Introducing our Factory International 2024 Fellows!

We're delighted to welcome a range of creatives to work with us over the next year and beyond.

Get to know our wonderful fellows and their work below.

Elkanah Wilder

I’m extremely delighted to be chosen as a Factory International Fellow! Being able to access such a wealth of passionate people in such a range of artistic disciplines makes me feel very blessed to be part of the 2024 cohort.

Elkanah Wilder is a Black trans masculine poet and multidisciplinary creative from Yorkshire. Their passion is rooted in poetry as a transformative outlet to archive life and the shifting paradigms of identity. Their work channels the confessional, seeks to speak the unspoken, and interrogates sociopolitical oppressions from a queer and disabled lens.

Elkanah is preoccupied by what it means to care, to love and to resist while surviving. Recently they have been mulling over kink as a vehicle of desire, empowerment and reclamation for disabled people. He is a current cohort member of the Poets of Colour Incubator - a joint collaboration between Words of Colour and Manchester Poetry Library. 

Elkanah seeks to explore more mediums to create blended art, particularly combining soundscapes and hiphop with spoken word; using working-class and disabled archives to create verbatim theatre; and, combining audio with visual mediums to create sensory-heavy interactive art installations.

Headshot of Elkanah Wilder on a brown background
Headshot of flematu sessay on a white background

flematu sessay

In joining the Factory Fellowship, I look forward to collaborating with my peers and continuing to advance my creative practice with the support of the renowned team at Factory International. To do so in my hometown of Manchester adds an extra layer of excitement to this experience!

flematu sessay is a British-Sierra Leonean interdisciplinary artist who develops creative projects through a process that encompasses art, architecture and design.

Returning to her home city of Manchester in 2022 after years working in architecture across the UK and internationally, flematu founded public tactics – a creative studio with a practice driven by research and collaboration with other creative practitioners and diverse communities.

flematu has long been interested in how we can challenge spatial norms and transform the spaces we inhabit. Her work seeks to empower people to shape their environments, infusing their personal narratives and breathing life into the often-overlooked moments of the everyday.


Gemma Lees

I’m delighted to be a Factory Fellow as this venue already has and will have an extraordinary impact on the North West, UK and International art scenes and I’m so excited to be a part of it!

Gemma Lees is a Romany Gypsy, disabled and neurodiverse fine artist, performance poet, actor, facilitator, journalist and theatre-maker from Bury, Lancashire. In 2023 she worked with The Turnpike Gallery, Told By An Idiot, The Vegetarian Society magazine, Naked Productions, BEAM2023, Graeae Theatre Company, Haphazard Festival, BBC Radio Manchester, The Lowry Cultural Comedy Tours, Theatre Deli and CRIPtic.

She’s a core team member of Girl Gang Manchester and creator and facilitator of their monthly writer’s group, ‘Write Here, Right Now’, her poetry chapbook, 1000 Years will be published by Written Off in February 2025, she’s in the DANC/ Triple C focus group for ‘People Who Experience Racism’ and she’s on both the Arts and Homelessness International Associate Leadership and Traveller’s Times TT Vision programmes.

Headshot of Gemma Lees wearing a purple top
Headshot of Maya Chowdhry on a turquoise background

Maya Chowdhry

The fellowship for me is travelling to new dimensions accompanied by a group of artists willing the change that being inside art offers.

Maya Chowdhry is a multidisciplinary artist and writer, she creates immersive and democratic experiences for audiences/participants, leaning into her past work in radio, audiowalks and live art. Her practice interrogates themes such as food sovereignty and climate justice.

Her most recent works are Waves, an interactive sound experience exhibited at Salford Museum and Art Gallery in 2023, which makes audible the transformation of Salfords’ waterways in relation to climate change. Galvanising Change, a participatory live art piece examining climate anxiety, Hulme Community Garden Centre 2021, created as part of Net//work Residency with The British Council and Digital Art Studios. You Sound Thirsty, a sonic commingling created in a time of planetary limits, presented at Emergency Live Art Festival, Contact 2022. What’s Eating Paradox, at Turnpike Gallery in 2023 as part of Climate, Hope, Emergency, uses projection mapping to explore the journey our food has taken from seed to field to table illuminating issues of food justice.

She is currently exploring biodata sonification, turning brainwaves into melodies, and plant waves into soundwaves – seeking to find a shared language between the human and the more-than-human.


Seren Marimba

I’m excited to join this community of incredible artists and get insight into the innovative minds and creative spaces that make up Factory International.

Seren Marimba is a Mancunian performance artist and maker/ director. She creates interdisciplinary, predominately movement based work.

After training in Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre at Circomedia, she spent her early career performing around the UK and internationally with an array of exciting contemporary circus companies and festivals. She later studied MA Contemporary Performance at MMU allowing her to expand her practice and to devise her own work both collaboratively and as a solo artist.

Seren uses culture to enrich her works, being drawn to the bold and beautiful characters she meets. Specifically among the marginalised or alternative communities she connects with.

Headshot of Seren Marimba wearing a black and white top
Headshot of Tommy Ryoma Hannaway

Tommy Ryoma Hannaway

Being a part of the Fellowship 2024 is an incredibly exciting opportunity to expand the scale and scope of my audio visual work and gain insight into how the expansive work of FI and MIF comes together.

Tommy Ryoma Hannaway is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator from Bury, Greater Manchester.

Their practice operates as a network of check-points, references, and poor/convivial knowledge, exploring the semiotics of class and gender performance through internet cultures, and their relation to the geographical knowledge systems of the North West.

Through this research, they aim to form a narrative performance across their work, inspired by the post-modern aesthetics of bootlegging and deconstructed club music.

An alumnus of The Radical Film school 2023, they have exhibited film and installation work in London, Manchester, Salford and Boston, and co-run London based label Double Take Records.  

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