Almir is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts. Since 2005, Almir has worked on developing creative strategies for making refugee and migrants’ contributions become more recognised and welcomed within the British arts, history and culture. His interventions include producing and directing events and exhibitions; developing a national strategy and identity for Refugee Week UK; developing the Simple Acts participatory programme; overseeing the creative direction of the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival in London and the development of Platforma – a national project for supporting and networking groups and individuals interested in the arts by and about refugees and migrants. Almir has studied English literature (BA), Anthropology (MA) and Creative Writing (MA).
Áine O’Brien is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, London. She created FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications) in 2007 developing creative arts and public projects focusing on migration, including Moving Worlds and Learning Lab. Áine co-founded Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice (2005) aligning migration research with creative arts. She serves on the Advisory Board for Centre for Cultural Studies Research, UEL and her productions to date (across documentary film, print, exhibition and curation) explore global storylines linking migration with social justice. Áine is creative producer of a cross-sector participatory arts and design project on everyday integration, ‘Everyday on Canalside’ and the film and social action programme, ‘Out of Place’.
Tom Green has managed the Platforma project since 2011 and produced the Platforma Festival in London (2011) and Manchester (2013). Previously he has worked for organisations including the Refugee Council, the Writers’ Guild and Youthnet, primarily in editorial and online communications. Tom has written plays for theatre and BBC Radio 4 and a book about self-publishing for Hodder.
Emily Churchill Zaraa
Emily is Refugee Week UK Coordinator at Counterpoints Arts. Prior to joining Counterpoints Arts she produced current affairs programmes at Islam Channel and coordinated My Journey, a multimedia storytelling project, at Migrants Resource Centre. She has engaged in migrant and refugee solidarity work for over ten years and has lived and worked in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Damascus. Outside of Counterpoints Arts she writes and sings, including with the Arabic fusion band Raast collective. She has a BA in Arabic and Development Studies and an NCTJ qualification in print journalism.
Dijana’s background is in visual arts. She joined the Counterpoints Arts team in 2012 as the Project Manager for Celebrating Sanctuary London and Simple Acts projects. Dijana’s first association with refugee related arts was in 2005 when she co-curated the Insomnia exhibition, working with around 30 artists at South Bank’s Bargehouse. Next project Dijana worked on was Counterpoint, a week long multidisciplinary exhibition which was organised as part of the Platforma Conference 2011.
Leila is a professional musician (Singer & Flutist) performing with her band, Cristobal and the Sea, across Europe. She has background in International Relations and is currently finishing a Masters in Development Studies, after spending two months in Lebanon working with Syrian refugees. She is now in the process of writing her thesis, looking at the restorative role music and creative arts can play in helping refugees re-building their lives, connecting to a wider communities and integrating in the UK.
Leila has joined Counterpoints Arts as a volunteer in January 2015. At the moment she is helping to increase the profile of Refugee Week.
Marielle is a cultural worker, with project coordination and management experience, who specialises in creating art events and cultural programmes that encourage cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and exchange. She worked as a General Manager for the art producer Consonni in Bilbao at the same time she was involved in an associative neighbourhood project aiming for the revitalization of the area through the organisation of cultural activities. Previously , she was involved as Project Coordinator in the exhibition and artists’ studios place Espace 29, promoting emerging contemporary artists in Bordeaux. She has over twelve years experience working in the socio-cultural and educational field as a cultural activity leader, child carer and language teacher for adults and children.
Marielle joined Counterpoints Arts as a volunteer in February 2015, managing aspects of Simple Acts campaign such as this year’s school competition for Refugee Week and event production. Concurrently, she is occasionally collaborating with the art organisation Gasworks as a volunteer artist assistant for their participation programme Even Better Together.