In the past three years I have combined my work in the arts sector with a lifelong commitment to human rights activism, through participatory arts projects. I have an MA in Applied Theatre (awarded Distinction) from Goldsmiths University. I am currently the National Touring Director for Raw Material, a youth arts charity based in Brixton, South London.
I have a particular interest in developing ‘open source’ models for creative arts projects that seek to benefit marginalised individuals and compromised communities. The models I’ve been working on to date include:
THIS IS REAL – a highly versatile and effective model that uses immersive theatre as an arts engagement stimulus for socially excluded young people.
SM:ART HUB:S – a model that facilitates the creation and sustainability of (a network of) marginalised young people’s local hubs, or societies, where creative projects are the focus of a social activity that renders its participants community and life skills.
IN/VISIBLE – a model that combines immersive theatre performance, open workshops and community showcase events. Commissioned by Raw Music and Media, it was first delivered in four cities in England in 2015. A follow up project is being delivered during 2017.
SHAFTED – a model that harnesses the creative resources of a community to devise and present a show that explores a real societal concern, as well as celebrating community empowerment. It was developed through co-writing and directing a cabaret show about living with HIV for the ARCHES Live Festival in Glasgow in 2014.
My participatory arts activities to date include:
Raw Roads: Imagine – an adapted version and a follow up of the successful touring project below (Artistic Director and Project Manager)
Raw Roads: Invisible – based on a new short play by rapper Potent Whisper, this is a national touring project designed to get young people to create artistic responses to in/visibilty, their own as well as others. It is a Raw Material project, supported by Arts Council England. (Artistic Director & Project Manager)
Theatre Group – 12 weekly workshops for and with the clients of the homelessness charity The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields (Co-deviser and Facilitator)
Shafted?! – a cabaret/performance/variety show about the realities of life with HIV in the UK. Premièred as part of the Arches LIVE Festival, Glasgow. Info about the show (Dramaturg/Co-writer/Director)
In 1995 I co-founded Positive Nation, the first UK-wide monthly magazine for, of and by the HIV/Aids community. I worked as designer and producer on issues 1-50, until 1999.
Since 2012, I have become increasingly engaged in collaborating with visual artists. These include:
Collectif EnSuite – working with French set-designer and photographer Claire Pasquier, we are developing multidisciplinary creative projects for live and online audiences.
An Infinite Centre – a performance work by Jack Tan in relation to the idea of gallery as cave, to accompany Flora Parrott’s exhibition Fixed Position, Tintype Contemporary Art gallery (March 2014).
Before You Know It – a video piece by visual artist Sharon Whyte; shown at Unperforming, Departure Foundation, London (2013) and online at http://vimeo.com/68493735
Speak To The Eye – an installation by visual artist Sharon Whyte; shown at Thought Machines, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Vienna and Show 2013, Royal College of Art, London (2013).
The Bird – an installation by photographer Michal Baror; shown at Show 2013, Royal College of Art, London and online at http://www.michalbaror.com/thebird/
It’s Lovely Isn’t It? – a video piece by visual artists Louise Ashcroft and Noga Inbar; shown at Show 2013, Royal College of Art, London and online at http://vimeo.com/68528656
I Think The Problem… a performance in 42 parts by The Hut Project, Gallery Vela, London (August 2012).