AIC Summer School

2022 Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice

2022 Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice
Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice, 2019. Photo: Joseph Carr

Create and Counterpoints Arts are pleased to announce the 2022 School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice for up to 15 artists. We are delighted to host the 2022 School in person over five days: 13-17 July, at Killary Lodge, Co Galway.

The deadline for submission is 6 June, 5pm


About the Summer School

Influenced by global and translocal practices, the Summer School is shaped by the diverse life experiences of participants and the work and mentoring of visiting artists and facilitators.

The School’s focus on both learning and defamiliarising habituated practices is informed by the everyday realities of cultural diversity and the values and methodologies underpinning collaborative arts practice.

The interdisciplinary curriculum and composition of participants and facilitators enables a conversation about the significance and impact of cultural diversity in people’s intimate lives, in neighborhoods and within communities of place.

The 2022 edition of the School will further focus on the cultural and political understandings of ‘place’ in a world increasingly shaped by displacement and uncertainty.

Lines of inquiry include the following interconnected questions, among others:

  • How does cultural diversity resonate as a dynamic part of everyday life; and, by extension, how might the language around cultural diversity be challenged and repositioned?
  • What does place, community, and belonging mean in an age of human displacement?
  • How can working cooperatively form a part of the artistic (socially engaged) process, as a driver for meaningful change in local places and alongside communities?
  • How can cultural diversity, collaborative arts practice and place be understood in the context of de-colonisation and global displacement?
  • How do we connect and collaborate – as communities of artists, cultural actors and activists – despite the turbulence of local/global displacement.


The School will take the form of a five-day residency enabling a ‘think and do’ collaborative approach, utilising a combination of creative workshops, critical and comparative case studies, a creative group challenge, one-to-one mentoring, together with international guest artists including curators, policymakers and activists.

Directed by: Dr Áine O’Brien – Curator of Learning and Research and Co-Founder, Counterpoints Arts

Co-FacilitatorIsabel Lima, Independent Artist and Director of The Gresham Horse project

Visiting artists and facilitators include:

Natalia Palombo, Director, Deveron Projects, Huntly, Scotland

Ismail Einashe, Investigative Journalist and Cultural Activist

Sarah Allen, Director of MozFest


Artist in the Community Scheme (AIC)

A key aim of the Summer School is to create a peer-to-peer space in which to explore the concept of cultural diversity and collaborative practice through the lens of the Artist in the Community Scheme (AIC), which has to date resulted in rich cultural ecosystems and cross-sector methodologies.

The AIC scheme aims to encourage and support meaningful collaboration between artists and communities of place and/or interest, and supports dynamic collaborations across  art forms and context areas across the country.


Killary Lodge Co. Galway

Participants will stay in Killary Lodge Co. Galway which is a country lodge nestled among mature native trees, just 250m from the waters of Killary Fjord, in the heart of Ireland’s stunning Wild Atlantic Way. The house has 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. Please note that participants must be willing to share bedrooms, however this will be done in consultation with you. The residential will include full board, travel and an appropriate honorarium.

The deadline for submission is 6 June, 5pm.

You will find guidelines and an online application form linked on this page.

For enquiries contact support[at] 


Visiting artists and facilitators include:

Natalia Palombo is Director, Deveron Projects, Huntly, Scotland. Natalia joined the Deveron Projects team in February 2021. She was the co-founder and Managing Director of Many Studios, whilst curating an international arts programme on-site at The Gallow Gate. Natalia has worked across visual art, film, dance and music, producing public programmes that place quality production and strong socio-political values at their heart. Natalia’s passion for travel weaves its way into her practice, working with hundreds of artists from Scotland to South Africa and most places in between.

Ismail Einashe is an award-winning journalist and writer who has written for BBC News, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Nation, among many others. At present, he is a Senior Journalist at Lost in Europe, a cross-border journalism project, which investigates the disappearance of child migrants in Europe. He has co-edited the book, Lost in Media: Migrant Perspectives and the Public Sphere, a collection of essays on the representations of migrants and refugees in the European media. In 2021, he won the inaugural Investigative Journalism for the EU (IJ4EU) Impact Award as part of the Lost in Europe team. In 2019, he won a Migration Media Award and in 2020 he was shortlisted for the European Press Prize. He is also an Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University.

Sarah Allen is the Director of MozFest- a unique hybrid event that is part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world. Sarah has curated digital and physical art exhibitions and workshops at the festival to help broaden perspectives, learning and voices as we build a healthier internet and Trustworthy AI.


Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts. Our work initiates cross-sectoral national and international partnerships which support artists and communities to co-create work of depth, ambition and excellence. Our mission is to lead the development of collaborative arts practice by enabling artists and communities to create exceptional art together. As a resource organisation we offer supports for artists working in social and community contexts. These include professional development, mentoring, project development support, commissioning and project opportunities as well as research and training. We also manage the Artist in the Community Scheme for the Arts Council. Create believes that by working together, artists and communities can purposefully explore how collaborative arts engage in distinct, relevant and powerful ways with the urgent social, cultural and political issues of our times

Counterpoints Arts support, produce and promote the arts by and about migrants and refugees and communties of place/interest. Our work is done in collaboration through local, national and international co-productions – with artists, arts, cultural and educational organizations, neighbourhoods/communities of place and civil society activists. We believe in the ability of the arts to inspire social change and reach our mission via three integrated strands: ‘Enabling, Producing and Learning’. We develop strategic programmes and platforms, enabling organisations and practitioners to improve networking, develop practice and showcase work. We produce high quality work across different artforms and outputs – events, exhibitions, commissions, digital platforms, artefacts and residencies engaging diverse audiences. We facilitate learning through peer-to-peer learning labs and platforms – encouraging imaginative reflection, cross-sector conversations, skills transfer, and the sharing of evaluation and impact.

Dr Áine O’Brien is Curator of Learning and Research and Co-Founder of Counterpoints Arts, London. She is co-editor of a combined book/DVD-ROM Projecting Migration: Transcultural Documentary Practice (Columbia University Press, 2007); and is co-editor of Art, Migration and the Production of Radical Democratic Citizenship (forthcoming Rowman and Littlefield International). Áine leads on Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab platform, developing national and international learning/creative production partnerships (with artists, curators, cultural activists and organisations, policymakers and academic institutions). She is currently leading on the Mutual Affinities Learning Lab with artists and organsations in Scotland, in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Isabel Lima is an  Independent Artist and Director, The Gresham Horse project, UK. Lima develops socially engaged works, which question the sense of belonging, identity, place and culture. Her own family history of displacement is the catalyst for her research. In her practice. Isabel is interested in probing the contradiction between the theoretical framework of postcolonialism and the structures governing our society today, looking at ways of mapping and rendering visible the current refugee crisis in Europe and investigating the role and responsibilities of the artist as a mediator and image producer when engaging audiences with the issues of ethics, risk and precariousness.



related programme
Artist in the Community Scheme