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University of East Anglia
Artist Educator
Artist Educator
Bristol, UK
I am the UEA Decolonising Research (non) resident artist.
I collaborate with tutors from the University of East Anglia on an annual residential trip to Bristol that engages students in co-creative, reciprocal research processes.

Pre-trip collaborations

Given the emergent themes involved (gentrification, post colonialism, black joy, resistance, reparation and justice), this was going to be a contentious project for me to take on.

I became a kind of community node, connecting activists and organisations in a way that listened to and embedded their needs and perspectives at every turn.


In the first iteration of the trip I invited Jeff Knight (Bristol’s cherished street philosopher and Big Issue seller) to share his insights of Stokes Croft by filming him giving a tour of the area. I created an illustrated booklet that picked out Jeff’s key messages

Participatory warm-up

Each year I travel to UEA to run a workshop prior to the trip. In the 2024 edition I ran a workshop that explored the contentious issue of how and how history is narrated within museum spaces. I tasks students to think critically about the uncomfortable Truths objects at Museum of Bristol, ending with them writing postcards which I then gave back to them on the first day of the trip (when they visit the museum and compare their thoughts about the objects compared to meeting them in real life). They then work in groups to produce group ‘decolonising postcards’. These methods ready them for working creatively with the groups later in the week and inform their assessed work (a postcard and essay about the whole trip). In 2023 I co-ran a workshop for students about ethically engaged, co-creative methods with Teresa Armijos Burneo.


Psychogeographic mapping

I created a range of psychogeographic maps of the neighbourhood I live in, merging my own illustrated experiences of the area with stories my friends and neighbours tell me. These maps also record the neighbourhood in the way I experience it, as a community.

Mental mapping

I bought 20 copies of the Big Issue and made 40 mini fold-out booklets which I gave to each of the students when they came to Bristol.

I invited them to make their own psychogeographic maps during out walks around our neighbourhood. I also painted some as my own artistic response.

Mapping connections

Making the maps also helped me to think about how dynamic my neighbourhood is. I co-created briefs for a number of collaborative projects with different partners and organisations

Subjectivity and intersubjectivity

Through this exercise I invited students to consider how they are not a neutral presence and more think more broadly about the intersubjectivity of research.

Acknowledging and exploring our own subjective experiences transparently and collaboratively is also vital in ensuring that we make work that is ethical and relevant.


Project partners

Every year we add to the community partners for the UEA students to work with. I have co-created projects with a number of project partners including; Sherein and Negat and Refugee Women of Bristol, Benoit and PRSC, Dhaqan Collective, Cleo Lake (Decolonising Memory), //Kabbo and Bashart Malik, Judit Davis, Rosina Al-Shaater, St Werburgh’s City Farm, Vocalise magazine individual allotment holders and playworkers at Felix Road.

Students participate in walking tours around St Pauls that explored Judit’s Gangster Gardening, //Kabbo’s approach to urban greening and Rosina’s perspective on Sound system culture today.

Co-producing research

Across all the projects students were invited to co-create research with people directly and think about how challenging injustice as a legacy of the work. As a legacy of some projects students have organised awareness and fundraising events and collaborated with activists and artists in more self directed ways.

The project has also inspired wider cultural action in Norwich with some students setting up Turkish cultural events.


Student presentations

On the last day of the trip each year, students present their co-produced project findings and show an action or response that has been inspired by the work.

Students went and filmed their own Gangster gardening, made information banners to take back to uni (to host events to support women refugees at UEA), teaching decolonising memory dance to their peers and created their own street art zines.

In the 2024 edition of the trip Students in the RWoB group asked me to design a logo with them that represents a membership based on solidarity (reflecting the way RWoB operates through membership and broader self-organising processes).

Debates with and beyond institutions

By approaching the presentation process creatively helps ignite new ways of thinking about research as a tool for empowerment within and beyond institutions.

This discourse chimes with the wider aims of the trip, the work of the tutors who are involved in decolonising work within academia and my own ongoing practice based research.

Project partners have shared that they value the project. Project partners often come to see the student presentations and are impressed by the students empathy, nuanced understanding of what they have learned and the sense of responsibility they leave with.

Communities of Practice

‘Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.’
Etienne Wenger, 2002.

‘Communities of practice (CoP’s)’

Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning and it is this age-old process (but relatively new term) that characterises my approach to creative learning and engagement.

Mixing different people who have diverse experiences of similar interests is a characteristic process of how I co-create spaces and experiences.

The Communities of Practice that we develop enable and encourage intergenerational learning, peer sharing and utilise inclusivity as a creative asset.

‘Teaching to Transgress’

In her book, ‘Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, (1994), Bell Hooks advocates for teaching students to transgress against racial, sexual and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom.

‘Engaged Pedagogy’

Hooks advocates for ‘engaged pedagogy’ that is holistic, progressive and inclusive since “to educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn”. These ideas have been instrumentally formative for me.

Our creative Community of Practice inside the ‘Hamman’ at Katsikas Refugee Camp, 2016