Announcing the bursary winners off to network in Brussels

Tags: Festivals Opportunity

Find out which artists and producers have been awarded bursaries to attend IETM Brussels, a major performing arts networking event

IETMArtist Laura Dajao (pictured right) was an IETM bursary winner in 2016. Photograph: Jonathan Littlejohn


In partnership with Unlimited we have awarded 18 bursaries to BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic), d/Deaf and disabled artists and producers to attend IETM Brussels — an important international performing arts networking event from 23—26 November 2017.

This is the fourth time the British Council has helped under-represented groups from the UK to attend IETM, as part of our mission to represent Britain in all its diversity.

IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting) is a network of over five hundred performing arts organisations and individuals working in contemporary performance in Europe and all over the world. IETM Brussels will look at populism and exclusion — focusing on how the arts sector can counter populist rhetoric and break down an 'us against them' narrative.

"We are delighted to offer this opportunity for BAME artists to foster new international connections" says Steven Brett, our Theatre and Dance Programme Manager who works with the EU and the Americas. "Too often BAME practitioners have fewer opportunities than others to access international networks. We're offering these bursaries to help redress the balance. It feels especially appropriate for UK-based BAME artists to engage with, and contribute to conversations about populism and exclusion at the current time."

"It's a vital part of our work to make sure the UK performing arts sector truly reflects the diversity of our society"

Ben Evans, our Head of Arts & Disability for the EU adds, "At the British Council, it’s a vital part of our work to make sure the UK performing arts sector truly reflects the diversity of our society. There are very real barriers which prevent d/Deaf and disabled professionals from accessing international networks, and this means they are at a disadvantage in getting to know what works internationally and how best to build connections. These bursaries go a small way to help remove some of these barriers.”

The winners who will attend IETM Brussels, November 2017 are: 

Anisa Haghdadi — a social entrepreneur, creative producer and Founder & CEO of Beatfreeks Collective — a group that fuels conversations and concepts that dare people to challenge the world.

Anthony Simpson-Pike  a writer, director and performer whose work focuses on questions of politics, identity and form. He is the Associate Director at the Gate Theatre.

Amanda Roberts — a producer who explores arts and the environment to sustain diverse practice. She currently works with PunchACE Dance & Music, and Heritage Open Days Festival.

Freddie Opoku-Addaie  a London-born/based international choreographer, performer and lecturer who was partly raised in Ghana. He is Guest Programmer at Dance Umbrella International Festival until 2019 where he curated Out of The System for the 2017 festival.

Howl Yuan (Cheng Po Yuan) — a Taiwanese, UK-based performance artist. He makes work that responds to his identity in social, political and cultural contexts. His work is presented in festivals and venues across the UK and Taiwan.

Javaad Alipoor  a writer, director and occasional performer. He is Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres and Artistic Director of Northern Lines — a company he founded to work with people who don't usually engage with theatre.

Rhea Lewis — co-founder of Glasgow based artist collective Project-X, which champions dances of the African Diaspora in Scotland. Rhea collaborates with artists and communities to create socially-engaged cross art-form creative projects and performances.

Season Butler — a writer, performer, dramaturg and artist enabler who uses performance to experiment with and expound on the relationship between ideology, lived experience and social relations.

Shagufta Kasour an award-winning artist and poet who was longlisted for the inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. She is the founder of the Yoni-verse, a UK spoken word collective that supports and gives a platform for South Asian female voices.

Victor Fung — Artistic Director and Choreographer of Victor Fung Dance. He is also a Clore Fellow 16/17, Shadow Trustee of Hofesh Shechter Company, and doctoral researcher at Middlesex University in collaboration with Dance4.

Chas De Swiet — an artist and professional arts manager who works with sound and music and has worked for a number of organisations including London Disability Arts Forum, Mental Health Media and the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company.

Gareth Cutter — a London-based artist with a background in Live Art, music and writing. He makes work about bodies, sex, queerness and autobiography.

Ian Johnston — a dancer, actor and performer who has held leading roles in contemporary performances by Sense Scotland, as well as collaborating with organisations such as Dance Ihayami, Artform and Indepen-Dance.

Ramesh Meyyappan — a Glasgow-based Singaporean, he 
is a theatre creator who develops performances using an eclectic mix of visual and physical theatre styles.

Sarah Pickthall — a consultant, producer and dramaturg who has worked in the UK and Japan as a movement practitioner and puppeteer.

Simon Startin — a freelance theatre-maker and activist who has worked with companies such as Graeae, Fittings, BBC, Channel 4, Royal Exchange Manchester.

Tim Wheeler — a performance maker, arts consultancy and teacher who makes inclusive performances and supports organisations to open up to disabled people as artists, audiences, employees and board members.

Vici Wreford-Sinnot  a dynamic professional disabled theatre director, who has worked in theatre and Disability Arts for 23 years. She is Artistic Director of Little Cog.


Missed out this time? The next IETM plenary meeting will be at a different location in Europe in April 2018. Check our website, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear of new opportunities.


Find out more:

> View IETM’s report on how we can preserve the diversity of the arts

> Read Keith Saha's blog about IETM Amsterdam in April 2016

> Ben Evans explains why our arts and disability programme is a priority in Europe

> Unlimited's Clara Giraud tells us what IETM is all about

> Find out more about IETM Brussels


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