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Artist Bursary

Phakama want to GIVE artists the space, time and means to create, experiment and be. 

    We want to GAIN greater perspectives of (new) arts practices and raise our profile.

At Phakama we understand that artist facilitators, with their unique skills and experience are integral to the ongoing growth of the company.

It is our intention that artists don’t just deliver workshops for us, but are involved in the shaping and creation of projects.

Each year we offer seed funding of up to £2000 for an artist to develop a discrete project that chimes with Phakama’s vision. 


We hope that this seed funding will allow artists to test out their ideas whilst collaborating with and complementing Phakama’s vision.

I’ve had the opportunity through this seed funding to try something new and I still can’t believe the outcome. It’s such a brilliant scheme, it’s opened me up to whole other medium, but more importantly, by selecting me as the bursary recipient for 2019, Phakama believed in my project and that belief has taken me very far from where I was a year ago. 


Hussina Raja 2019 bursary recipient -

We are currently accepting project proposals for our 2021 Artist Bursary - for more info download the brief here.

2020 Artist Bursary Project: 

A wall covered in street art. The art is blue and full of repetitative patterns. In front of the wall are orange hazzard street cones.

Image by Hatiq Mohammed

Hatiq Mohammed is an outsider artist who goes by the name Teakster. He has an extensive background of creating large scale murals inspired by his Islamic faith. Hatiq’s proposal is to create a mural in Tower Hamlets with a group of young people, which has been designed by the participants and reflects their beliefs and interests.

As Hatiq is a new artist to Phakama, we have teamed him up with Young Creative, Ellis Lewis-Dragstra to act as a Phakama mentor to him.

Hatiq's project was due to start in June so we will continue to monitor what happens with coronavirus and decide nearer the time whether it will have to be postponed/altered.

Past Artist Bursary Projects:

Hussina Raja
A man and a woman stare at the the camera.


ROOTS is a short film which Hussina describes as a reflection on migrant assimilation and the shedding of identity.


'A couple looks hopefully into the future. They soon discover the obstacles they must overcome to be accepted. As generations evolve their position alters in what was once a foreign land.'

The film had it's world premier at the BFI London Film Festival in 2019

Mike Knowlden
A terracotta bowl with food. A spoon is bringing some food out of the bowl. There is an empty plate infront of the bowl and some smaller bowls and a bottle behind the bowl.

Elephant in the Kitchen

Elephant in the Kitchen worked with different generations from families who have moved to London from across the world.

The project combined storytelling and food, bringing together culinary cultures and acting as a way for people to express themselves, creating an atmosphere of relaxed sharing and comfortable interaction, exploring what it means to move to a new place

Nurull Islam
A man holds paper and some battered fish. Behind him is a fish and chip shop.

The Full English

Traditional favourites, such as the full English breakfast, have only recently become widely available to the Muslim community. 

Nurull Islam collaborated with photographer Rehan Jamil to create portraits that explore  how the Muslim community in Tower Hamlets has integrated traditional English meals into their daily lives, depicting the traditional English dishes that have found their way into the Muslim community.

Kate Beales & Caro Gervay
A blurry black and white image of a figure in white. Their face has been blurred out.

Of All People

Of All People is a storytelling and photography project about joining in, telling stories, building relationships and growing communities.

Through creative workshops 

participants document each others’ stories through photographs, and curate an extraordinary multimedia exhibition dedicated to individuals, others, and the creative power of relationships.