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DESIRE LINES are the paths we collectively make as an act of resistance when existing routes are no longer functional or adequate. For this project we delivered a seminar centred on the future of European residencies and exchanges in response to uncertain times post-COVID19 and Brexit. 


Utilising the seminar as a site of performance, DESIRE LINES was a series of online talks, commissioned artworks and discussions with simultaneous physical and live streamed activity. 

Link to our DESIRE LINES booklet:

Chapter One here

Chapter Two here

Chapter Three here

Chapter Four here

Chapter Five here

Links to the full talks in video, text and audio will be available in 2022

DESIRE LINES Programme: 

Liveability: Dr Susan Jones and Jack Tan

in conversation with Chris Bailkoski

Covering Artist pay, care and opportunity

Inclusivity: mandla rae with Yandass

Centering artistic practice of the global majority

Network: Hannah Buckley

Covering personal and community ecologies

Environment: Rebekah Ubuntu

Covering non-ableist perspectives of the art world

Sustainability: Kirubel Belay

Covering vulnerability over resilience

Curated by Chris Bailkoski, Nikita Gill and Julia Makojnik

Partner Focus: Frank Weinhold & Julia Makojnik

Covering Manchester and Chemnitz links including Begehungen Festival

Partner Focus: PAS-E & Nikita Gill

Covering Manchester and Venice links

Partner Focus: Autostrada Biennale & Chris Bailkoski

Covering Manchester and Kosovo Links

These L.I.N.E.S. have also informed our resource for self-initiated European residencies: click here


Nikita Gill: Nikita Gill is an Afro-Caribbean artist and curator in training with the International Institute of Visual Arts (INIVA) and Manchester Art Gallery. She received her MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester in 2019. Her previous work includes support of the exhibition and development of Excavating the Reno (2017 – 2018), Portraits of Recovery with David Hoyle and Mark Prest (2017), Bodies of Colour (2018) and Joy Forever (2019) at the Whitworth Art Gallery. She has developed and supported performances for Block Universe (2020) Jade Montserrat (2021) and Glasgow International (2021). Nikita is interested in decolonial practices within performance and new media, centred on care within the context of art gallery collections. Currently Nikita is working on Future Collect, supporting Jade Montserrat’s commission by INIVA. Nikita is a recipient of the 2021 UK New Artists Future Producers Grant and is joint creative producer for PROFORMA Desire Lines project (2021 - 22). Nikita is a member of the Black Curators Collective.

Julia Makojnik: Julia Makojnik is a curator, writer and educator based in Manchester and at Islington Mill. She is an Associate at Pavement Gallery, a 24 hour window space based just off Oxford Road in Manchester, and has recently worked on exhibitions by artists Kerry Tribe, Peter Liversidge and Johanna Billing. Julia works as a Technical Demonstrator at the University of Salford, where she delivers teaching across a variety of degree programs in art and design. She is also currently studying for her MA in Contemporary Curating at Manchester School of Art, researching peripheral forms of non-academic knowledge production.

Dr Susan Jones: Dr Susan Jones is an independent arts researcher working between industry and academia. Her current research study Artists livelihoods in 2021 continues from her doctorate which examined the interrelationship between artists’ livelihoods and arts policy. Her writing has been published by Arts Professional, Art Review. Corridor 8, Double Negative, Engage, Sluice, TransArtists and a-n. Recent presentations and seminars include for Another artworld is possible (with Vishalaki Roy), Assembly: Blackpool, CAMP, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, ELIA NXT, PROFORMA, Temporary Contemporary, SameSkies and STEAMhouse.

Jack Tan: Jack Tan uses law, policy, social norms and customs as a medium of making art. He creates performances, sculpture and participatory projects that highlight the rules that guide human behaviour. In Jack’s social practice, he blurs the boundaries between art, governance and consultancy in order to help organisations reform and revision themselves using artistic thinking. Jack trained as a lawyer and worked in civil rights NGOs before becoming an artist. Jack’s practice-led Ph.D at Roehampton University explored legal aesthetics and performance art. He has taught sculpture at the Royal College of Art and University of Brighton, and politics at Goldsmiths.

Frank Weinhold: Frank Weinhold is a team member of Begehungen, Chemnitz and is responsible for the digital and remote residence program. The art festival Begehungen has been taking place in Chemnitz since 2003 - as the largest off-culture event in the city. The trademark is an unconventional and low-threshold approach to art. For this reason, the Begehungen are not just a temporary art exhibition, they are a social meeting point for people of different backgrounds. An extensive supporting program consisting of performances, readings and concerts is also an essential part of the festival.

mandla rae: mandla rae is a queer Zimbabwean writer, performer and curator. The artist is agender and uses mandla in place of pronouns. mandla’s work typically explores an intersectional existence enforced on the artists’ body as a result of the world we live in. The artist has been commissioned by many organisations across the country including the BFI, Contact, Journeys Festival International and Hope Mill Theatre to make written works. mandla rae is also an Associate Artist with Outbox Theatre.

Yandass Ndlovu: Founder of I M Pact collective, Director, Choreographer, Actor and Dancer. 1st Class Hons Dance & Performance. Manchester International Festival Creative Fellow. 

Chereographer- The Walk/When Birds Land Little Amal [Manchester International Festival]; Everything All Of The Time [Contact Theatre]

Movement Director- Bloody Elle, Royal Exchange 

Actor - Macbeth; Jubilee; Our Town[Royal Exchange Theatre]

Dancer- Alphabus; WOZA; Icaria-NOWNESS; FlexN Manchester; Sea Change [Manchester International Festival]

Boy Blue Elavate; See Me After-PUSH; Platform-PUSH [HOME]

FlexN Young Identity [Contact Theatre]

I M Pact Productions- All I Want For Christmas; 

LET’S GO at Contact Theatre, Manchester Opera House, HOME, Lowry, Portico Library, Antony Burgees Foundation, Royal Exchange Theatre; QueerContact Contact Theatre; 

GM initiative commission 2021- Vuka, Manchester Museum 

Nishla- Music Video 

Lowry commission plus ACE bid- Resilience 

PAS_E: Pase is a cultural organization that explores, thinks of and takes on new art languages. It began its journey in 2011, as it started to elaborate educational activities, discussion and performance that are connected to contemporary music. Through the years, Pase has had the possibility to work alongside artists of various backgrounds, implicated in the worlds of art and contemporary music, by way of an involvement in the processes of curatorship, production and organization.

Autostrada Biennale: Autostrada Biennale was established by two artists and a pedagogue in 2014. As the only contemporary art institution in Prizren, Kosovo, it functions on two speeds: one is a physical exhibition taking place in public space every two years, the second is a long-term educational center in the former KFOR camp, where the exhibition preparation process is open to the public, making creation of the artworks a form of learning and critical thinking.

Hannah Buckley: Hannah Buckley’s practice is rooted in somatic enquiry and processes that ask questions about dance, about embodiment, about health and wellbeing, and about how artists work, collaborate and co-create with other people, participants and communities. Hannah works collaboratively with her twin sister Amy, a photographer based in NYC, with the Manchester based artist collective Accumulations and with dancer and visual artist Hollie Miller. She has performed as part of festivals such as Manchester International Festival, the Venice Biennale and Transform Festival and her work has been supported by organisations such as Arts Council England, Yorkshire Dance, The Place and Dance4.

Rebekah Ubuntu: Rebekah Ubuntu is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and university lecturer based in London, UK. Their practice explores speculative fiction, ecologies and belonging through voice and sound art, electronic music (composition and improvisation), moving image, writing and performance. They also co-create in mixed reality, installation, podcasts and workshops. Most recently, their audio art project ‘Autism and the City: a Sonic Diary’ was featured on BBC Radio 6 following successful co-commission by the BBC, Institute of Contemporary Art (UK) and NTS Radio. In 2019 Tate Modern commissioned Rebekah to perform and showcase their long term sonic-visual Despair, Hope and Healing: Three Movements for Climate Justice in response to the Olafur Eliasson exhibit. In tandem, Tate Modern’s Uniqlo Lates invited them to discuss the influence of speculative fiction in their work. Shape Arts have since selected ‘Despair, Hope and Healing’ for exhibition in the ground-breaking augmented reality app Unfolding Shrines which launched in Spring 2021.

Rebekah’s solo and collaborative works have been showcased at BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, Frieze London, Barbican Centre, Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland), Diametre Gallery (Paris), New Art Exchange (Nottingham), Four Four Gallery (Nottingham), FACT (Liverpool) and London’s Serpentine Galleries among others.

Rebekah is a Jerwood Arts Bursary recipient (2021), Womxn of Colour Art Award finalist (2021) and Adam Reynolds Award finalist (2021).

Rebekah has taught and guest lectured at Central Saint Martins, Wimbledon College of Arts, King's College London, SOAS University of London, Tate Modern, The Place Contemporary Dance Trust, Siobhan Davies Dance Company and The University of the UndergroundThey have mentored artists as part of Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP) grant, Wysing Arts Centre’s Amplify project and LGBTQ Outside’s Queer Youth Arts Collective.

Rebekah Ubuntu identifies as Black, queer, genderqueer and disabled. Intersectional queer, transfeminist, disability and climate justice perspectives, practices and languages are central components of their praxis and research.

Kirubel Belay: As an independent artist Kirubel practices and believes in the ideology to create anything from nothing - translating to the escapism and freedom of not feeling restricted and not focusing on what you don’t have, but rather focusing on what you can create within your means, with what you do have.  Kirubel’s expertise in the various fields within the industry has given him adaptability, which has become his niche.
Kirubel Belay has worked on projects including; 
J Balvin, Chaka Khan, Migos, Greta Van Fleet, Bebe Rexha, Gashi, Labrinth, Plan B, Peter Andre, Stylo G, Starley, Pa Salieu, J Hus, Yung Blud, IAMDDB, G-Eazy, Nao and many others. He has worked on shows such as The Jonathan Ross Show, The Graham Norton Show, MTV, The Voice, Top Of The Pops Christmas Special - just to mention a few and also worked with publications such as GQ Style, Dazed, Vogue Italia, Indie Magazine, iD, Hunger, Brick along various others.
Kirubel’s wealth of experience and contribution in the UK entertainment industry and community sits him in the top percentile that keeps the UK a global leader in the music industry.

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