May 24, 2022

Celebrating 10 years of creative change

This year marks Counterpoints Arts’ 10th birthday.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our birthday celebrations in Hoxton Hall. Take a look at our 10th Anniversary film which showcases highlights over the last decade.

Reflections from our Director Almir

The birth of Counterpoints Arts coincided with the beginning of one of the most challenging decades in our recent history. Our work began amid the austerity of the early 2010s, the Syrian uprising, unprecedented levels of human displacement and escalating climate emergency. The years that followed brought Brexit and Trump, the hostile environment, Grenfell Tower and COVID; the murder of George Floyd, withdrawal from Afghanistan, war in Ukraine and the new Anti-Refugee Bill. These are just some of the bigger developments. 

In spite of this context, or precisely because of it, it has been an important achievement to establish and sustain an organisation like Counterpoints Arts over the last ten years. Our mission – to support and produce the arts by and about refugees and migrants – has been our way of building a more inclusive culture and sustaining resistance within the increasingly hostile environment.  

We started in 2012 as the first arts organisation to engage with displacement and migration at the national level. Since then, we have supported and collaborated with hundreds of artists and organisations, pioneering a major cultural shift which has seen the voices and experiences of displaced communities expanding from the margins of our society to its mainstream spaces and institutions.  

In recent years, we have grown our reach and increased support for our artists and networks. Refugee Week has doubled in size. We have built new commissioning opportunities, responded to Brexit by building a new international programme, and pioneered an initiative that explores the potential of pop culture to bring about social change.  

In doing all this, we have been continuously inspired and energised by the resilience, creativity and courage of you — our artists, partners, funders and other collaborators. It is thanks to your support, wisdom and generosity that we’ve been able to grow as an organisation and make the difference we have so far. 

It is a true privilege to be part of this incredible network, and we look forward to continuing our work together to build a more inclusive future.