Exchanges is a programme of talks, workshops and residencies from Sligo County Council Arts Service funded by the Arts Council’s Invitation to Collaboration scheme. The programme focuses on developing supports for artists from culturally diverse backgrounds and is aimed at providing funding for artists at all stages of their career, who are interested in working in culturally diverse and socially-engaged contexts. The Exchanges programme is presented in partnership with Create, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, The Model Sligo and the Hawk’s Well Theatre.
‘Navigating the Irish Arts Scene’, the first talk in our series, features Hina Khan and Amir Abu Alrob in conversation with Evgeny Shtorn.
Hina Khan is a visual artist from Pakistan. Having completed an MFA majoring in Miniature Painting, she uses a mixture of traditional and innovative techniques in Miniatures. Hina portrays social issues, immigration, humanitarian crises like prostitution, gender discrimination, gender restrictions, trauma, child abuse and killing in her work. She has chosen Miniature because of its intricacy and delicacy of brush work which lends their unique identity. Hina moved to Ireland in 2015. She has exhibited widely in both Pakistan and Ireland including solo exhibitions at Ballina Art Centre, Mayo and Stradbally Art Centre. She has been awarded residencies with Fire Station Arts Centre, Create Ireland, Uillinn West Cork Art Centre and Cow House Studio. Most recently she is the recipient of two awards: CREATE/Arts Council R&D in collaboration with Tomasz Madajczak under the mentorship of Jesse Jones and Creative Ireland Award, Cork County Council collaborating with Film Maker David Bickley.
Amir Abualrob is a Palestinian refugee and theatre maker. In 2013 they joined The Freedom Theatre (TFT), Jenin refugee camp, Palestine and completed 4 years of study in Theatre and Cultural Resistance. In 2017 they worked with TFT school as a facilitator. They have been a part of the LGBT movement in Palestine. In July 2019 they took a course in Character & Scene Study at The Lir, Dublin. They performed in and co-devised The Bed at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 2020. In Oct 2020 they were the recipient of the AIC bursary award for Collaborative Arts and Cultural Diversity.
Evgeny Shtorn is a writer, activist, and researcher from St Petersburg. Due to his involvement in civil society work he was forced to leave Russia in 2018. In 2019, he was granted international protection in the Republic of Ireland. He works as a Social and Cultural Diversity Consultant collaborating with different universities and NGO’s, (NUI Galway, UCD, Equality Fund at Rethink Ireland), and co-facilitates a project with people seeking asylum ‘Something From There’ in the National Gallery of Ireland. Evgeny’s writing has been published in academic journals, anthologies and new media outlets in Russia, Spain, Germany, and Ireland. As an activist, he has been involved in human rights and LGBT advocacy for almost two decades. He is a co-founder of Queer Diaspora Ireland, an initative that supports LGBT people in direct provision. In 2019 he was awarded the Inclusion award by Galway Community Pride. In 2020, Shtorn was awarded the GALAs Person of the Year by the National LGBT Federation of Ireland (NXF). He is also a member of the board of directors of Dublin Pride.