15 UK creatives travel to Europe to make international links

Discover which practitioners have been awarded bursaries to join the British Council delegation at IETM Munich

IETM Porto Group photo 3Delegation of bursary winners and British Council staff at IETM Porto. Photo: Clara Giraud.

We’re thrilled to announce the 15 bursary winners who will attend IETM Munich this November. IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting) is a major international networking event, with over 500 members, bringing together artists, producers and programmers from across the world. Its events are a great opportunity to meet international colleagues and to gain a broader understanding of the global opportunities and challenges for performing arts in the 21st century.

The British Council offers bursaries to disabled, d/Deaf and minority ethnic artists in the UK to attend the conference. This forms part of our mission to make sure Britain is reflected in all its diversity on the world stage. We want a wide range of UK artists to benefit from the international connections the network offers, and we think IETM is strengthened when it is truly representative of Europe's artists.

"We are delighted to offer this opportunity for artists to build new international connections" says Steven Brett, our Theatre and Dance Programme Manager who works with the EU and the Americas. "We know that a diverse group of UK artists will be a real asset to the discussions that will arise."

Ben Evans, our Head of Arts and Disability for the EU adds: "There are very real barriers which prevent professionals from underrepresented groups from accessing international networks, which means they are at a disadvantage in getting to know what works internationally and how best to build connections. Our bursaries go a small way to help remove some of these barriers.”

"There are very real barriers which prevent professionals from underrepresented groups from accessing international networks"

IETM Munich will explore what Europe means today. Is it a cultural entity? A geographical one? What does the EU’s motto "United in Diversity" mean today?

We are an associate member of IETM and there will be friendly faces from the British Council on hand for the bursary recipients. We provide support: making introductions, steering the group through events and helping everyone to make the most of the experience. We also offer access support for bursary recipients, supported by our partners in this programme, Unlimited.

The next IETM will be at a different location in Europe in March 2019. We will run another open call through our newsletter and social media to award bursaries to artists and producers from underrepresented groups in the UK.


The winners who will attend IETM Munich, November 2018 are: 


Anna Alvarez — a UK/Argentinean movement artist and choreographer based in London and Brighton. She works in contemporary dance, inclusive practice, tango and circus.

Rachel Bagshaw — a theatre director and maker based in London. She makes theatre which explores the world through sound and her own lived experience as a disabled woman.

Jo Bannon — a live artist and performance maker whose work attempts to unpick the ways we look, hear and sense our immediate environment in order to rethink. She is a founder member of artist collective Residence.

Jamie Beddard — Co-Artistic Director of Diverse City and Lead Artist in Extraordinary Bodies, as well as an Agent for Change at the New Wolsey Theatre. As a performer, he recently played the title role in The Elephant Man at Bristol Old Vic.

Jonny Cotsen — a freelance performance artist and access consultant based in Wales. He is currently an artist in residence with Pervasive Media Studio at The Watershed and is a trustee with Disability Arts Cymru.

Jackie Hagan — a working class, queer, amputee. As a lauded spoken word artist and playwright, she creates in audiences empathy for the vilified using poetic comedy and warmth.

Baraa Halabieh — a Syrian actor and Associate Producer at PSYCHEdelight, a London-based collective that creates socially engaged theatre and provides workshops as a platform for expression and integration. Halabieh is a Refugee Rights Campaigner and Ambassador for Refugee Week 2018.

Julie McNamara — a playwright and Artistic Director of Vital Xposure, a disability-led theatre company. She is an Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne and co-founder of the London Disability Film Festival. As both an artist and activist, she is a lead voice within disability arts on international stages.

Chino Odimba — a playwright, poet and theatre director. She is a winner of the 2018 Sonia Friedman Production Award for a new play for Talawa Theatre, and is currently Writer-In-Residence at Northumbria University's Live Theatre.

Mariem Omari— an activist, playwright and performer who has worked across the Middle East and North Africa, promoting the stories of the 'voiceless'. She is Artistic Director of Bijli, a company in residence at the National Theatre of Scotland.

Nina Segal — a playwright whose work has been produced by Bush Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, New Ohio (New York), Teatro Bell (Rome), Yard Theatre and Gate Theatre. She's a recipient of a HighTide First commission and a Resident Artist at the Bush Theatre.

Naomi Sumner Chan — a Manchester based playwright, poet, theatre-maker and Director of Brush Stroke Order. Her work explores questions relating to religion, freedom of speech, complex identity and belonging.

Tim Wheeler — a freelance theatre-maker, arts consultant, teacher and co-founder of Mind the Gap. He's currently working on 'unsettled communities', an international programme looking at culture born out of displacement.

Sophie Woolley a writer, performer and theatre-maker from London and a 2018–19 Clore Fellow. Her latest play Augmented won an Unlimited research and development award and the New Wolsey Pulse Festival Suitcase Prize.

Jih-Wen Yeh — a Taiwanese born, UK-based producer, Co-Producer for the Taiwan Season platform at the Edinburgh Fringe, and founder of Step Out Arts. She is interested in developing talented choreographic artists whose practice involves social engagement.


Get involved: 

Missed out this time? We will announce a new opportunity to apply for bursaries to attend the next big IETM meeting in the next few months. Check back on this website, subscribe to our subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us @UKTheatreDance on Twitter to hear more.  


Find out more:


> Read about Sophie Woolley's experience at IETM Porto in April 2018

> Check out Unlimited's case study about IETM Brussels in November 2017

> Discover Sara dos Santos's experience of IETM Porto in April 2018

> See Afshan D'souza-Lodhi's blog about IETM Amsterdam

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

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