We invite applications from artists and creative practitioners working in any art form for a Refugee Week project. We particularly welcome applications from those with specific refugee or asylum seeker experience, be it as a personal experience or having worked with the refugee community.


About Refugee Week

 Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourage a better understanding between communities.

Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers. An established part of the UK’s cultural calendar, Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities. This year Refugee Week runs from 19 to 25 June. (http://refugeeweek.org.uk/about-us/)


About Us & Our Project

 Our mission is to share the stories of refugees, focusing on communities within Manchester; to celebrate our shared futures and explore the paths that brought us here. Our key theme is ‘Home is…’, using the notion of home as a framework to make the topic of migration more accessible and to explore the complexity of the issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. We are running a week long exhibition and a series of events at Z-arts focussing on these themes. The main event, on 23rd June is the Refugee Week Cultural Festival, an event co-produced with Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN). This event will be where you showcase your work. The aims of the Cultural Festival are to:

  •  Bring together the different communities involved with MRSN, Z-arts, and the University of Manchester
  • Raise awareness of the cultural contribution of the refugee community to Manchester through showcasing the culture, talents, and skills of the local refugee community
  • Promote and raise awareness of the work of MRSN and other refugee organisations in Manchester, and encourage people to get involved or volunteer with them
  • Promote a positive image of refugees
  • Create a light-hearted celebratory atmosphere where members of the community come together to share and celebrate the different cultures and identities that form part of the refugee community in Manchester and the Manchester community as a whole
  • Promote the idea that refugees in Manchester are part of the wider community and to promote inclusion, whilst acknowledging their individual backgrounds, experiences, histories, and cultures
  • Create greater feelings of integration and inclusion amongst refugee communities in Manchester


About the Residency

This is a sprint residency where you will be asked to create a piece of art in a short period of time. There are spots available, which will run simultaneously. The residency will begin on the 19th of June with attendance at the launch event for the exhibition, and will run through 23rd June when the work produced will be presented at the Refugee Week Cultural Festival. The work can either be developed individually or in collaboration with the other sprint resident.


Residency holders will each receive:

  • £300 (this fee covers expenses)
  • Workspace in the Z-arts atrium, an open space which can be viewed by the public (http://www.z-arts.org/hire-spaces/atrium/)
  • Support from the exhibition and event programme team
  • Access to information from MRSN
  • The opportunity to collaborate with another artist



  • You must be over 18
  • Performances and rehearsals will be recorded and used by us and MRSN for marketing and archival purposes. If you are not comfortable with this then please specify in your application
  • You must be available for the dates specified and willing to take part in interviews for marketing purposes.
  • You should also be sensitive to the challenges and issues that the refugee community faces.
  • Please be aware that the workspace we are offering in Z-arts is an open space which can be viewed from the main entrance by all visitors to the venue. If you would like to make use this of space to develop your work you must be comfortable with working in this open environment. 

    Please send questions and applications to: huanjen.guo@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

    Successful candidates will be notified by 31 May

    The residency will run from 19 to 23 June

In my secret garden

Posted: April 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

img_20161024_131012.jpgA series of storytelling events EVERY Saturday (including tomorrow) in Nikki Norton’ s Secret Garden Hulme Community Garden Centre 2pm for adults 3.15 for Families.
To book a place, use the links below…

A playful escapism.

More info…


I was delighted to be asked to co-compere at Amani Live presents Coco Mbassi at Manchester’s Band on the Wall on 10 December, especially since the event heralded a new milestone for Amani Creatives, who had decided to invite a big name on the African music scene as part of their own main stage showcase event.

A huge amount of work had gone into presenting a number of local African artists at the Picturehouse at Band on the Wall over the last six months of 2016. This was an opportunity to invite everybody back for a higher profile gig and several musicians took advantage to show off their talents.

First up was the brilliant master djembe player, Sidiki Dembele from the Ivory Coast, together with South African virtuoso cello player, Abel Selaocoe, who were joined on stage with Amani Creatives co-founder and leader Tagné Tebu on percussion. The combination of sounds was mesmerising and the musicality of an incredibly high quality, despite the fact that Tagné was replacing the the bass player of Sidiki and Abel’s band Chesaba, who was not available for the gig. Abel originally trained in classical cello at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music before incorporating his African music into his music. His talent has been recognised in his native South Africa, where he has won the Standard Bank Young Artist award.

Papa Sam Alafia is a talented artist from Sierra Leone, who never fails to draw an audience with the warmth of his voice as he showcases his country’s Palm Wine Music. Not unlike the acoustic draw of old time Calypso or Mento from Jamaica, the songs display simple melodies and audiences enjoy singing along to his compositions. This man’s talents have been recognised by many a mainstream artist and you will often find his name on the credits of their songs, including Seal’s Prayer for the Dying”. He finished his set to cheers from the audience.

Coco Mbassi herself was the headliner of this wonderful event and despite having been raised to a dancing frenzy during Papa Sam’s set, the audience was delighted to quieten down to appreciate the musical diva from the Cameroon. Her band consisted of her husband Serge Ngando Tal Janes on guitar

The final act of the night brought the Amani Creatives team together with founder vocalist, Emmanuela Yogolelo, including her tribute to Papa Wemba in her set. Her vocal elegance and her nods to the pygmy music of the Eastern Congo of her birth and she was joined on stage by my co-presenter, Mama Joyce, a gospel singer from Kinshasa, who is not only a writer and composer, but lead singer of the fabulous Manchester International Roots Orchestra. Not only does she have the voice of an angel, she wowed the crowd with her bootylicious African dance skills!

Credit should go to the Amani team for pulling off such a successful event and tribute paid to partner organisations Community Arts North West, offered administrative support and Band on the Wall’s educational arm Brighter Sound who have supported Amani Creative with venue facilities for their monthly Picturehouse events. The only slight hiccup occurred with the Band on the Wall sound team, when the microphones failed just before Coco Mbassi came on stage. Despite this, however, it was clear that the audience had the time of their lives, particularly when audience member, Congolese musician Blanchard de Plaisir spontaneously decided to lead them in a spontaneous dance routine!

By Geli Berg

Amani Creatives is pleased to announce that Unltd will be holding an information briefing about its funding for social entrepreneurs.
The session is aimed at individuals who have a good idea which will create social change and would like to find out about UnLtd funding.
We are holding on the same evening a short meeting too to evaluate what our monthly showcases have helped those who took part in them, in 2016, achieve and to hear what artists think about the programme.
The spaces are limited to 8 maximum. There will be therefore two sessions;
5 – 6.30pm and 6.60 – 8pm.
Green Fish Resource Centre, 46-50 Oldham Street, M4 1LE
So if you want to attend please book your place with Emmanuela on amaniplatnet@gmail.com or call 07868591070 or Serge on 07931253095
Thanks and best wishes,



coco-mbassi-imageBand on the Wall |

Sat 10 Dec

7.00pm  – 10.30pm.

Coco Mbassi is a singer originating from Cameroon. She describes her music as ‘a tree with deep African roots and branches that extend some towards classical music, some towards soul, gospel and jazz, and others towards Latin music and even pop music’. Her faith and love for the human soul exude from every note of her soulful voice.

Winner of the Radio France International Découvertes Contest in 1996, winner of the German World Music CD Critics Award in 2001 and nominated for the BBC World Music

 Awards 2002 for her first album, SEPIA, Coco Mbassi has toured worldwide with her band. Some highlights include the Eden Project Live 8 Concert 2005 organised by Peter Gabriel, WOMAD in Reading, UK; Caceres, Spain; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Singapore, and Womadelaide, Louisiana International Festival, Jazz Sous Les Pommiers, France, Festival d’Eté in Montréal, Nuits d’Afrique in Québec and Festival des REMY in Yaoundé (Cameroon).

Coco is supported by up-and-coming African music collective, Amani combining the mighty talents of local Congolese, Cameroonian, Sierra Leonean and Zimbabwean musicians bringing you the best of Congolese Rumba, Makossa, Afrobeat, Coupe Decale, Soukous, Palm Wine Music and South African Zulu Dance. Guaranteed to get you on your feet!

This event is brought to you by Amani Creatives in partnership with Brighter Sound and Community Arts North West.

It marks the culmination of the latest Amani Live series; a monthly contemporary African music event at Band on the Wall, featuring music, storytelling, spoken word, dance and visual art from the African diaspora.

 £10 Adv / £12.50

Tickets available from www.bandonthewall.org or in person Band on the Wall 25 Swan Street, M4 5JZ Tel:0161 834 1786

Amani live Jam

Posted: November 8, 2016 in Showcases

Another good experience at band on the wall with some good musicians and singers such as Clive Hunte, Hugh Peters, Tagné Tebu, Alan Budd, Emmanuela Yogolelo, M.N.I.B, Craig Winterburn ect….

Amani Live – October

Posted: September 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-18-54-37Another Amani Live is cooking, bringing you the best of local talent from the African diaspora. Come along on Sunday 2nd October, bring the kids and enjoy uplifting South African Zulu music  and Afro Jazz vibes! The perfect end to the summer holidays!

In partnership with Brighter Sound and CAN, Amani Creatives present:


Silo is a songwriter, Zulu dancer from Zimbabwe. His music is a fusion of Mbaquanga and Afro jazzy accompanied by a roaring poetry. It includes Zulu warrior dance.

Nikky Norton Shafau

Nikky Norton Shafau is a bit strange, She wants to become a Storybook…
Nikky is a storyteller, poet, street artist and gatherer of stories. She is passionate about learning, African oral storytelling tradition and showcasing often unheard voices currently focusing on woman, children and those of African/Caribbean heritage. Nikky now embarks on a journey of transformation like no other ; weaving her narratives within the digital space and the hidden worlds within your city. Look out for clues… http://www.becomingstorybook.com/

Sunday 2 Octoberber
Doors open 4pm
Event starts 4.30pm
Finishes 6.15pm

£5 / Under 12s FREE

Facebook: amaniplatnet
Youtube: Amani Creatives

Amani Live – September

Posted: August 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Jo Ludiazo

Amani Live – Sunday Grooves Under the Boabab

Another Amani Live is cooking, bringing you the best of local talent from the African diaspora. Come along on Sunday 4 September, bring the kids and enjoy uplifting Congolese Rumba, Gospel and Afro Jazz vibes! The perfect end to the summer holidays!

In partnership with Brighter Sound and CAN, Amani Creatives present:

Jocelyne Ludiazo

Dynamic singer, songwriter performer and storyteller from DR Congo, Jocelyne’s music brings together Congolese Rumba, Mutwashi and Seben, R&B and Gospel.

A lead singer for the Manchester International Roots Orchestra, her powerful voice has wowed audiences from Manchester to Edinburgh and beyond.

Afrika Jazz

This Afro Jazz trio blend African melodies and grooves with striking jazz harmonies, featuring the considerable talents of Tshepe Tshepela, Serge Tebu and Papa Blanche; two of whom have appeared at the Manchester Jazz Festival.

Sunday 4 September
Doors open 4pm
Event starts 4.30pm
Finishes 6.15pm

£5 / Under 12s FREE

Facebook: amaniplatnet
Youtube: Amani Creatives