We've offered Creative Fellowships for Greater Manchester-based artists every two years since MIF17, with our 2017 and 2019 cohort of Fellows supported by Jerwood Arts.
For 2023, we were excited to extend this programme to artists in the North as well as now providing this transformative offer every year through the Factory International Fellowship.
Fellowships are available to six Northern artists each year and all successful artists are provided with a bursary to support them during the fellowship. From working with comedy and theatre to dance, music production and photography, you can meet some of our alumni and find out more about the range of artists we support below.
Meet our Factory International Fellows 2023
Inspired by an array of orators such as Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, and hip hop rapper Nas, poet Griot Gabriel has always been fascinated by the power of words.
Birthed in Peckham, (London) and raised in Longsight (Manchester) fused with Nigerian heritage, Griot Gabriel’s poetry is influenced by his upbringing in Black urban culture, exploring masculinity, political discourse, racial identity, experiences of inner-city young people, their challenges and relevant social issues. He is the founder of The Poetry Place, a company that provides a platform for new and established poets to perform.
Griot Gabriel has been commissioned to work with Warner Bro’s, Manchester International Festival, The Black Curriculum, BlackFest and Jason Reynolds.
Kao Hove is a multi-disciplinary artist, who specialises in music, poetry and movement. Accessibility is a key value to their life and practice, so they aim to create a range of sensory outputs through their combined art forms. Also, Kao aims to bring support to others with access needs and was recently Access Assistant for Demi Nandhra, working on The Trauma Show.
Kao creates work around their lived experience including themes of disability, identity and mental health. Kao endeavours to create social impact through creating work that raises awareness and questions current issues. The community project they recently worked on Covid Curve with Young Identity is a poetic response from groups’ experience of the pandemic, including children, health workers and those bereaved.
Joshie is a dance and light creative. As an independent artist, Joshie choreographs exclusively with lights. Fascinated with the physicality, musicality and emotionality lights can embody. To much acclaim, Joshie created his version of The Rite of Spring The Lite of Spring choreographed solely with light, premiering at The Place as part of Resolution Dance Festival.
As a dancer, they have worked with choreographers: Michael Clark, Sir Richard Alston, Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Ballet Black, Jose Agudo, Adam Linder and Christopher Williams. He has also modelled for Alexander McQueen, Diesel, Gucci, ASOS, COS, DQquared & BBC Arts.
As a self taught lighting designer, he has collaborated with Drew McOnie, Julia Cheng, Anthea Hamilton, Mark Baldwin OBE, Gary Clarke, Julie Cunningham, Sonny Nwachukwu, Clod Emsemble, Jose Agudo, Xnthony, Scarabeus Aerial Theatre, Magnus Westwell & Richard Chappell. Joshie is also resident lighting artist for queer club night's Mind Ur Head & Lazarus.
Joshie grew up in St Helens, being introduced to the arts through Elizabeth Hill School of Dance and Drama. Furthering his dance training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, receiving a First Class Honours Degree. They also have a masters in Light in Performance with Rose Bruford.
Shahid Iqbal Khan
Shahid Iqbal Khan is an Offies-finalist and Olivier Award-nominated playwright published by Methuen Drama. His full-length stage plays are Stardust (Belgrade Theatre) and 10 Nights (Bush Theatre). On radio, he recently made his Afternoon Drama debut with Love Across The Ages (BBC Radio 4). Other works in his audio portfolio include shorts Bhavika, Night of the Living Flatpacks (both on community channels) and Brandlesholme (Sheltering) (BBC Radio 4).
In 2022, Shahid Iqbal Khan undertook an attachment residency with Graeae Theatre and Royal Court Theatre, working on a co-commission. He also has a seed commission with English Touring Theatre. He has been part of BBC Writersroom and Write To Play.
Hwa Young Jung
Hwa Young Jung is a multidisciplinary artist working in the arts, culture and sciences, facilitating collaborative projects and workshops. She works with people to co-create projects, often using games and play to explore social issues. Based in the North West of England, she has been producing work with a range of people (men on probation, care workers, young people excluded from mainstream education) in England and internationally for almost ten years.
mandla is a Zimbabwean-born writer and performer. mandla’s work draws on the artist’s intersectional existence. Using words as a medium, the artist is heavily concerned with communicating the many sensations associated with being a person with themes ranging from conversations about race, ‘decolonisation’, trauma, mental illness and queer/gender identity and expression.
Meet our 2021 Fellows
Audrey Albert is a Mauritius-born, Manchester-based maker, artist and photographer whose research-led practice enables her to consider and investigate themes of national identity, collective memory, displacement, tradition and denial. Her main creative media are digital and analogue photography, but she also explores camera-less ways of sharing her research and creativity. Her work Matter Out of Place has been exhibited in Manchester, Arles in France, Pingyao in China, and Mauritius. Selected for the Future Fires 2020 programme at Contact, she is currently working on Chagossians of Manchester, a socially-engaged art project.
Vince Atta is a comedian, musician and Mancunian, raised in Moss Side and Whalley Range. A professional stand-up comedian for over 10 years, headlining across the UK and Europe, he was the arena tour support for Jason Manford in 2018, which included performing at a sold-out Manchester Arena, and has written and performed three solo Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows: Massive Attack, Loopzilla and Vince Atta Is Not Black Enough!. He infuses music into his comedy, using a Loop Station to create live beats, and is currently writing a musical based around Moss Side in the 1980s. His work has a strong focus on the mixed-race experience.
Raheel Khan is a producer, musician and field recordist whose work combines piano compositions, fragmented textures and field recordings to explore notions of heritage, society and the inertia of cultural progression. Mileage, his recent project, uses recordings from taxi journeys to champion the voices of often-unsung heroes while blurring lines between service user/giver and hospitality giver/receiver. His work has been released on the Reel Long Overdub and Banana Hill labels and broadcast on the BBC Asian Network. He has worked in residence at the Royal Exchange and performed at the Soup Kitchen, Band on the Wall and the Glastonbury Festival.
Yandass Ndlovu is a dancer, actor and choreographer from Manchester, and the Founder of I M Pact. A graduate with First Class BA (Hons) Dance & Performance degree from Arden School of Theatre, she performed in MIF15 and MIF17 as part of FlexN and in MIF19 in Alphabus, and last year created WOZA!, an MIF Festival in My House…and Yours event that premiered under lockdown in May 2020. Her other credits include Macbeth, Our Town and Jubilee at the Royal Exchange Theatre; Birth (Orchid & Q and Q) at the World Health Organisation, Geneva; Yandass.mov (Random Acts, Channel 4); The X Factor (ITV); and the 2019 film Icaria.
Corey Weekes is an actor, writer and director. Since graduating from ALRA North in 2018 with a degree in acting, Corey has worked in regional and West End theatres, TV and film. He is the Founder of the Vision Centre for Actors, an affordable part-time acting school, and the Vision Production Company, producing theatre and film that gives a voice to the voiceless, and aims to be a pioneer in the main-staging of ‘underclass’ and working-class stories. His new show Rapsody, about four young hostel inhabitants who find solace in rap music, is set to make its debut at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry next year.
Meet our 2019 Fellows
Nasima Begum (aka Nasima Bee) is a performance poet, producer, creative practitioner and actor. She’s a trustee for Manchester’s Young Identity, a collective of poets, dancers and musicians. Nasima uses art as a means of activism and her work is an exploration of loss, a celebration of femininity and an observance of the world.
Notable performances include Manchester Literature Festival, British Council’s BritLitBerlin conference and BBC’s Contains Strong Language. Nasima’s most recent residency was at Belgium’s Museum Nacht where she spent 24 hours with 14 artists making performance work. At MIF19 she observed ANU Production's The Anvil and was also commissioned to write and record poetry for an installation piece. Most recently she worked on an audio commission with New Creatives North entitled Salt. This work is funded by BBC Arts and Arts Council England. Nasima is currently researching and developing her first script exploring what it means to be a British Muslim woman in the current political climate with the support of Factory International.
Born and raised in Manchester, Remi Adefeyisan is a Creative Producer with an extensive history of collaborating with people who come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. His work always seeks to reflect the lives of people from a multicultural urban background, pushing the boundaries that divide us while simultaneously making high quality work that will have a social impact.
He is an alumni of Stage One as one of their bursary winners. He has been awarded funding from Arts Council England, Home Manchester and the Princes’ Trust, and was a Jerwood Fellow with Manchester International Festival and an Old Vic 12 Producer.
He has put on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Old Vic London, Royal Northern College of Music, Home Manchester, Liverpool Brouhaha Carnival and the University of Salford and many more.
Through a research-oriented arts practice spanning film and design, Caroline Ward critically addresses the tensions and intersections across the cultural and geopolitical effects of climate change. A recent racial justice fellowship brought these perspectives into the realm of policy including membership of JUST AI’s Deep Sustainability working group. Caroline is co-director of Squirrel Nation and part of the Stuart Hall Artist and Scholars Network following a residency at INIVA & Stuart Hall Library in 2018. Caroline is currently pursuing a PhD.
Caroline's key learnings from their time as a Fellow? 'Be open and flexible to learning from many different parts of the festival, which is complex. There are many moving parts that come together, and it’s an opportunity to witness all the work that goes into creating the artist’s vision and building an experience. If you have any access requirements, get them built in early.'
Erinma Ochu is a neuroscientist and storyteller who experiments with emerging technologies to re-imagine how to live equitably in a warming world. As co-director of Squirrel Nation, they are an alumni of the Stuart Hall Scholars and Fellows Network. Recently appointed Wallscourt Associate Professor of Immersive Media at UWE Bristol, Erinma is a member of the Digital Cultures Research Centre, based across Arnolfini and Pervasive Media Studios in Bristol. Their research practice critiques Extended Reality (ER) as a space to re-examine possibilities for life.
What stuck with Erinma from their time as a Fellow is the 'clear headspace and time to take a deep dive into everything the Festival offers. The fellowship brought surprising and illuminating moments of personal and collective truth.' You can read more about Erinma's experience on their blog.
Naqqash Khalid is a writer-director. His debut feature film IN CAMERA (backed by BBC Film and BFI) is in post-production starring Nabhaan Rizwan, Amir El-Masry, and Rory Fleck Byrne. His short film STOCK was commission by Sky Arts. In 2019/20, he was invited to develop his feature film script on the iFeatures Lab, and was a selected artist for New Creatives North (funded by BBC Arts and Arts Council England). Naqqash was named one of Screen International's 'Stars of Tomorrow'.
Jack Sheen is a conductor and composer. He regularly works with leading orchestras, ensembles, galleries, and artists on concert and operatic performances, commissions, installations and interdisciplinary projects.
Recent highlights include the release of Jack’s debut album – Sub – his conducting debut at the Royal Opera House, and collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, Venice Biennale, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Radio 3, NTS, Casa de Serralves (Portugal), Wigmore Hall, Basel Schaulager and Tanglewood Music Centre (USA).
Meet our 2017 Fellows
Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist. Her work explores 21st century life and aims to use art as a tool to transform lives, shift consciousness and bring joy to an otherwise serious and stressful modern existence. She predominately works as a solo artist in performance across the literary, theatrical and live art sectors.
UK performance highlights include features at the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank and Royal Exchange. Internationally she’s performed at the Calabash Literature Festival, Jamaica as well as an artist-in-residence in the Netherlands. She has also toured work to Zimbabwe and South Africa. Other international representation includes selection by the British Council for IETM conferences in Romania and Croatia.
Mahboobeh Rajabi is a British-Iranian Artist and Creative Producer from Manchester. Mahboobeh has been working in the arts sector for over 11 years, empowering communities through art and culture, working with different organisations and universities across Greater Manchester, the wider North West and internationally. As a Jerwood Creative Fellow with MIF she used her unique participatory art forms joining with Party Skills For The End of The World production in 2017.
'The most important part of my fellowship that is still with me, was the power I got in my decision making as an artist, and having more self confidence to risk and explore my creative ideas. I learned that no matter how big my idea is, I should give it a chance and explore it.'
Simon Bray is an artist who explores notions of loss, family, identity and place through photography and audio. His work has been shown at Southbank Centre, MIF, The Whitworth, Open Eye Gallery and featured by The Guardian, BJP and BBC In Pictures. His project Loved&Lost has reached an audience of over 10 million through features on BBC One and exhibitions across the UK. He previously worked with Martin Parr and recently ran photography workshops with groups of prisoners and young people.
What stuck with Simon from his time as a Fellow is that ‘your work doesn't have to rely on one medium, it's about finding the right means to tell the story. Perhaps it's a combination of multiple art forms, perhaps it relies on collaboration or learning new skills, but don't confine yourself to your own skillset, find the best means to tell the best story.’
Hafsah Aneela Bashir
Hafsah Aneela Bashir is an award-winning Manchester-based poet, playwright and producer originally from East London. Founder and co-director of Outside The Frame Arts, she is passionate about championing voices outside the mainstream, challenging the gatekeepers of knowledge and increasing representation within the arts.
Winner of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2019, she is an Associate Artist with The Poetry Exchange, Associate Artist with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Supported Artist at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Creating socially engaged work with community at its heart, her play Cuts Of The Cloth was commissioned for PUSH Festival 2019. Her debut poetry collection The Celox And The Clot is published by Burning Eye Books.
She is also founder and Creative Director of the innovative Poetry Health Service, a Trustee for Manchester City Of Literature and is currently the Community Producer for the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust in Manchester Central Library.
Amy Lawrence is an Artist, curator and producer from Lancashire based in Glasgow who creates gatherings, live and visual projects in public spaces. A low-fi, glitchy layered messiness threads across performative and choreographed situations in a series of interrelated projects with ensembles of people. At the core of each output is a surreal social commentary on the lived experience of othering and the performance of identity.
‘My Jerwood fellowship was in 2017 with Boris Charmatz... Seeing how the dancers and Boris collaborated allowed me to expand how I thought about directing as an artist, improvisational processes and interacting with music and costume as an extension of an idea. Seeing work on such a large scale also inspired my now international experimental performance producing work and how I support these processes. I learnt to ask for what I need and believe I can create ambitious work with the right help.’