12 UK creatives travel to Europe to make international links

Discover which UK practitioners have been awarded bursaries to attend a major international performing arts networking event in Croatia

talk1 Thomas ArranWhat did you have to leave at the door in order to show up today? Creative producer and founder of Sour Lemons, Sade Brown gives the opening keynote speech at IETM Hull in March 2019. Photo: Thomas Arran 

We're thrilled to announce the 12 artists who will travel to IETM Rijeka as part of the British Council delegation. IETM is a network for the contemporary performing arts with over 450 members from across the world. Members include arts organisations and individuals working in theatre, dance, circus, new media, live art, festivals and in research centres and institutional bodies. The IETM members run two plenary sessions a year in European cities that include debate, talks, pitches and networking alongside an artistic programme. The events are ideal for artists and producers who want to expand their careers internationally.

We award bursaries for artists and producers from underrepresented groups to attend IETM plenary events. This is the seventh time we have run this scheme, to make sure the diversity of the UK is represented in this international network. The bursary winners receive £500 each to contribute towards travel, accommodation, daily expenses and show tickets, as well as individual access support provided by our partners on this programme, Unlimited

"We are delighted to continue to offer this opportunity for artists and producers to build international connections into Europe and beyond," says Steven Brett, our Theatre and Dance Programme Manager who works with the EU and the Americas.

"We acknowledge that the representation of ethnic minority and D/deaf and disabled artists at events such as IETM does not always reflect the UK society as a whole. 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.”

The next IETM will be in Tromsø in Norway in 2020. We will run another open call to award bursaries to artists and producers from underrepresented groups in the UK. Make sure you're signed up to our newsletter to catch all of our opportunities.

"We are delighted to continue to offer this opportunity for artists and producers to build international connections into Europe and beyond"

The bursary winners for IETM Rijeka are:


Image of Akeim BuckAkeim Toussaint Buck


Akeim is a multifaceted performing artist born in Jamaica and raised in the UK. He seeks to create moving, thought provoking, accessible and organised projects. Since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Akeim has been involved in multiple cross disciplinary programmes with artists and communities from around the world.

His focus as a maker and collaborator is to combine expressive skills such as dance, writing, film, poetry, beatbox, singing and acting to create performances that tell stories and bring together diverse audiences. This focus can be seen in his autobiographical solo Windows Of Displacement.



Image of Byron VincentByron Vincent


Byron is a writer, performer, broadcaster and activist. He has worked as a writer, director and performer for companies including Royal Shakespeare Company and Battersea Arts Centre, and he was one of the BBC poetry season's New Talent choices. He is a passionate social activist with lived experience of issues around poverty and mental health. This has fed into his work writing and presenting documentaries for the BBC exploring the social problems arising out of poverty, ghettoization and mental ill health.

Byron is particularly interested in conversations around public engagement. He is a proud ambassador for mental health charities Rethink and Mental Health Foundation. His latest show Instagramming the Apocalypse is an exploration of our relationship with truth and anxiety.



Image of Caroline WardCaroline Ward


Caroline is a London based artist, designer and director. Her practice crosses moving image, performance and installation with a focus on post-human perspectives. She is co-Director and Founder of Squirrel Nation Studio and a Jerwood Fellow with Manchester International Festival. She was previously digital associate for The Space and an artist on the Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and Stuart Hall library artists' residency 2018. Commissions include Nature's Switch and Purring Chamber.

She is currently researching an essay, Care as Power, commissioned by Neuhaus which will inform a new work that uses thermodynamics as a lens to reconfigure human and nonhuman coexistence. 

> Follow Caroline on Twitter @noveltyshoe


Image of Chanje KundaChanje Kunda


Chanje is a poet, playwright and performance artist with an established international reputation. Poetry performances include features at The Royal Albert Hall, Calabash Literature Festival, Jamaica and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Chanje won the New Writing North Award in 2015 and was commissioned to produce content for the BBC. Her written work is included in literary journals and anthologies as well as a full length solo poetry collection.

As a performance artist she has presented work at the Southbank Centre, The National Arts Festival of South Africa 2016 and the Harare International Festival of the Arts Zimbabwe 2017. 


Image of Electra GouniElectra Gouni


Electra is a performing arts professional based in Scotland and of Greek origin, who has worked in the Scottish cultural sector for over 10 years. She has worked with several organisations including the Edinburgh Festivals, Edinburgh International Children's Theatre Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Creative Scotland, the City Council of Edinburgh and the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.

She has diverse arts management experience within the sector including roles in programming, fundraising, project management, event planning, ticketing and front of house.



Image of Madiha AnsariMadiha Ansari

Madiha is a writer, performer, Engagement Producer and Marketing Creative Change Maker with a special interest in developing South Asian engagement in the arts. As a co-founder of the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, she headed the first national theatre tour of Hum Bhi Hain, a digital content creation company in Pakistan. She recently set up the Cultural Ecology Project, which showcases, supports and creates mentorship pathways for South Asian Arts practitioners.

She is currently touring with LUNG Theatre's Trojan Horse as their Engagement Manager. As a mum of two young children, and with a background in special needs education, she is enthusiastic about developing innovative ways to deliver the arts to the most vulnerable members of society.


Image of Munotida ChiyangaMunotida Chiyanga


Munotida is a multidisciplinary artist creating work through direction and sound design. She has a master's in Theatre Arts and her practice investigates the balance between design and performance. Munotida has worked at venues such as; The Young Vic (with Tree), The Gate Theatre (with A Small Place), Pleasance Theatre (with Ali and Dahlia).

She has worked internationally, delivering masterclasses at Teatro India in Rome and Teatro di Akrai in Sicily. She has taken part in Creative Europe residencies in Serbia and produced work for China and South Korea as an artist on the 2019 YIYUAN TANG Museum & Foundation Artshake International 2019.


Image of Nima SeneNima Séne


Nima is a Glasgow based Berliner making interdisciplinary performance and film works. Their first solo show Beige B*tch, commissioned by Contact, Diverse Actions and Live Art UK was premiered at the Take Me Somewhere festival and is now open to touring – first stop Frascati Issues: To Voice festival in Amsterdam.

They have performed with Brownton Abbey, taken part in the Performing Borders projects and worked with companies including The Work Room, Untitled Projects, Tramway and Berliner Festspiele.

> Follow Nima on Instagram @beigebiitch
> Photo: Sekai Machache


Image of Priya MistryPriya Mistry


Priya, whatsthebigmistry, is a multidisciplinary artist, socially engaged practitioner, creative producer, mentor and consultant. Her practice straddles performance, dance, live and visual art – making provocations and adding to the discourse in the fields of mental health, invisible disability, identity, POC, LGBTQ and feminist politics. Her work deconstructs language and explores sensory/wordless vocabularies.

Priya is an Associate Artists with the In Good Company consortium, New Art Exchange, MK Gallery and an Artist Member at East Side Projects and Chisenhale Dance Space. She is a recipient Arts Council England's Developing your Creative Practice grant that she is using for international research, travel and development. Current projects and collaborations include Tropical Awkward Bastard, Love, Lament & Psycho Girlfriend, Artist is Absent and Intimate Conversations with Furniture.

>Follow Priya on Facebook
>Follow Priya on Instagram @whatsthebigmistry
>Follow Priya on Twitter @whatsthebigmist


Image of Sarah HopfingerSarah Hopfinger


Sarah is an artist-academic and lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her practice sits between live art, contemporary performance and choreography. Her performance and research engages with ecological questions and ideas. She devises dance performance with diverse collaborators including disabled and non-disabled children and adults, trained and non-trained performers. Her current project Ecologies of Pain, draws on her own experience of chronic pain and involves collaboration with people living with chronic pain – exploring how living with pain can offer insights about how to live with and relate to wider ecological pain. The work premiers in Glasgow in May 2020.

Her work has been presented in the UK and internationally including commissions from Battersea Arts Centre, South London Gallery, Imaginate and Tramway. Her academic work includes peer-reviewed papers published in performance journals including Performance Research and Research in Drama Education.


Image of Sonny NwachukwuSonny Nwachukwu


Sonny is a writer and dancer and uses these disciplines to create what he calls a Choreopoem – a blend of spoken word, movement and music, to create his work. He has been commissioned by Unlimited to deliver Circles: A Choreopoem.

Sonny has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and uses themes from his studies – such as attachment styles, generational trauma and looking into the intersectionality of being black and LGBTQ+ to inform his work. He is currently on the Soho Theatre Writers Lab 2019 and is working on his first solo Triple Threat.

> Follow Sonny on Twitter @SJ_nwa


Image of Zhui Ning ChangZhui Ning Chang


Zhui Ning is a theatre director, producer and maker based in London. She is interested in stories that explore social issues in sharp and innovative ways, especially in relation to topics on shifting communities, speculative futures, and speaking across boundaries. Zhui Ning is a co-founder of Lazy Native, which platforms Southeast Asian work on international stages. She is also an Associate Artist at Flux Theatre and Connections Producer at Global Voices Theatre.

Her directing credits include TangoBin Juice  and Inside Voices  – which won the Origins Award for Outstanding New Work at the VAULT festival 2019.


> Follow Zhui on Twitter @witchywonderer



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