Six of the best

Thanks to our new creative development scheme, six artists are about to go behind the scenes to experience how MIF projects are put together.


At the start of 2016, we welcomed 100 local artists to an open evening at the MIF offices. When we asked how they’d like to forge stronger links with the Festival, many of these artists were keen on joining a creative mentoring scheme that takes them behind the scenes on MIF projects while helping them develop their own skills and ideas.

A year later, we’re delighted to welcome our first six Jerwood Creative Fellows to a new creative development programme designed to do exactly that. Over the next few months, these six Greater Manchester-based artists will each be joining the creative team for an MIF17 project. They’ll be learning at close quarters how work is created in our unique Festival environment, with a focus on the kind of cross-artform collaboration that’s become an MIF trademark.

‘It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with an internationally renowned artist,’ said Simon Bray, a photographer who’ll be shadowing Hong Kong artist Samson Young as he tells One of Two Stories, or Both. ‘Where else would you get the chance to observe so closely the creation process of some of the most innovative artistic projects being made this year? I’ve got a feeling I’m going to learn an awful lot over the next few months.’

Along with Simon, the other five Jerwood Creative Fellows are:

  • Hafsah Aneela Bashir, a poet and spoken word artist who’ll be helping Theatre-Rites prepare for The Welcoming Party
  • Chanje Kunda, a poet, playwright and performance artist who’ll be travelling to Fatherland
  • Amy Lawrence, a live and visual artist who’ll be going behind the scenes with Boris Charmatz as he creates 10000 Gestures
  • Erinma Ochu, a writer and producer who’ll be joining Yael Bartana and her team as they ask What if Women Ruled the World?
  • Mahboobeh Rajabi, a digital artist, animator, filmmaker and theatre director who’ll be testing out her Party Skills for the End of the World

The group will be sharing their learning with Manchester’s creative community at a series of networking events, part of MIF’s new programme supporting creative development before, during and after the Festival. And they’ll also be sharing it with you on this blog – check back here over the next few months to read about our six Jerwood Creative Fellows’ journeys to MIF17.


The Jerwood Creative Fellowships are made possible by the generous support of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

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