A group of Southeast Asian performers are posting at the beach, with golden sunlight shining on their faces. There is a strip of burgundy fabric interweaving between them, they gaze off into the distance.
Nalitari (Indonesia)

Announcing Round Two of the British Council Unlimited Micro Awards

In early 2021, the British Council and Unlimited partnered up to support disabled artists to locate their disabled peers in one of 62 countries and apply for funds to explore those connections virtually. Round One was awarded in spring, and now it’s time for Round Two! April Lin tells us more about the successful projects. 

Unlimited are delighted to award artists from across the UK funding of £2,500 each to support mini-projects that cover the globe, including Palestine, China, Nigeria, Malawi, Cambodia, and Ghana. 

A map of an image with pins located in Palestine, China, Tunisia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Cuba, Mexico, Indonesia, Cambodia.
A map showing all the international counterparts.

Round Two’s successful artists are: 

A collage of three images: Top: A black person is foregrounded by a piece of patterned cloth, through which the sun is shining, casting patterned shadows on their face. They are wearing a white triangle earring on their right ear, and they have white dots painted around their head as well as between their eyebrows. They are looking into the camera. Bottom left: A black person wearing sunglasses sits outdoors facing the camera, behind them there are six paintings, all in vibrant colours. Bottom right: A black person sits in front of a blue mural, which says in orange capital letters: Qe(drawing of a rainbow)r Lives Matter. Their fist is raised and they are looking straight into the camera.
Tobi Adebajo (UK) and Beatrice Arogundade and Bendicta Oyedayo (Nigeria)

AfrosexualiTea is a multidisciplinary, archival project founded in 2017 by Tobi Adebajo (England, South East) that aims to delve into and explore how the multiplicities of identities — sexuality, gender, ability, presentation & upbringing — shape the many ways African / Black people, engage with and think about ‘desire’. For this iteration of the project, AfrosexualiTea Portal, Tobi will be collaborating with Beatrice Arogundade (Nigeria) and Bendicta Oyedayo (Nigeria). 

A collage of two images: Top: a group photo with different people of Middle East and North African heritage, some of whom are wearing hijabs. The sun is shining and everyone is looking into the camera. Bottom: Two images overlaid together. The top image is of a white woman painting on a canvas, the bottom image is an abstract multicoloured landscape.
Amr Salama, Art to Heart (Occupied Palestinian Territories) and Rachel Gadsden and Nightflix Drive-in Cinema (UK)

No night is long enough for us to dream twice unites visual artist Rachel Gadsden & Art Eats Events (England: London and South East) and visual artist Amr Salama & Art to Heart (Occupied Palestinian Territories) to collaborate, through online workshops, to create the artistic vision for a 100metre mural, to be painted by disabled groups in UK and OPT for Nightflix’s Drive-In Cinema in Colchester. The mural will explore themes relating to hope, renewal and the opportunity to dream. 

A collage of two images. Top: A black and white photo of a person with short dark curly hair holds a knitted turtleneck up to their face, so that only their eyes are showing. They are looking straight into the camera. Bottom: A white man with red hair wearing a brightly patterned button up shirt has their arms in 90 degree angles, standing against a red brick wall, they are gazing towards the upper left order of the image.
Sofia Olmos (Mexico) and Jamie Rea (UK)

Soñando in Silence is an exploration of practice between artist Jamie Rea (Scotland) and Sofia Olmos (Mexico), with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company. Together, they will enter a period of research and reflection to develop a new mode of theatrical experience that immerses the audience in a performance to interrogate and elucidate held notions of what it is to be deaf. 

A collage of two images: Top: A group of people of different heritages and skin tones sit together in a gallery space, facing the camera smiling. Bottom: A white man with glasses holds a jar of blue paint, looking intently at a canvas painted red.
Riera Studio (Cuba) and Billy Mann, Studio to Love (UK) (Image credit for Billy: Leon Foggitt)

In Mail BondingSubmit to Love Studios (England: London) and Riera Studio (Cuba), both community settings supporting neurodivergent artists, will initiate a new collaboration using mail art. Led by STL artist Billy Mann, five artists from each studio will work together; layering their own stories and perspectives to result in unique pieces celebrating each artist’s identity. Taking inspiration from Cuban old stamps, the group will also reflect on and incorporate broader issues of cultural identity, politics and representation. 

A collage of two images: A group of black people, one of whom has albinism and two of whom are in wheelchairs, are in a dance studio. They are raising their left arms up and their right arms to the side, mid-choreography. Bottom: A white man sits on the floor, against a white wall. He is holding a notebook and writing in it with a black pen, while smiling.
Unmute (South Africa) and Stuart Waters (UK) (Image credits: Robin Elam-Rye and Rosie Powell)

In Unmuting the Mental Health Conversation, dance artist Stuart Waters (England: South East) will work with Unmute (South Africa), the only full-time inclusive dance company in South Africa, to open a safe, creative space for the exploration of mental health. Stuart will use his unique framework for best practise in safeguarding to facilitate a creative process that allows company members to safely explore the topic, using individual lived experiences as a rich source of creativity. 

A white woman stands outside underneath an upside down umbrella and a disco ball. The light is warm. Behind them, another white person peeks at them through the glass door.
Karren Visser (UK) (© Karren Visser, June 2021, from an Arts Council England funded project, ‘Sight Lines’.)
Caption: Jorge Lanzagorta’s collage is made up of three images. On the left is an impression of Jorge looking into the camera through a glass panel with braille text. In the centre is a photograph of a blind football team projected onto a window curtain. A trophy with two soccer balls and a sports bag are on a shelf beneath and can be made out in the light of the projection. Jorge wearing sunglasses is with his guide dog in an image that feels playful on the right. They are part of a double exposure with a rubric cube box that has a braille texture. (© Jorge Lanzagorta, May 2021.)
Jorge Lanzagorta (Mexico) (© Jorge Lanzagorta, May 2021.)

Seeing and the Imagination: a collaboration between photographers Karren Visser (England: South East) and Jorge LanzagortaLaboratorio de lo invisible in Puebla (Mexico) intends to explore how visualisation informs and unites blind and visually impaired people with the full-sighted. Their creative exchange includes using photography, video, audio, text and animation, as well as drawing on the experience of the blind photographers’ travelling exhibition ‘Sight Unseen’. 

A collage of two images: Left: A Chinese man wearing glasses and a light grey seater with a multicoloured skeleton hand on it leans against a dark green wooden wall, looking into the camera. Right: A Chinese man is performing wearing a red hat, a red bowtie, a white shirt and a black vest. They are lit in red, their arms are out in front of them, their fingers spread. Their face is grimacing.
Troi Lee (UK) and Junxiang Zhu (China)

UK/China Deaf Project is a collaboration between two deaf artists, Troi Lee (England: London), a Deaf Festival curator and Junxiang Zhu, a Deaf dancer and mime artist, based in Guangzhou (China). They will work with a focus on discussion and joint research around how to link artistic performance with sign language, as well as the potential of developing a platform via social media in China, for interchanging and exchanging artistic content amongst Chinese creatives. 

A collage of two images: Left: A white woman is standing in a room, wearing a black fleece jumper. On her head there is a sculpture hat that has a blue central piece with a rabbit, a rainbow, and a carrot stuck on top. Right: A black woman in a wheelchair is holding a microphone and a sheet of paper. She is looking down at the paper, reading it, the sun is shining on her face.
Sally Payne (UK) and Fatima Kalima (Malawi)

Imagining a Better World is Sally Payne (England: South East) and Fatima Kalima’s (Malawi) exploration of the theme of Utopia. Through art conversations and using a variety of art mediums including art, textiles and dance we will bring a fresh perspective and new creative methods to communicate our ideas, interpretations and visualisations of our new imagined world. 

A collage of two images: Top: A white man in a white t-shirt, black jeans, and a black snapback cap worn backwards is jumping mid-air, set against the corner of building which is graffiti'd in many bright colours. Bottom: A man of Middle East and North African heritage with dark short hair and a dark beard is wearing a black t-shirt, standing against a white wall, his fingers are raised forming a heartshape.
Billy Read (UK) and Nabil Lassoued (Tunisia)

Billy Read (England: Midlands) will collaborate with Nabil Lassoued (Tunisia) in Street Dance Collaborative: A dance battle connecting Deaf Communities between UK and Tunisia using their audiences on Instagram to create a dance battle to connect young deaf communities in Tunisia and Britain. 

A collage of two images: Top: A group of people dressed in colourful clothing stand under one big blue umbrella by the seaside. They all have very expressive expressions, mouths open, eyes wide. Bottom: A stage performance photo with five people dressed in white, arms outstretched, gazing down towards the floor. The lighting is dramatic.
Dadance (Mexico) and Anjali Dance Company (UK)

El Movimiento…a transnational film project is a digital film-making collaboration between Anjali Dance Company (England: South East) and Dadance (Mexico). This will be the first time for both companies that they have collaborated with another group of learning-disabled dancers, and will consist of experiments conducted on Zoom with the aim of creating a dance film with the two sets of dancers.

A collage of two images: Left: A black and white image of a black person looking into the camera. Their mouth is opened, they are joyful. They are wearing a big necklace around their neck. Right: A black and white photo of a black man looking into the camera softly, a slight smile on his lips.
Linda Devo (UK) and Asare Adjei (Ghana)

Creating New Narratives with New Networks is a collaboration between 3D artist Linda Devo (England: South West) and photographer and painter Asare Adjei (Ghana) to explore identity, diaspora and how we might create together to birth new narratives on diaspora, connection and growth.  

A collage of three images: Top: A group of Southeast Asian performers are posting at the beach, with golden sunlight shining on their faces. There is a strip of burgundy fabric interweaving between them, they gaze off into the distance. Bottom left: A black and white image of a white woman in a wheelchair, raising both her arms up, demonstrating a movement. Her mouth is open, as if mid-instruction. Bottom right: A group of Southeast Asian performers are lit in cyan blue and red. Standing on stage, they have their left arms raised, and they are looking at their left hands, their bodies in unison.
Nalitari (Indonesia), Lisa Simpson (UK), and Epic Encounters (Cambodia)

United Differences brings together Lisa Simpson‘s (England: North) unique practice as a disabled choreographer with non-verbal communication in collaboration with Epic Encounters (Cambodia) and Nalitari (Indonesia). Working remotely over lock-down, Lisa Simpson’s choreographic method will be developed further to be fully accessible for a range of abilities, cultures and languages.