Digital Portraits: Identity + Practice


Community Arts North West (CAN) and Filmonik invite artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and creative practices to take part in an exciting, new talent-development opportunity.

First Person will enable participants to produce a new piece of artist’s film & video that explores the relationship between their artistic practice and personal identity.

Artists are free to interpret the brief in any way they wish, such as through:

  • Cultural identity
  • Experience of place and/or displacement
  • Socio-economic background
  • Health and disability
  • Gender and/or sexual orientation
  • Language and dialect
  • Spirituality
  • Other

Through a series of workshops, participants will develop their creative ideas and skills, leading to a week-long residency using Filmonik’s intensive, high-energy and collaborative model of filmmaking.

This project will result in a collection of highly creative, moving-image self-portraits using video, photography and other digital art forms.

The work will be premiered during Refugee Week in June 2015; a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational activities that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK. It will then be presented at several other pop-up screenings across Greater Manchester during 2015.

Part jam-session, part creative boot-camp, artists must be prepared to network, forge new creative partnerships and, above all, create new work for public screenings.

Who’s the project for?

  • We’re interested in working with artists at all stages of their careers and from a wide range of creative backgrounds including performing arts, visual arts, digital arts and music
  • Artists need no prior experience of working with video, photography or other digital technologies
  • Artists need no formal arts education
  • Artists need a strong artistic idea for creating a new piece of artist’s film and video that explores the relationship between their artistic practice and personal identity and will be selected on the strength of their artistic idea
  • We particularly welcome applications from artists of migrant heritages and/or refugee backgrounds
  • There will be places for 16 artists on the project. At least 50% of the places will be allocated to artists who’ve already taken part in CAN’s recent artist development opportunities. For example, the Artists Do I.T. digital-media training programmes 2013-15. We also look forward to working with artists new to CAN and Filmonik.
  • The majority of the artists will be based in Greater Manchester.

When and where will the project take place?

The workshops, production week and screening will take place at a city centre venue. Artists will need to commit to attending all workshops and all of the intensive production week.

The selection process will include each artist’s ability to commit to attending all of the workshops and all of the intensive production week.

Travel costs within Greater Manchester will be reimbursed (where required) and we have a small access fund, which may cover or contribute towards childcare costs.

Workshops will take place from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm on Thu 21 May, Thu 28 May, Thu 4 Jun, and Thu 11 Jun 2015. Artists will need to attend the morning or the afternoon workshops (not both).

The intensive production week will take place daily from Mon 15 Jun to Sat 20 Jun 2015, and will involve full-day workshops.

The screening of the work will take place on Sun 21 Jun 2015 at The Wonder Inn.

How to apply

You can apply online here.

The deadline for receiving completed applications is 12pm on Thu 7 May 2015.

We’ll let artists know if they’ve been successful by Tue 12 May 2015.

If you have any questions about this opportunity please email Sara Domville, CAN’s Digital Arts Creative Producer at:

First Person logos