Delighted to announce the commissioned artists for the Horizons Festival 2024

In December 2023, CAN and HOME put a call out for film makers, visual artists, theatre makers to be part of June 2024’s Horizons Festival through a paid commission

We’re delighted to announce the commissioned artists – a film maker, two visual artists and two theatre makers – who will develop new work for the festival.

Audiences can see the fruits of the commissions in the festival programme.

Horizons – with the theme of Our Planet, Our Home – will feature a provocative and stimulating programme of film, theatre, music, visual art, workshops, and discussion, plus a nationally touring stand-up comedy gig.

On the evening of Friday 21 June, there will be theatre shows; on Saturday 22 June, families can enjoy workshops and community sharings; on Saturday night, there will be a stand-up comedy gig, and on Sunday 23 June, there’s a programme of discussions and short films. The visual arts element will run throughout the weekend.

A.M.M. Noor-Saiyem Khan – theatre artist

A.M.M. Noor-Saiyem Khan is a multidisciplinary art practitioner and activist with professional experience in acting, directing, and designing for theatre. For over a decade, he has participated in theatre festivals nationally and internationally, using theatre as a tool for community development in education, health, security, and social justice.

Based in Manchester, Saiyem collaborates with local communities and charities, using ethnographic research methods and Theatre for Development principles to address social issues. His diverse experiences include working with marginalised groups worldwide, from madrasa students to prisoners, LGBTQ+ individuals, and displaced populations.

He is also a Ph.D student in Global Sustainable Development (Leverhulme Trust funded Doctoral Scholarship) at the University of Warwick. He holds an MA from the University of West London and an MA from the University of Dhaka. He has contributed to numerous art projects.

Arisha-Jane Marsh – theatre maker and cabaret artist

Arisha-Jane Marsh (they/them) is a socially conscious theatre-maker and cabaret artist based in Manchester. They are passionate about creating safe intersectional spaces for marginalised communities within theatre. They are a forager and are heavily inspired by seasonality and natural imagery and they often use it to explore queer and neurodiverse relationships with others and the wider world.

Recent Credits Include: Green Party’s 30 under 30 2024 cohort, Creative Sparks Liberation 2024 Showcase at Fusebox Kingston, Santa Must Die Local Artist Spotlight at The Lowry’s Community Performance 2023, Arisha’s OK Cabaret: An Operatic Extravaganza Greater Manchester Fringe 2023 nominated for best LGBTQ+ performance by Queer Lit 2023 and Off Fest 2023.

Deeqa Ismail – visual artist

Deeqa’s background spans Somalia and Stockport. Her artistic practice focuses on human displacement caused by climate change or conflict.

Her work concerns the representation and experiences of black communities amidst displacement. She is fascinated by the resilience and adaptability of the shotgun houses of the US, as well as the nomadic huts of East Africa.

Deeqa has created traditional Somali huts made from plastic plumbing pipes, symbolising the ingenuity needed to adapt to changing landscapes. The huts show the resourcefulness and creativity of displaced people during the civil war in Somalia.

Nisa Chisipochinyi – visual artist

Fascinated by how art has been and can be used to convey stories, she paints to capture the essence of her experiences and heritage; she was born in Zimbabwe and raised across Botswana, South Africa and England.

Through bold, vibrant colours and the use of geometric shapes, her work often holds attention, sparking dialogue and leading to a beautiful exchange of mutual storytelling. She believes in the value of sharing her story and embracing the stories of others. Nisa believes we’re never alone in this interconnected journey of life.

Valeriia Lukianets – filmmaker

Valeriia arrived in the UK in May 2022 after working extensively as an actress in Ukraine. She quickly involved herself in the projects with CAN and HOME as a participating artist in CAN/Curious Minds’s Pushing Boundaries, facilitating the Sparks of Freedom project and taking a part in Horizons festival as an artist and facilitator.

Valeriia has also produced, directed, and presented Ukrainian-language videos for Citizens Advice to support Ukrainian refugees in the UK. She recently started to work in filmmaking as a director, producer and scriptwriter.

Community programme

CAN is leading the delivery of two community programmes led by Horizons Assistant Producer, Masresha Wondmu

Our Planet, Our Home 

CAN is working with a Kurdish-led partner organisation, Culture Bridge, to deliver a series of five visual arts workshops linked to the festival theme: Our Planet, Our Home.  The work created will be mixed media featuring 2D and 3D work and will be photographed for display in HOME’s Inspire Gallery.  The workshop programme will be led by Kurdish visual artist Amang Mardokhy, who will be working alongside displaced children and adults from emergency accommodation in Stockport.

Our Routes HOME

Afrocats will deliver a series of dance and performance workshops in emergency accommodation for seekers of sanctuary in Manchester. The sessions, aimed at primary school-age children, will be run by artists Godfrey Pambalipe, Masresha Wondmu and Magdalen Bartlett  Children will share a live performance featuring drumming, circus skills, creative movement, and dance to demonstrate that home is truly where the heart is. Full of energy and brilliant ideas, the children will wow the audience with cultural drumming, circus skills, creative movement and dance.

(left to right: Godfrey Pambalipe, Masresha Wondmu and Magdalen Bartlett)

This is a partnership project with CAN and Caritas Shrewsbury with funding from Children in Need.

CAN is supported by