing an inclusive history, NFL designs a diverse and inclusive future for the Dutch theatre scene. The gain of the activities will circulate directly into the community to enhance the artistic development of their members on the one hand and to do justice to the past by rehabilitating forgotten BIPOC makers and actors. To account for our shared future, there is a community-driven need to include the now-forgotten stories of our past.
AFIELD is an international network of cultural changemakers from 28 countries, facilitating mutual support and collaboration. Based on an annual fellowship, it supports artists and cultural practitioners who have initiated social projects, catalyzing change and empowering their communities in long-term and tangible ways. As well as fellowships, AFIELD provides resources in the form of discussions, mutual aid, incubation, and community building to help artists deepen and strengthen their work. Its goal is to enable discourse, theory, and the development of infrastructures for socially engaged practice through an expanding set of examples of practice “in action”.
Jail Time Records implements art programs (music and visual arts) in prisons, promoting creative talent to further the social reinsertion of prisoners. The organization makes a direct and positive impact with limited resources—regular artistic activities are now taking place inside prisons, in particular in Douala, Cameroon, where the organization built the first recording studio inside an African jail. The mission is to scout, nourish, and support talent in the art field within marginalized communities, with a focus on finding creative solutions to promote the social reinsertion of incarcerated men, women, and minors.
shado (See.Hear.Act.Do) is a lived-experience led community of artists, activists and journalists united in the fight for social justice. The organisation believes those with lived experience of an issue or injustice are best placed to advocate for meaningful change within that space. Shado exists to disrupt, diversify and decolonise the current arts and media landscape through amplifying the voices of people on the frontline of social change. Through connecting journalists, activists and artists across borders through collaboration, some of the global issues are covered from first-hand perspectives and include: climate justice, migration, intersectional feminism, racial justice and LGBTQI+ rights. By commissioning creatives with lived experience, the organisation aims to create a “trickle up” process of culture-led system change to disrupt power imbalances in the coverage of global issues.