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Image. Unapologetic Coughing, Youngsook Choi,
Raven Row 2020, in support of Asia-Art-Activism. Photo Credit: Nurri Kim


Ahreum Woo

Ahreum Woo works, researches, and writes on contemporary art. Her texts are situated at the boundary between critique and creation as she explores the artistic languages of artists and artwork. 

Her on-going research proposes a hypothesis of a ‘Sustainable Creative Ecosystem’-the system founded and based on the knowledge exchange and artistic practice. She collects the new invention and its combination in the ‘creative work’ module, as well as different layers of stories where artists meet industry/society. She has written numerous works of criticism and artist analysis and worked for art magazine, the national Theater Company of Korea, K’arts studio and ZER01NE, the open innovation platform belonging to Hyundai Motors Group. 

Hwa Young Jung

is a socially engaged artist who works with people to co-create projects, usually games and play to explore social issues. She tends to work in public spaces, using familiar ‘found formats’ to encapsulate the work created with collaborators – board game, card game, murder mystery game, D&D, tea towel, Improv Night, Sports Day…

Based in the Northwest of England she has been involved in producing work with a range of people (Young People in libraries, social care workers, freshwater biologists, criminologists, men on probation) and organisations (FACT Liverpool, International Slavery Musuem, Howard League for Penal Reform, Metal Cultures, Lancaster University, Liverpool John Moores Univeristy) for close to 10 years.

Youngju Kim

is a game designer based in Seoul/Cologne. Her practice exists across video games, interactive installation, and interactive storytelling utilizing social media. She designs and delivers game-making workshops and teaches at Cologne Game Lab and Korea National University of Art. She is a co-founder of a game studio, Loopntale. 

Alexis Maxwell

I am a creative artist and performer based in St. Helens. I tackle the subject of identity through work that is both playful and vulnerable, drawing inspiration from the communities around me. My projects are often unapologetic in their boldness; blending art, technology and text into a multi-layered experience that questions our way of life. As someone of mixed heritage, hailing from the LGBTQIA+ community, I seek to embrace the fluidity of race, culture and sexuality in politically charged performances that champion the basic human right of existing without judgment.

Anja Kanngieser

AM Kanngieser

is a disabled writer, researcher and artist based in Naarm/ Melbourne, Australia. Their work looks at how listening practices can help us build better and more reciprocal relations to the world and to each other. They are particularly focused on how listening can support anti-racist and anti-colonial organising within environmental justice. Their audio work has been featured on Documenta 14 Radio, BBC 3, ABC Radio National, The Natural History Museum London, Arts Centre Melbourne, Radio Reina Sophia, and QAGOMA. They have facilitated sound events with Live Art Development Agency and Sound and Music.


Bamanya Brian

is a creative, artist, innovator, experimental musician and activist from Uganda. His work in innovation has taken him to Germany, France, India and other places. On the onset of Covid 19 in Uganda, Bamanya set out to make and demonstrate a low cost DIY sanitizer/disinfectant that can be easily made with locally available materials within low income communities.

Bella (with Selina Thompson)

Selina is an artist and writer whose work has been shown and praised internationally. Her practice is intimate, political and participatory with a strong emphasis on public engagement, which leads to provocative and highly visual work that seeks to connect with those historically excluded by the arts.

Selina’s work is currently focused on the politics of marginalisation, and how this comes to define our bodies, relationships and environments. She has made work for pubs, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres, including BBC Radio, the National Theatre Studio and The National Theatre of Scotland as well as theatres across the UK, Europe, Brazil, North America and Australia.

Selina has been described as ‘a force of nature’ (The Stage) and ‘an inspiration’ (The Independent). She was featured in The Stage 100 Most Influential Leaders 2018, awarded the Forced Entertainment Award in 2019, and her work Salt was named one of the riskiest of the century by BBC Front Row in 2020.

Bella is Selina’s cat, or Selina is Bella’s human.

Black Power Naps

is a sculptural installation, vibrational device and curatorial initiative that reclaims laziness and idleness as power. Departing from historical records that show that deliberate fragmentation of restorative sleep patterns were used to subjugate and extract labor from enslaved people, we have realised that this extraction has not stopped, it has only morphed.
A state of constant fatigue is still used to break our will. This “sleep gap” shows that there are front lines in our bedrooms as well as the streets: deficit of sleep and lack of free time for some is the building block of the “free world”.  After learning who benefits most from restful sleep and down time, we are creating interactive surfaces for a playful approach to investigate and practice deliberate energetic repair.
As Afro Latinx artists, we believe that reparation must come from the institution under many shapes, one of them being the redistribution of rest, relaxation, and down times.

Fannie Sosa

is an internationally applauded, award-winning, interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and activist cued up to recieve their doctorate degree in Gender and Social Science at Lille 3 University in 2019. Their Afro-diasporic and Indigenous ancestry has informed their many years of research, performances, and teachings. Sosa’s work focuses on developing pleasurable methodologies using vibrational and sonic therapy, movement practices that liberate the core, and transformational social justice-centered publications. Their performance work has been produced by Tate Modern, Matadero Madrid, and Wiener Festwochen. Sosa’s current artistic projects include Black Power Naps, Pleasure is Power, Consent Improvisation, and screen writing a new television series.

Navild Acosta

is a multi-award-winning and internationally acclaimed multi-media artist and activist. His intersectional identities as non-binary, transgender, queer, and Afro-Latinx have continuously inspired his community-based work. His performance work has debuted in various institutions nationally and abroad, including Matadero Madrid, Tate Modern, Tanz im August, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Wiener Festwochen, David Roberts Arts Foundation, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Human Resources, MoMA PS1, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New Museum, and McGill University, among others.

Blink Dance Theatre

Delson has been working in theatre, dance and music for over 15 years. He has studied Performing Arts in Putney College of Art and City of Westminster College. He is Co-founder and Director of BLINK Dance Theatre and performed nationally and internationally with BLINK in productions such as FOUR CORNERS (2017) & GIRL MEETS BOY (2019). Delson was a 2018 Unlimited commissioned artist and created project PULL UP; a concept album and performative animation of his tracks which debuted in Romania and toured London and Oxford.  He recently starred in ‘It’s My Move’ a national tour in collaboration with Face Front Inclusive Theatre and co-directed ‘What’s Normal Anyway’ which toured London schools. Delson co-facilitates our weekly adult dance class and West London SEND school programme, as well as teaching regular freelance classes with BLINK across London. Alongside BLINK Delson is also a member of Amici Dance Theatre Company and is currently rehearsing for their upcoming show ONE WORLD: Wealth of the Common People. 

Vicki is a dancer and movement director specialising in inclusive practice. She studied Dance (BA) at Roehampton University. She is Co-founder and Director of BLINK Dance Theatre and currently oversees BLINK’s education programme and facilitates dance-theatre and specialist creative communication workshops across London working with children with complex needs and is happiest when directing wild and inclusive multisensory shows.She has performed with Union Dance Company in ‘Our Delight’ alongside the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and installation pieces at the National Portrait Gallery and The Barbican, with Amici Dance Theatre Company in the Liberty Festival, Big Dance and festivals in Germany and Brighton and in ‘It’s My Move’ with Face Front Inclusive Theatre. Vicki is a creative associate at Mousetrap Theatre Projects and is a lead practitioner for their SEND programmes and more recently Looked After young people, Young carers, and projects with VI children. Vicki currently oversees BLINK’s education programme and creates dance-theatre and specialist creative communication workshops across London working with children with complex needs and is happiest when directing wild and inclusive multisensory shows.

Bobby Baker

is an artist and activist acclaimed for producing radical work of outstanding quality across disciplines including performance, drawing and installation. Baker’s feminist practice champions intersectionality and expressly aims to focus on the undervalued and stigmatised aspects of women’s daily lives. During her four-decade career, Baker has been widely commissioned, including by 14-18 NOW, WOW – Women of the World Festival, LIFT, and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Baker’s exhibition Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me 1997-2008 premiered at the Wellcome Collection in 2009 and continues to tour nationally and internationally. The accompanying book of the same name won the MIND Book of the Year 2011. In 2019, a major retrospective of Baker’s work was held at La Casa Encendida, in Madrid. Baker holds an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Mary University London. She is Artistic Director of Daily Life Ltd.

Daily Life Ltd. was founded in 1995 to support the production and touring of Bobby Baker’s artworks. The charity focuses on the development and presentation of art projects that emphasise public engagement and advocacy for people experiencing adversity, including due to gender, race, health, disability or social circumstance. Daily Life Ltd. is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.

Cassie Thornton

Cassie Thornton

is an artist and activist from the US, currently living in Canada. She refers to herself as a feminist economist, a title that frames her work as that of a social scientist actively preparing for the economics of a future society that produces health and life without the tools that reproduce oppression— like money, police or prisons. Since before the 2008 financial collapse, Thornton has focused on researching and revealing the complex nature of debt through socially engaged art. She has produced large and small social projects and writings with activist and art organizations, festivals, conferences, and institutions including Transmediale, Bemis Center for the Arts, MoneyLab, Furtherfield Gallery, MayWorks-Halifax, Strike Debt, Headlands Center for the Arts, Cannonball Miami, Volta Fair in Basel, Mass Arts, PS-1, Brooklyn Museum, Flux Factory, Gallery 400 in Chicago, Southern Exposure, SFMoMA, EFA Project Space, and more. Her early research into the social and imaginal impact of financial debt systems makes her role as artist at educational and cultural institutions to be like that of an ethics accountant or janitorial shaman for the political economy (who delves into the closets to check on the ghosts that every institution keeps hidden). She is currently the co-director of the Re-Imagining Value Action Lab in Thunder Bay, an art and social center at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada.

Cecilia Fofo Ashaley

is a wife and mother from Accra, Ghana and has been living with Bipolar Affective Disorder since 2017. She works with BasicNeeds Ghana, a non-governmental organization, as a programme assistant and is a mental health advocate with Time to Change Global.

Esenam Abra Drah

is a passionate mental health advocate, speaker, writer, entrepreneur and YouTuber living in Accra, Ghana. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Ghana.

A committed Christian, she considers her faith as an important factor in her progress in her mental health journey after she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in August 2015. Esenam was fired from her teaching job in November 2019 after disclosing that she had a mental health condition. This negative experience fuelled in her a passion to tell the world about her lived experience via her YouTube Channel ‘All Things Bipolar Disorder’. 

Esenam began work as a mental health advocate as part of a project to end stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health in Ghana organised by Time to Change Global in partnership with Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and the Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) in March 2019. As a trained champion, Esenam has participated in many social contact events and speaking engagements in different locations using her lived experience to disseminate information and create mental health awareness.

Esenam is also writing a book titled “Life with The Invisible Suitcase” based on her mental health journey and road to recovery. She is an Executive member of Psychosocial Africa, a grassroots mental health support group in Ghana set up by and for people with lived experience of mental illness.

Dr Emma Young

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust and working in Newham Hospital A and E department. Emma will speak in a personal capacity. 

Fox Irving

Fox’s art is shaped by the liminal, precarious identity they inhabit as queer/femme/working class. With a playful, DIY approach informed by activist strategies and centering collaboration, Fox investigates how art can be used as a tool of empowerment by their own marginalised communities. They ask: what keeps people in place, what affords fluidity, and what kinds of assembly can be transformative?

Discouraged from studying art, Fox left school and trained instead as a nurse- to have a ‘proper’ job, a stable income, to create their own stability. Whilst working full-time, they went to night school to study art. They have received various awards including, Jerwood Arts Bursary for self defined professional development, Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, DIY Project Grant 2019 with LADA and Tate Liverpool. Heart of Glass’ Professional Development Opportunity for Women in the Arts Bursary Scheme and Metal’s Time and Space residency.

Hanna Kienzler

Dr. Hanna Kienzler

is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. An anthropologist with a long-standing interest in the field of global health she investigates how systemic violence, ethnic conflict, and complex emergencies, intersect with health and mental health outcomes. She conducts ethnographic research on the impact of war and trauma on women in Kosovo; on what it means for persons with mental health problems to live and participate in their respective communities in Palestine; and on humanitarian and mental health interventions in fragile states including Kosovo, Palestine and Nepal.

Prof. Rita Giacaman

is a professor of public health at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, occupied Palestinian territory. Founder of the Institute, she served as a committee member for the establishment of the Women’s Studies Institute at Birzeit University in 1993. As a researcher/practitioner, Rita was part of the 1980’s Palestinian social action, which led to the development of the Palestinian primary health care model. In the 1990s, she participated in building the Palestinian community based disability rehabilitation network.  She has chronicled the effects of Israeli military occupation on the life and health of Palestinians under occupation. Since 2000, she has been focusing on the impact of chronic war-like conditions and exposure to violence on the health and well-being of Palestinians, with an emphasis on psychosocial health among adolescents and young people; and the development of measures to assess health and well-being in conditions of protracted political violence. She has published extensively locally and internationally. Rita was awarded an Honorary PhD from LSE in 2011 for having made an “outstanding contribution to the increased understanding or appreciation of ‘the causes of things’…” She was also awarded the International Fellow of the Society for Research on Adolescence title in 2018 for her ‘internationally and culturally sensitive approach to the understanding of adolescence worldwide’, and awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree (honoris causa) from King’s College London, for her work which ‘has set a standard for the provision of health care in war and post-war contexts in the Middle East and globally,’ October 16, 2019.

Dr. Weeam Hammoudeh

is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health, where she is also the coordinator for the mental health unit. She holds a PhD and MA in Sociology from Brown University, and an MPH from Birzeit University. She has an academic interest in understanding how political and social transformations impact health, psychosocial wellbeing, and population processes, particularly in conflict areas; as well as how health systems and social institutions develop and shift in relation to political, economic, and structural factors.

Here are the full quotes from their research.

Jamal Gerald

Jamal is an artist based in Leeds, UK. His work is conversational, socially conscious, a celebration of individuality and focuses on identity and lived experiences. Jamal mostly makes the type of work that he wants to see, with the aim of taking up space as a Black queer person.
He has made work for poetry slams, films, parties, cafes and theatres. He was also a co-deviser and performer for Scottee’s critically acclaimed Putting Words in Your Mouth, which premiered at the Roundhouse in November 2016. In 2018, he was awarded Arts Council England’s Artists’ International Development Fund to do research in Trinidad and Tobago. Jamal’s work has also been shown at Kampnagel (Hamburg), SPILL Festival of Performance, Leeds Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and the Barbican.
Jess Thom

Jess Thom, founder of Touretteshero

Writer, artist and part time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome. Jess has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer and Disability Now. In 2012 she published Welcome to Biscuit Land – A Year In the Life of Touretteshero, with a foreword by Stephen Fry.

Jess has performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, DaDaFest, Unlimited Festival and Shambala. She gave her Broadcast from Biscuit Land as part of On Stage: Live from Television Centre on BBC4 in 2015. In 2018 her one-hour film Me, My Mouth and I was broadcast on BBC2.

In 2016 Jess took her award winning stage show Backstage in Biscuit Land on an extensive UK tour before taking it to the US, Bosnia, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. In the same year she received a Wellcome Engagement Fellowship became an Arts Council England Change Maker and received an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton

In 2017 Touretteshero hosted Adventures in Biscuit Land at Tate Modern as part of their Tate Exchange programme. In the same year Jess débuted her critically acclaimed performance of Samuel Beckett’s short play Not I as well as hosting and curating Brewing in the Basement at the Barbican Centre. In 2018 Jess took her stand-up show Stand Up, Sit Down, Roll Over to the US and Switzerland, hosted Heroes of the Imagination at Southbank’s Imagine Festival and Brewing in Battersea at Battersea Arts Centre. The year ended with Hacks for the Future, a residential theatre project for disabled young creatives in the highlands in association with National Theatre Scotland.    

Jess has spoken widely in the media about her life with Tourettes, including on Woman’s Hour, This Morning, and The Saturday Night Show in Ireland. She has given a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at the Royal Albert Hall and features in Annalisa is Awkward documentary on BBC Radio4.

Jess is a visual, performing, and participatory artist based in London. She graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2005. She has worked as an artist educator and workshop facilitator for Tate Galleries, The South London Gallery and The Chisenhale. Jess is committed to increasing opportunities that allow the experiences of people living with Tourettes Syndrome to be heard, and to ‘changing the world one tic at a time.’

Jesse Jones 

is a Dublin-based artist. Her practice crosses the media of film, performance and installation. Often working through collaborative structures, she explores how historical instances of communal culture may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences. Jones’ practice is multi-platform, working in film installation, performance and sculpture. Her recent work proposes a re-imagining of the relationship between the Law and the body through speculative feminism. 

 Using a form of expanded cinema she explores magical counter-narratives to the State drawn from suppressed archetypes and myth. She represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2017 with the project ” Tremble Tremble” who’s title is inspired by the 1970s Italian wages for housework movement, during which women chanted “Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate! (Tremble, tremble, the witches have returned!)”. 

 Jones’ work emerges from a rising social movement in Ireland which calls for a transformation of the historic relationship between the church and the state.  She is currently the inaugural artist in residency for the King’s Inn society of Ireland where is is researching the relationship between, Law, Testimony and performance. 

Recent solo exhibitions include a solo presentation at Guggenheim Bilbao and a five year commission for kunsthalle Gent. Her teaching practice runs parallel to her work as an artist, this practice is based on Sherkin Island Cork as a lecturer for TU Dublin School of Creative Arts.

Máirín de Burca 

(born 1938) is an Irish writer, journalist and activist. She is particularly well known in her role with Mary Anderson, of forcing a change in Irish law to enable women to serve on juries. De Burca was a founding member of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement in 1970. She was also a member of the Dublin Housing Action Committee, formed in May 1967, the Irish Voice on Vietnam, the Irish Anti-Apartheid movement, the Prisoner’s Rights Organisation and Right to Die Ireland. 

As an activist she has been jailed for 3 months (for her anti-Vietnam War activities where she took down the flag and burnt it) and fined (for her attacks on Richard Nixon‘s car during a visit to Ireland) during 1970. In 1971 the Contraceptive Train was organised by the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement. This was a train to Northern Ireland so that women could buy contraceptives and openly bring them back to the Republic. 

She has been involved in a legal case which changed Irish law and Ireland. The two litigants were represented in court by Mary Robinson and Donal Barrington. That case allowed for the Juries Act 1976 which now allows any Irish citizen aged 18 or over who is registered to vote in general elections to be involved in a jury. She lives in Marino in Dublin.  

Johanna Hedva

(yo-haw-nuh head-vuh) is a Korean-American writer, artist, musician, and astrologer, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Hedva’s practice cooks magic, necromancy, and divination together with mystical states of fury and ecstasy. There is always the body and its radical permeability, but the task is how to eclipse it, how to nebulize it, and how to cope when this inevitably fails. Ultimately, Hedva’s work, no matter the genre, is different kinds of writing, whether it’s words on a page, screaming in a room, or dragging a hand through water.

They are the author of the novel, On Hell (2018), which was named one of Dennis Cooper’s favorites of 2018. Their next book, Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain, is a collection of poems, essays, and performances that documents a decade of work from 2010-2020; it will be published by Sming Sming and Wolfman in September 2020. Their work has been shown at The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Performance Space New York, the LA Architecture and Design Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon. Hedva has written about the political and mystical capacities of Nine Inch Nails, Sunn O))), and Lightning Bolt; the legacy of Susan Sontag; Ancient Greek tragedies; and the revolutionary potential of illness. Their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, frieze, The White Review, Black Warrior Review, 3:AM, Art Practical, and is anthologized in GenderFail and Asian American Literary Review. Their essay Sick Woman Theory, published in 2016 in Mask, has been translated into six languages. Their album The Sun and the Moon was released in March 2019; two of its tracks were played on the moon. Since 2018, they’ve been touring Black Moon Lilith in Pisces in the 4th House, a doom metal guitar and voice performance influenced by Korean shamanist ritual.

Lois Weaver by Christa Holka

Lois Weaver

is an artist, activist and Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow for 2016-2018.  Lois was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW Theatre in NYC and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Recent performances include Unexploded Ordnances (2016-18); What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex (2015); and RUFF (2012). Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement include Long Tables, Porch Sittings, Care Cafes and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot.  Lois’s performance practice and history has been documented and illustrated in The Only Way Home Is Through the Show: Performance Works of Lois Weaver, eds. Lois Weaver and Jen Harvie, published in 2015 by Intellect and the Live Art Development Agency.

Martin O'Brien

Martin O’Brien

Martin is an artist, thinker, and zombie. He works across performance, writing and video art in order to examine what it means to be born with a life shortening disease. He is best known for his long durational solo performances and his collaborations with the infamous LA artist Sheree Rose. A book of documentation and writings about Martin, Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O’Brien was published in 2018 by the Live Art Development Agency. His performance work has been shown throughout the UK, Europe, US, and Canada. His most recent performance was at Tate Britain in February 2020 and his forthcoming work The Last Breath Society (Coughing Coffin) will be at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in October. Martin is currently lecturer in Performance at Queen Mary University of London.

Marjorie H Morgan

is an award winning playwright, director and producer based in Liverpool. Her works explore the theme of ‘Home,’ in particular historic and contemporary migration stories, giving voice to those marginalised in British society. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Kenneth Branagh Drama Writing Award for Let The Eat Cake, and has since undertaken playwright programmes at The Everyman Playhouse and SLATE.

As the writer-in-residence for the Liverpool Independents Biennial Marjorie wrote The Thin Red Line in 2018, which was performed at Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool as a response to Banu Cennetoğlu’s public arts installation The List. The script was constructed through verbatim words of the refugees and asylum seekers in Europe.

Supplementary to her theatre work Marjorie has also written articles and essays for a wide range of magazines on film, black LGBTQIA+ issues and borders, including The Guardian, gal-dem, red pepper, Black Ballad, ROOT-ed magazine and Cinema Femme.

In 2019 Marjorie was commissioned by Liverpool City Council to write, produce and direct a play to celebrate the Windrush Generation. This work, ‘Home From Home’ premiered in June 2019 to a sold out audience, it was also later filmed for inclusion in a documentary on Windrush Women.

For her Time and Space residency with Metal Culture Liverpool (2019-20), Marjorie was developing and workshopping a programme of plays with members of the refugee and migrant communities in Liverpool, and actors and directors, this was scheduled for a performance in June 2020 for the Refugee Week until the pandemic caused a global lockdown.

Marjorie continues to write and create plays for performance on film and radio. A recent contribution was a short film made with a commission from Northern Broadsides Theatre: 10° of Separation

Migrants in Culture

A network of migrant cultural workers organising for a cultural sector that is accountable to migrants, people of colour and all others impacted by unjust immigration policies, as part of a wider UK migrant movement against Hostile Environment Policy. In the last year, we have surveyed the cultural sector to understand the impact of the Hostile Environment Policy on the making of culture, have brought together over 100 migrant workers, organisers and allies to share strategies as part of an Activation Day – Migrants Make Culture, and are now embarking on the question – What does a Culture New Deal look like if it was led by communities of colour, diaspora, disability, queer folk and the working class? 

Contribute your knowledge to the New Culture Deal project

Neil Bartlett

Neil Bartlett

Since starting his career as an artist during the  first wave of the UK AIDS epidemic,  Neil Bartlett has created a distinctive and highly personal body of work, one which has consistently challenged accepted ideas of what a queer artist can or should get up to in this country. He works as a director, author and performer –  but not necessarily in that order – and has worked  everywhere from the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to the National Theatre. Recent highlights  in his CV include the 30th anniversary re-issue of his first novel, READY TO CATCH HIM SHOULD HE FALL; solo performances at Tate Britain and in HMP Reading ;  and – at the other end of the scale – his massive live-streamed theatre and radio event TWENTY FOUR HOURS OF PEACE, a radical act of testimony to the work of peace which since its first performance during the day and night of  Remembrance Sunday 2019 has achieved an online audience of over half a million people. You can find out more about Neil’s work – and contact him

No White Saviors

Alaso Olivia

As a Ugandan Social Worker born and raised in Jinja, Olivia has a passion for helping vulnerable populations and supporting community-driven initiatives. After years of working with various NGOs and seeing harm caused by western do-gooders, she has imagined a better way forward. Olivia is a Mum to Lebron James Jr. and to a husband who really enjoys basketball. Family, history, and identity are all very important to her and a main source of her motivation.

Kelsey Nielsen

When we refer to Kelsey as the “white savior in recovery” on the team, we are not kidding. It’s important to realize that this is an ongoing process. Her main role is holding herself and fellow white people accountable in a real way. Kelsey received both her bachelor’s and master’s in Social Work from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Lubega Wendy

A human rights activist and advocate by profession with a degree in ethics and human rights. A 27-year-old Ugandan, she is very passionate about social change that is justice driven with the human person as a focal point.

Sharon Nyanjura

When you run an NGO as a Ugandan, you see so many of the double standards that exist. Sharon has grown up around the white savior complex and, over time, has become increasingly vocal about the issues with it. As a Mum of two, completing her Masters abroad, running an NGO and a business in Uganda, she has very limited time but remains in support of the work NWS is doing. Sharon was very much a part of the early conversations and forming of NWS.

Kat and Matilda


Kat Salas is a proud chicanx and member of the Apache Nation. Her practice seeks to explore the ways in which curating can be used to build platforms for intersectional conversations and take up space in academic or institutional settings. In her spare time, you can usually find her tattooing around Portland or collaborating on STROLL’s latest project!

Matilda Bickers has spent half her life in the sex industry and is much more afraid of the violence of poverty than the potential violence of sex work clients. She’s delighted and proud to have pulled off five years of art shows, but this show and all her work generally is only possible because of community support and a shared determination to make a better world. Thanks for being here and for sticking around five whole years!

Ursula Read

is an anthropologist and research associate in the department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. She has conducted research on experiences of mental health, human rights and social exclusion in Ghana for over a decade alongside researchers from Kintampo Health Research Centre and the University of Ghana.    

Xinhao Cheng

Xinhao Cheng

(b.1985, Yunnan, China) currently lives and works in Kunming, Yunnan. He received his Ph.D in Chemistry from Peking University in 2013. Focusing on his hometown in the Yunnan Province, Xinhao’s works are usually based on long-term field studies. With videos, installations, photographs and the presence of the author’s body, his works investigate the polyphonic relationships between logic, discussions, knowledge, and the part that nature, society, and history plays within them.

Youngsook Choi

is a London-based artist and researcher with a PhD in human geography. Youngsook’s practice relates to her subjective position as a woman, mother, and migrant of Korean Heritage, coming from a working-class background. Exploring Foucault’s concept of ‘political spirituality’, her works often develop narratives of ‘non-fiction fantasy’, a mixture of research evidence, mythology and performative instructions for audience participation. Youngsook’s works were shown in various institutions such as Barbican Centre, Milton Keynes Art Centre, and MK Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture. Currently, she is taking up the residency with Asia Art Activism at Raven Row.

Zwoisy Mears-Clarke

is a choreographer of the encounter. He uses the expanding potential of choreography to confront mechanisms of oppression, like racism, sexism, and ableism, that sabotage human interaction on both a structural and interpersonal level. Through dance, he desires to open encounters that might otherwise seem unreachable, creating opportunities to move differently with one another. His development as an artist has been guided largely by Mary Cochran, Anna Mülter, Joy Mariama Smith, Paula Chaves, Gabi Beier, and various Black feminist community leaders. Currently, he is based in Rösrath, Germany,