British Council Delegate Programme

British Council Delegate Programme

​ ​​In addition to supporting the Convergence Sessions programme, the British Council has invited a selection of international festival directors, bookers, promoters and creative producers to attend Convergence Festival. These delegates are pioneering the development of the digital arts, music & technology sectors within their respective home countries and will be attending Convergence Festival in order to foster networks and collaboration with the UK market.

Meet the delegates…

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Hakeem Adam (Nigeria)

HAKEEM ADAM (Nigeria)​ is an artist in learning and instinctive creative exploring the power of narrative as a tool for deconstructing society through various mediums. He is also the founder and creative director of DANDANO, a Pan-African cultural platform for African film and music criticism. He is also a freelance writer documenting and archiving African culture for the past few years and has worked with publications like OkayAfrica, 10and5, Dynamic Africa, Roads and Kingdoms, Culture Trip, ACCRA[dot]ALT and Circumspecte. His prose and poetry have been featured in African literary magazines, Afreada, Brittle Paper and as part of an anthology of short stories by Flash Fiction Ghana. He recently completed a degree in Psychology and English at the University of Ghana, focusing on Creative Writing. His work is fixated on the fabrics of contemporary Ghanaian society and is exploring ways to unravel the threads that bind through storytelling. Hakeem Adam was also an associate curator for the CHALE WOTE Street Art festival 2017 and was also the media manager as well. In July of 2017, three of his poems were installed inside the Cape Coast Castle as part of In Memoriam: Portraits of the Middle Passage, In Situ/The Nkyinkyim Installation; by Kwame Akoto Bamfo, curated by Daniel Dunson. He is also currently working on various photography and video art projects for 2018.

Brian Ritchie (Australia)

BRIAN RITCHIE (Australia) is a multi-faceted musician and arts curator. His musical career extends across the fields of rock, classical, folk, blues, Japanese traditional music and musique concrete and beyond. He first came to international prominence as bassist/multi-instrumentalist with post-punk trio Violent Femmes. He has also performed and recorded with artists such as Rodriguez, Lou Reed, Australian Chamber Orchestra, electronic music pioneer Pierre Henry and many more. He is a licensed teacher and performer of the shakuhachi, Japanese Zen flute. Brian moved to Tasmania in 2007 and became the Music Curator at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). In this capacity he organizes MONA FOMA (Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and Art) combining music, sound art, visual art, dance, spoken word and theatre, and the Synesthesia festival which is a classical and experimental music festival of sound and light. Brian’s programming is based on ideas, individuality and collaboration rather than a style driven approach. Award Winning curated events such as The Barbarians by IHOS Music Theatre and Opera and 48 Fugues for Frank by pianist Michael Kieran Harvey stand alongside touring international artists such as Philip Glass, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Neil Gaiman to name only a few of the thousands of performers and artists to grace MOFO spaces. Brian and his team organizes over 100 performance events at Mona every year, including the Mona Market (MoMa), Jazz at Mona (JAM), onsite concerts and art openings. Brian has had long-term engagement with Australasian indigenous musicians. He mentors Aboriginal musicians at the annual Bush Bands Bash in Northern Territory and as part of Bleach Festival for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Chi Po-Hao (Taiwan)

CHI PO-HAO (Taipei) is a musician and artist from Taiwan. He holds a Master of Music Degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London and Bachelors Degree in Economics from National Taiwan University.He was an in-house songwriter in a record company and the original member of the band ‘Hello Nico.’ His works, principally involving but not limited to live electronic, electroacoustic composition and sound installation, crossing the boundaries among music, art, and technology. He usually applied self-made tools and found objects that are based on electronic devices and everyday materials, in combined with customized tools developed in Max/MSP environment for both live performance and installation, or even educational activities. Recently he worked toward projects that related to the topics of ‘generative music’ and ‘sonification’, designing systems that make music through the chance-determined process. He is also running Zone Sound Creative, an organisation in Taiwan that promotes music computing and technology oriented applications in sound and music.

Cristian Reynaga (Argentina)

CRISTIAN REYNAGA (Argentina) is an independent curator specialized in electronic arts from Argentina. He is the Founder and Director of +CODE Electronic Art Festival based in Buenos Aires that gathers artists from all around the globe. He works creating and curating festivals and exhibitions gathering new media art, emerging technologies and live audio-visual performances. He is the coordinator of Internet of Things Community in Buenos Aires, and works as Consultant in Science and Technology for the Buenos Aires City Government. His work mixes film-making, data analysis and cultural studies, using data visualization and data mining as techniques for his researches about electronic art history in Argentina. Reynaga is a Bachelor in Electronic Arts, holds a diploma in Cultural Industries and Digital Convergence and is a master's degree student in Curatorship in Visual Arts, from the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Argentina.

Javier Areal Veléz (Argentina)

JAVIER AREAL VELÉZ (Buenos Aires, 1985) is an experimental musician and cultural manager. He has a degree in Electroacoustic Composition at the UNQ, and has performed extensively in Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil, Mexico, USA and Europe, as a soloist, band leader and in collaboration with artists as Paal Nilssen-Love, Audrey Chen, Andrew Drury, Theo Nabicht, Chris Pitsiokos, Jack Wright and the London Improvisers Orchestra. His music has been released in several independent labels worldwide. He is the creator of RUIDO, the new music program of Centro Cultural San Martín, which aims to present, for the first time in Argentina, the foremost artists of diverse experimental styles from all over the world, and connect them with local musicians and audiences through a network of concerts, workshops and masterclasses. RUIDO is a joint production between Centro Cultural San Martín, Mecenazgo de Buenos Aires and Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero. Other works in this field include the artistic coordination of the Colón Contemporáneo program of Teatro Colón (since 2011), the direction of the independent music company Adoba Tritura Machaca (since 2014) and the artistic coordination of the Contemporary Music Festival of Teatro San Martín (2011-2016). In the last decade, he has also produced new music events in local cultural spaces like Fundación PROA, Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Usina del Arte, Centro de Arte Sonoro and Casa Nacional del Bicentenario; and has established working relationships with countless international institutions, among them CCEBA, Italian Culture Institute, Alliance Française, US Embassy in Argentina, Goethe Institut, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, ExperientalStudio des SWR, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung and Paul Sacher Stiftung.

Dmitry Agalakov (Russia)

DMITRY AGALAKOV and his friends in 2009 created Roots United musical community. During the next 9 years it has grown from organizing local house-parties to Russia's largest contemporary musical culture and urban leisure events. Five years later Roots United launched same-titled record label and also, their main project, to date, appeared. Present Perfect Festival is one of the most distinguished underground electronic music festival among the entire territory of post-soviet states. Over 20 000 visitors have become the festival's guests since 2015. The event's positive reputation is supported by international and domestic press reviews. Dmitry directs both creative and art components of Roots United activities. He also heads the artists booking department. Over 150 foreign artists have become the headliners of Present Perfect Festival and other Roots United events. Prominent techno and house DJ's, experimental musicians and contemporary jazz performers are among those numbers. Thanks to the efforts of Dmitry project's cultural partners became Boiler Room, Red Light Radio, Goethe Institut, Resident Advisor, Tresor Club, Berlin Club Commission, British Council and many others.

Kukuh Rizal (Indonesia)

KUKUH RIZAL is currently the Managing Director of Double Deer, a multi-discipline creative organisation that responds to the ever changing dynamic of Jakarta's multi-faceted audio entertainment industry.
With Double Deer, Kukuh has spearheaded several initiatives that combines music, technology and visual arts, including the recent NEWLAND.ID, a multi-sensory interactive experience event. In the past he was also the co-founder of HouseTheHouse, a creative studio based in Bandung, and spent time in the corporate sector managing marketing and events for Nike and PT HM Sampoerna.

Hasaan Meer (Oman)

HASSAN MEER was born in Muscat where he continues to live and work. He received his Masters degree in Art in 2000 and his Bachelor degree in Fine Art with Media Art specialization in 1999 from Savannah College of art and design, Georgia, USA. During his study, he started using video and installation art as a new form to express his ideas, which have been inspired by personal experience and childhood memories with an impressionable sense of spirituality. 
In the year 2000 he organized the Circle Show, which, is taking the lead in encouraging this new form of art in Oman and the region. He is the artistic director of Stal Gallery & studio where he has established an initiative that supports the young Omani artists with direction and development. Hassan is very much inspired by the changes in culture identity and he studies individual identity in relation to a collective experience through his installation works. His work is also a contemplation and search into the spiritual domain and the magic rituals bequeathed to us from ancient times which, has established itself profoundly in our society. It narrates his pondering and questioning of death, the mortality of man and examines others local prevalent rituals. His exhibitions include: Fotofest Biennial, Houston, Texas (2014) and All Silent for the buzzing Royal College of Art Galleries, Kensington, London (2014). His work is exhibited in many public and private collections in Oman and abroad.

Nikita Rasskazov (Russia)

NIKITA RASSKAZOV (b. 1992, Podolsk, Moscow region) is a producer and curator of the Live department at V-A-C Foundation. He graduated from European University in St. Petersburg (MA) where he studied film language, later teaching Film Theory at school (European Gymnasium, Moscow). Soon his interest focused on contemporary art in time-based and immaterial forms. He participated as a producer in public-art project Critical Mass (St. Petersburg, 2015), Urs Fisher’s YES (Garage Museum, Moscow, 2016). In 2017 he joined Moscow sound artists community SA)) presenting his audio installations and music in the VZLET project (VDNH, Moscow) and Electromuseum. His work at V-A-C Foundation began as a mediator and artists manager assistant at Geometry Of Now curated by Mark Fell and continued as a producer of public and education programs at Hosting The Inhuman and Tino Sehgal projects. At the same time he began organizing music and performance local events. Currently he programs and produces live programme for V-A-C Foundation’s main 2018 show General Rehearsal curated by Francesco Manacorda. Main interests lie in the synthesis of music, science and performance art, creating new formats of live events. V-A-C’s mission is to produce the innovative and contemporary artistic context within Russian culture. In Moscow, V-A-C runs GES-2, an open, inclusive and responsive institution that encourages fluidity between disciplines, audiences and cultures. Committed to the production of the new and the anticipation of the future, V-A-C values and adapts to the visionary abilities of contemporary artists. As such, it allows both artists and audiences alike to influence its future directions, making of institutional learning and audience emancipation its key guiding principles. Through its integrated exhibition, live, learning and publication programmes, V-A-C promotes public understanding and critical awareness of the most contemporary issues today while with its residencies and production spaces, it stimulates the Russian scene in developing international networks and taking ownership of different levels of cultural production.

Riham Noor Mohamed Al-Zadjali (Oman)

RIHAM NOOR studied Art History and Fine Art at the American University of Paris. Whilst studying she took part in a series of exhibitions: Student exhibitions at the Paris American Academy; Fine Art Society 9th annual woman's exhibition; Fine Art Society 9th annual exhibition "Evolution Art"; Fine Art Society festival "Qaboos patron of peace & Oman land of civilization"; Majan art exhibition at Oman Cultural Club; Launch of "Oman Art" at Oman Exhibition Center; Armed forces day "Art on aircrafts" at the Royal Air Force base.; Stal Gallery Emerging artists competition 2015; Art With Refugees fundraiser at Grand Hyatt Muscat. Privately, she organized the "Oman 1971" exhibition by Bruno Barbey for the 40th renaissance anniversary, in collaboration with The Empty Quarter gallery and an upcoming exhibition by Martin Becka which will show in the future. Riham also designed boxes for Tamrah fine dates & chocolatier and organised artworks promoting environmental awareness, recycling, community activism & tolerance for Our Planet International School. In addition to this, Riham has done a great deal of voluntary work, as an Art & Arabic teacher for orphan & underprivileged students at Bwejuu Charity School in Zanziba, as an art teacher in the refugee squats of Athens and as an Art assistant to the blind & disabled at the empowering disability identity workshop sponsored by the British council. Adding another string to her bow, Riham Founded & sponsored Art with Refugees: A traveling exhibition of artworks by refugees & artists worldwide supporting sustainable projects that help better living conditions for refugees.

Colleen Balchin (South Africa)

COLLEEN BALCHIN is a Johannesburg-based club culture activist. Working with her partner under the genre-shredding umbrella programme Broaden A New Sound, Colleen balances work as a DJ, performer, club manager, programmer and booking agent. Based primarily out of the iconic 7-days-a-week pub-cum-club Kitchener’s Carvery Bar (KCB), Broaden A New Sound have been instrumental in shaping Joburg’s counter-culture nightlife for over a decade. BANS and KCB have hosted underground luminaries like Matias Aguayo,
Daedelus, Low End Theory, Mala, Kode9, Slugabed, Gaika, Chimurenga Renaissance (Shabazz Palaces), Ikonika, Swindle, Jacques Renault, Tornado Wallace, Mr Ties, Nightmares on Wax and more, including an upcoming tour for Teki Latex. As well as the independent, inward-looking mini-festival Churn, which has hosted the likes of Esa, Nozinja and gqom pioneers RudeBoyz, Colleen also spearheads the two-pronged safer-space and visibility campaign, Pussy Party. Pussy Party is a monthly Wednesday club night at KCB which provides an incubation platform for femme- and queer-identifying artists. Colleen also hosts free DJ workshops for the Pussy Party community, and provides ongoing support for workshop alumni through bookings and integration into weekend programming in the city. As a manager at the club, she works closely with security and door staff, not only at Pussy Party but throughout the month, to create tools and policies to pre-empt and police anti-femme and anti-queer behaviours and structures. Most nights Colleen can be found on the door herself, implementing the sliding-scale cover chargeand access policy that maintains KCB as a uniquely integrated, non-judgemental, multi-use cultural hub.