A queer African-American resident in the UK since 1998, Jennifer Farmer is a participatory theatre-maker and facilitator who centres underrepresented narratives and collaborates extensively with marginalised communities such as young people at risk of social exclusion (The Fall of Lucifer, 2008; Truth or Dare, 2012 and 2017, both for Belgrade Theatre,), womxn in prison (Compact Failure, Clean Break/Arcola Theatre/national tour, 2004), refugees (Hear My Voice, Theatre Royal Stratford East), OAPs (Urban Dreams, London Bubble, 2008), young people with dyslexia (Turtle Key Arts), users of the mental healthcare system (V&A Museum) and intergenerational community groups (City Final, site-specific, 2018, Belgrade Theatre). Other work includes: Looking At the Sun (BAC Opera Season, 2001), clean (BBC Radio 3, 2003), 270° (Paines Plough, Young Vic, 2004), A Million Different People (BBC Radio 4, 2005), words, words, words (Tricycle Theatre, 2006), Bulletproof Soul (Birmingham Rep, 2007), Stutter (Hotbed Festival, 2008), These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep, 2009), Eating Our Words (Camden People’s Theatre, 2012), Waltzing Tomatoes (Ithaca Gallery, USA, 2013 and international festivals) and Between Constellations (Pittsburgh Festival Opera, USA; Grimeborn Festival, Arcola Theatre, 2018). Her current projects include a new play supported by Sheffield Theatres, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which explores the impact medical racism has on Black women's experience of childbirth. Her plays are published by Oberon Books and Josef Weinberger Plays.
Currently an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths and Central School of Speech and Drama, Jennifer has lectured at Kingston University, the University of Greenwich, and London South Bank University, and has facilitated workshops for many of the UK’s theatre and arts organisations such as the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. At Central, Jennifer teaches on the ethics of working with vulnerable communities, centring underrepresented narratives, and the dangers of art-washing and white saviorism.
Zoë is a co-creator, facilitator, and human ecologist whose creative work explores our relationship with the more than human world and centers underrepresented narratives and voices. Forthcoming productions include Camille’s Rainbow, (Carnegie Hall, Minnesota Opera, San Fransisco Opera), Hjertelyd (Den Jyske Opera) and a development commission for The Royal Opera House in Association with Leicester Curve. Keepers Of The Corallite, a song cycle created with composer Daniel Saleeb for Countertenor Iestyn Davies, was premiered in 2018. From 2011-17 she co-created Musical Rumpus, an award-winning opera series for children which has toured across the UK and Europe to venues including The Royal Opera House, Elphilharmonie, Rich Mix, The Sage Gateshead and Ovalhouse. Other writing credits include Nooma (Carnegie Hall, Minnesota Opera, San Fransiscon Opera), Robin Hood (The Opera Story), Orla’s Moon, Orla & The Sun (Wonderful Beast Theatre Company), Otoyotoy (Carnegie Hall) Between Constellations (Pittsburgh Festival Opera Global Commissioning competition, Semi-finalist), The Finding (Mahogany Opera Various Stages) Fosterling (Ovalhouse). She has been ACE writer in residence on the Thamesview Estate in Barking and has an ongoing collaborative relationship with Moving Star Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. Zoë is currently a visiting professor at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She works with Creative Futures on a long-term creative residency at The Royal London Hospital and was lead facilitator on Music & Motherhood, an investigation into the impact of singing on PND led by The Centre for Performance Science.
Zoë’s ecological work explores the intersection between environmental justice, spirituality, nature connection and wellbeing. She was research assistant for Alastair McIntosh’s book Hell & High Water: Climate change, Hope and the Human Condition (Berlinn, 2008) having completed her MSc Human Ecology thesis on Climate Change Narratives. In 2008 she founded The Golden Company - an award-winning social enterprise that addressed structural inequalities around access to nature for POC. Zoë was shortlisted for the Observer Ethical Award and awarded RSA fellowship for this work. Credits as a presenter include The Transatlantic Slave Trade (Discovery), Fierce Earth (CBBC), Planet of the Apes (Discovery) and Treks in A Wild World (National Geographic).
Nina is an artist working in sound, storytelling, voice and music. Her work is wide-ranging and explores ideas using different media. Nina forges successful collaborations working with other artists, organisations, academic researchers, producers, performers, writers and directors in a variety of settings. Nature, community and the art of making are themes frequently visited within projects.
Nina has worked with sound in many ways; from recording icebergs melting in the arctic; to creating soundscapes with groups of children; to composing music and sound design and producing audio for the BBC and international broadcasters/podcasters.
Nina’s practice based PhD was awarded by Bournemouth University in 2017, where she is now a visiting fellow – current research enquires include: Voice, self and embodiment; sound, body and wellbeing; music and narrative and the relationship between the artistic elements in narrative forms – she also runs educational courses, mentoring and consultancy in the areas she practices.
Awards and grants include: PRS Women make Music grant award; Phonurgia Nova Radio Art award; Third Coast International Dollar Storey winner; Grants for the Arts National Lottery award; BBC Radio Drama composer-in-residence.
With a sound that may be bad for your teeth but insanely good for your ears, North West London-born multidisciplinary artist Kookie also known as Kookie Blu isn’t stepping into a lane, she’s forming one all her own. From her unique image, to labelling her music as the infectious sounds of ‘Kookie Pop,’ Kookie invites her audience to explore her experimental world called Planet Loudon, while promoting the power of imagination and encouraging those who want to push their own boundaries and dive in to the unknown.
Kookie earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She moves freely within her multidisciplinary practice, creating content, writing and directing plays, music, video and theatre, visual arts, her experimental nature also explore important themes from capitalism to Afro-futurism. She delves into everyday life for inspiration, being brought up in a diverse community and having that exposure of different genres of music, fashion, and culture has allowed her to draw from these experiences and intertwining them into her works illuminating contemporary culture in distinctly original fashion. Her play Retail Therapy won the CoLLAB award to be produced in the Milton Court.And she has currently been nominated for the Evening Standard Future Fund Award for ‘Directing’.
By combining her style with confidence, strength and control through her signature husky vocals, along with the immensely catchy lyrics and visuals that she creates Kookie is aiming to stamp her mark as the British Afro-futurism artist. This will demonstrate her versatility as an artist but if there’s one thing that stays the same throughout all her works it’s that Kookie Pop originality.