WORLD IS NOT
AMRIT DOLL, ASHWIN PATEL, BHARTI PARMAR, DE’ANNE CROOKS, ISMAIL
KHOKON, JUSTIN CAREY, KRISHAN PATEL, NILUPA YASMIN, PRITT KALSI,
RAÚL VALDIVIA MURGUEYTIO, REBECCA ORLEANS, SANAH IQBAL
THE TRAVELLING WORLD
IS NOT ARRIVING
ReFramed is a Midlands-based network for Black, Asian and other racialised communities
interested in producing photographic visual art. Set up by a team of award-winning
photographers and curators, from these above communities, who believe that visual arts
can play a critical role in shaping civic and contemporary attitudes. Starting collaborative
conversations and changing prevailing thoughts about race, the local environment and our
As the first wave of COVID-19 approached, we were conscious of how our communities were
being disproportionately affected and yet under-represented both in terms of who was being
interviewed about it but also regarding who was asking the questions.
The lack of inclusion and diversity in the media and the arts, whilst long-term and historical,
seemed to be most apparent to us. Regrettably, even after many arts organisations, in
the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement, had pledged to be more inclusive.
As a result, we undertook, with collaboration from Black Country Visual Arts and funding
from the Arts Council, to create a range of opportunities for artists, from a cross-section of
backgrounds, to respond directly to COVID-19 and the multiple ways it had affected their
The funding enabled us to support two artists, a number which later grew to five with the
support of Kala Phool, Slanguages, New Art Exchange and Birmingham City University.
Alongside these established artists we also, through workshop-based training opportunities,
worked with several new artists across the Midlands to help them produce bodies of
photographic work. We believe that it is fundamental that those involved in commissioning
and making work that is directly about our communities, have the lived experiences,
knowledge and consent of those communities in order to reflect them in honest and
In this light, it has been a great pleasure for all of us at ReFramed to have been able to
give these artists the platform and opportunity to respond to this moment in time. The
following images in this publication reflect the approaches of both our Bursary Artists and
photographic workshop participants. Through their eyes we get to see their lives, thoughts
and feelings reflected to us in an enduring time that is still yet to pass.
The ReFramed Team
Representation matters. Who gets to represent whom, on what basis, and how, when and
why stories are told through various mediums, is a pressing issue of our time.
In 2020 with the onset of a global pandemic, and then the resurgence of the Black Lives
Matter movement around the world after the killing of George Floyd in the USA, these former
issues take on further resonance.
Here, representations do not simply matter on the page, the screen, the canvas, the object,
the photograph etc, they are also part of lived experience and socio-cultural community
formations that involve different ways of life, pain and celebration of the human spirit.
It is in this context that we, Kala Phool, Slanguages and Birmingham City University, found
ourselves responding to the call to support Black, Asian and minority ethnic artists as part of
ReFramed’s call for the need to develop and showcase diverse representation in the visual
Kala Phool and Slanguages are delighted to be working with Nilupa Yasmin and her
@bangles_for_all project, and Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Arts, Design and
Media are equally thrilled to be working with Justin Carey on his project exploring personal
responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the urban context.
Through Yasmin’s use of bangles and how people have intimate connections and histories to
this item of adornment, we can move from the merely decorative to the personal and wider
spaces of the identities of the wearer.
Carey’s use of the photographic documents the effects of the pandemic on loved ones and
how their day to day has been transformed in an otherwise busy city setting. Through his
visual representations, we can contemplate the connections between the urban and people
around us, as perhaps often taken for granted.
Black, Asian and other diasporas in multicultural cities like Birmingham are part of its urban
fabric and textures. They also offer a range of resources to draw on and tell stories anew
and to offer representations that matter.
Indy Hunjan, Kala Phool
Professor Rajinder Dudrah, Birmingham City University and Slanguages
Raúl Valdivia Murgueytio
Peru has been on the news a lot this year. The
COVID-19 pandemic has hit the South American
country particularly hard, especially the capital, Lima,
where I grew up.
I live in Nottingham, which has one of the highest
COVID-19 infection rates in the UK.
Reading about the situation in Peru while being
in lockdown made me reflect on some recurrent
themes in the representation of Peru in the Western
My ReFramed project aims to capture this process
of quiet introspection while exploring notions
of (in)visibility in relation to cultural heritage and
The ukuku mask has a particular meaning in one of the most important
celebrations in the Peruvian Andes. For me, the mask has a different
As a non-white South American living in a largely mono-cultural area
of the UK, articulating a social identity is far from a straightforward
In this series of photographs, I showcase how
gardening has benefited my father amidst
a pandemic. My father used to work a lot in
the week, however, restrictions in leaving the
house and increased free time has led to an
uprise in home gardening.
This horticulture has helped my father’s mental
health; no longer is he stressed about work
or even COVID-19. Instead, he is peaceful
through watering plants, growing vegetables
and sitting in the garden as a sense of
Additionally, the food and plants he grew have
now developed into culturally practical uses
within our Indian household.
With COVID-19 connoting negativity
throughout the British Asian community, I want
to depict a growing positive story that has
been nurtured by the lockdown.
Gardening has metaphorically buried my
father’s stress and planted a positive mindset
to flourish during an opposing time of anxiety
Amrit Doll’s photo-journalistic images examine
the daily life of her father, Gurcharan Singh
Doll, an Indian-born Sikh, who has lived in
England for thirty-nine years and has worked
as a black cab driver for the previous nineteen
Travelling with him on his rounds, Amrit
captures the impact of the pandemic on his
working life during a time of local lockdowns,
reduced travel, heightened anxiety and
increased personal risk.
Using their conversations in the taxi as a
starting point, father and daughter worked
collaboratively to create the poem, The
Travelling World is Not Arriving. Writing in his
mother-tongue of Punjabi, Gurcharan shares
his experiences to tell of the heartbreak at the
lack of work in a situation where few options
Located in Leicester, the first place in the
United Kingdom to go through a local
lockdown, the drastic changes in working
life are hardships shared by many of the taxi
Credit for the poem belongs to Gurcharan
Singh Doll and Amrit Doll.
d[BhnK Bjh nkT[dh
bzvB s' rZvh ftu nkJ/ ;h.
gfjbK ;'_ ;'_ nkT[d/ ;h.
j[D d[BhnK Bjh nkT[dh.
gfjb/ Bzpo s/ iK e/ th,
d' xzN// yVBk g?Idk j?.
fJe fdB, w?~ gzi xzN/ d/ ftu
fJe i'p fwbh ;h.
£ à pD/ ;h. eJh vokJhtoK d/ sK
£ á th Bjh pD/.
j[D d[BhnK Bjh nkT[dh.
w/ok fdb N[N frnk,
go fo;e b?Dk g+dk j?
go e'Jh ckfJdk Bjh j?rk
go s[;h eh eo ;ed/ j'
id' you/ ;ko/ gk;/ xV/ jB?.
;tkohnK Bjh nkT[dhnK.
The Travelling World is Not Arriving
There were only three people
on a train from London.
There used to be hundreds.
The travelling world is not arriving.
At the front of the rank,
it is a two hour wait for a customer.
I have even waited five hours for
I made £6. Some drivers
didn’t even make £5.
The travelling world is not arriving.
It breaks my heart,
but I have to take the risk
but there is no point working
but what can you do
when all the costs are high?
The travelling world is not arriving.
Bangles for All
The project began as an exploration into
the communities residing within Soho Road,
Taking inspiration from the iconic film –
‘Mother India’, which has been associated
with Kala Phool and Slanguages (KP & S) and
their various works, the research through this
project focused on the particular notions of
adornments, power and self-identity. These
ideals are represented in the film and have
become a universal way of connecting womxn
in all walks of life.
Nilupa began photographing on Soho Road
and was kindly granted access from the shop
Chohan’s. Specialising in customised bridal
jewellery, many people travel from all over the
country to buy their pieces from Chohan’s.
Moving the images from a documentary
style, digital manipulation became a form of
experimentation with these images. During
previous research, she learnt about the many
things that can be made with old bangles,
from decorations for festivals and weddings to
utilitarian objects – giving bangles a life after
they have been worn.
Creating various objects from bangles and thread bought on Soho Road,
overlayed onto the images taken in Chohan’s. The presented set of
images show the variations of bangles, the essence of colour and the
range of bangles that can become a part of one’s life.
The bangle later became a symbol of storytelling brought together
through an online sharing platform, which encouraged people to share
their own takes behind the bangle.
Submissions were encouraged from all genders and not limiting to any
one cultural background – ensuring a sense of inclusion to all. Both
KP & S are hoping to have a physical space in the future where the
community can come together to make their own objects and share oral
A way of giving back to others, the essence of community and
handmade objects tie into the preliminary ideas of what this project set
out to do.
“Life before COVID-19 was ticking
This work explores themes arising from the
contrasting experiences of my mother, who
was sheltering alone at home during the
first lockdown, and myself, a frontline health
worker during this pandemic.
COVID-19 has obliged us all to reconcile with
the fact that certain aspects of our lives may
have been irrevocably changed.
For me this work has really been about
reckoning with loss and mourning, fear
and isolation, sickness, recovery, stoicism
and inequality in a rapidly-changing and
increasingly uncertain world.
Coronavirus in Black and White
An infographic Redwork embroidery sampler
Cotton on cotton
1 metre +
On the 23rd March 2020 at 8pm, the British Prime Minister delivered a statement on national
television on COVID-19, beginning ‘The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has
faced for decades – and this country is not alone…’
This statement represented the most significant set of restrictions on British life in living
memory as Boris Johnson ordered people to stay in their homes. It was also an event
marked indelibly in my consciousness, and no doubt in that of the nation, and made even
more poignant that my ident, commissioned by ITV to play between programme changes,
was running that week ironically bookending the PM’s sombre address.
As an artist I’m in the business of making images. Paralysed by the dismal prospect of
lockdown for the creative community, my studio closed down and I made no images for
months. I looked out of the window, walked along the canal to escape the concrete environs
of Birmingham and watched my inbox for emails from organisations with whom I was in
conversation with about prospective projects – emails which never came.
I listened to the radio, watched TV and grappled with the grim statistics of the emerging
pandemic picture. I watched as statues toppled in protest because Black Lives Matter and
I listened to new words and phrases which became common parlance – Zoom, lockdown,
herd immunity, social distancing – and observed their distillation into graphics to nudge our
I made myself useful by sewing masks and scrubs for medics during the PPE procurement
debacle. And I thought deeply about how this stilling activity – sewing – can anchor during
turbulent times, and how stitch can become a visual language in providing a powerful tool to
As an asthmatic and a BAME woman in the age bracket of considerable risk, I began
collecting ONS data about increased risk factors and observing how the virus has impacted
my own community of South Asians, both in this country and in India, and reflecting also on
why it has disproportionately affected communities across the West Midlands.
First BAME surgeon death
Coughing in sleeve
Test, track and trace
1 metre plus
Protect the NHS
Don’t shake hands
Scale paper template of sampler
Credit: Bharti Parmar
Dr Adil El-Tayar
Ink on paper
Credit: Bharti Parmar
This is how this project was born; a task on marking a moment, documenting the shifting
sands of my life and the lives of others – and their deaths. Just as this essay is a chronicle,
this embroidery is also a chronicle, a story in pictures of how we commemorate, identify
with and remember names with dignity. And also to recognise social transformation and the
engendering of unity that ‘we are all in this together’.
In the 19th century photographs were believed to ‘still lives’ and steal the soul of the subject.
I thought about the photographs of BAME doctors repeatedly appearing on our screens
who have died of the virus, particularly of Adil El-Tayar, a renowned organ transplantation
specialist who was the first working NHS surgeon to die from COVID-19 in hospital in the UK.
Coronavirus in Black and White is a working title for a diptych embroidered sampler. It is
so called because it is envisioned in two parts: a white embroidery, and a black one in
conversation with each other, the colours representing both the materiality of the work, and
its political inference.
This project concerns the white embroidery. Appropriated from a design of an American
19th century artefact it is embroidered with contemporary icons, infographics and emojis of
today – relating largely to Coronavirus in the UK and its impact on diverse communities. Its
structure contains references of our time: it is grid-like containing vignettes which evoke
how we communicate with others via Zoom, and it makes a nod to shifting social distancing
regulations in its size. Worked in ‘Redwork’ a historical form of needlework, it uses red cotton
thread because red is a potent signifier, an emergency colour.
Dr Adil El-Tayar
Dr Adil El-Tayar
Embroidery, cotton thread on cotton
Credit: Bharti Parmar
Migrant labourers and their families sprayed in chemical solution upon their entry into
Credit: Screengrab, Kanwardeep Singh Times of India
My work has always veered towards a fascination for the vernacular, the handmade and the
boundaries of practices and definitions. I am also interested in vernacular photography and
my proposal to make an embroidery combines historical sewing methods with the ultimate in
vernacular photography – clip art.
Embroidered samplers are needlework specimens, made especially popular in the Victorian
period and produced as a demonstration or a test of skill. Usually women’s work, they
depicted biblical tracts, folk images and the alphabet. Moreover, like photographs today, they
functioned as historical documents or snapshots of particular moments in time.
Don’t be mistaken, there is nothing ‘folksy’ about this work which will be populated, over
time, with infographics using clip art which have become subsumed into our vocabulary.
Examples such as icons of facemasks, NHS logos, washing hands, all of which are derived
from photographic sources morphed into line drawing, then hand embroidery. The sampler is
illustrative because it is documentary-style in its nature and read as a photo story.
Iconic to icon
An infographic is any kind of visual representation of information or data. Usually derived
from photographic sources they are essentialised into icons: a nurse (always female)
becomes a stick figure with a thermometer, a doctor wears a stethoscope, a virus is a
radiating wheel... and so on. But some do not exist to explain our situation.
I have designed ones relating to the Leicester lockdown, the spraying of Indian daily wage
labourers with disinfectant on the instruction of PM Narendra Modi and the disputed efficacy
of vitamin D.
Although scientists know more now, nothing is certain about this virus. We don’t know how
long it will be around, if there will be a vaccine, or whether the virus will mutate.
This artwork is more than an exercise in marking time. It will take a year to make, maybe
two. It is a long duration work and there may be a film to accompany it of my hands working
across the material, sewing, unpicking, repeating actions, marking time – metaphors for the
repetitive nature of our new existences perhaps. There are gaps in the template because
there are images still unknown in our visual vocabulary.
Undertaking the task of sewing this sampler, and the documenting of this process in
photography and film, helps give meaning and memory to this time; making a mark, stilling
lives, remembering names.
Indian PM Narendra Modi
Embroidery, cotton thread on cotton
Credit: Bharti Parmar
Disinfecting daily wage labourers
Embroidery, cotton thread on cotton
Credit: Bharti Parmar
Capturing the moment and changing views of
Birmingham have been a way for Rebecca to
gain peace throughout lockdown.
After hearing the quote “The best camera
is the one you have with you” by Chase
Jarvis, Rebecca has explored mobile phone
photography alongside shooting with a
The increase in mobile phone photography
and the quality, along with the flexibility of
always being able to capture the beauty in a
photo has intrigued Rebecca and fueled this
body of work.
“Having the opportunity to learn from
everyone involved in ReFramed has
opened my eyes to the passion I have for
photography” – Rebecca wants to continue to
explore other genres of photography, such as
Since childhood visiting various markets in London, the open market keeps that magic
alive. Over lockdown from March until June the markets closed. My heart was heavy on
how those stall holders were surviving. The closed markets are quite eerie and portray a
feeling of loneliness.
Centenary Square is currently the end of the line for the Midland Metro trams. Will there
be an end of the line for lockdown? Is it that simple? Will things ever go back to normal?
The tramline will continue all the way up to Five Ways. As for Birmingham, who knows?
Throughout lockdown, signage has been placed everywhere. How much do we actually
pay attention to the signs? How much distance do we really keep and can we look up to
the sky for a change in the situation from this pandemic?
In April 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Myself and the rest of the family were in
isolation for many weeks.
It took a while to recover, but I am fine now.
In this project, I wanted to learn how other
people from minority backgrounds were
coping in these difficult times.
I met people, mostly random strangers and
conducted extended ethnographic interviews.
Usually, these were recorded on my phone,
and later I would transcribe the interviews
and use their words to express their emotions
through their photographs.
The photo paintings were paying homage
to my current home, Nottingham, but also in
memory of my homeland in Bangladesh, and
the artistic background I took on my journeys.
I welcome and have learnt much from the
ReFramed mentoring over the past few
months, and this journey continues.
I first met Amrik Singh at the Forest recreation grounds near Hyson Green, Nottingham,
just after the first lockdown began.
He had recently come back from India, where he had been in lockdown, and now he was
experiencing the same thing back in England.
He was praying for a vaccine to cure COVID-19 as he can see how much young people
are suffering at the moment.
Yasin comes from
Hucknall, in Nottingham.
During Halloween he
took the tram into the
city centre in a ghostly
of Halloween and
COVID-19 make for a
very scary ride.
Katarzyna lives in Hucknall, just north of Nottingham. She works in the care sector and spends a lot
of time listening to people who are lonely because the rules prevent families from seeing each other.
They are alone and lonely, just to be safe.
Before the pandemic, we never thought about what being separated from family meant, now everyone
thinks about this.
Ricky Richard is a multisport and a
football coach with a local community
The pandemic has badly affected his
work, and football stopped. It is such
an important part of young people’s
existence, and its absence made a big
impact on their lives.
Now he can train only a small number of
people. It’s very slow progress.
Living with Covid
My project explores how relationships in the
home have fundamentally developed and
changed within the COVID-19 era.
Carrie Mae Weems and Deana Lawson
have influenced my approach to this project
greatly, with imagery set in individual home
Both artists have a distinctly powerful
signature in their images, with confrontational
intimacy in their imagery such as ‘Soweto
Queen’ by Deana Lawson.
There is a stunning balance of elements
including race, sex and power, with Carrie
Mae Weems’ iconic ‘The Kitchen Table’ series,
inviting the audience to explore the presence
of themes within the intimacy of the home.
I am interested in exploring the theme of
family and relationships within the intimacy
of the living room, a space where individuals
have spent vastly more time in lockdown.
I hope for my work to encourage people to
reflect and have conversations about how
their relationships in the COVID-19 era have
fundamentally developed and changed.
Looking at their living space and identity, from
a different perspective.
The dynamic of my family and relationships have entered a metamorphosis. Boundaries
that separated our social environments, work and relationships have been compressed into
digital screens and walls of the home, along with the spectrum and intensity of emotions they
Conversations never mentioned or rarely overheard, are now suddenly brought to the
Spending greatly more time together is one of the illusions I have found during lockdown.
Whilst we are physically closer than ever, spending days and weeks together in the same
home, the nature of work and rise in pressures leaves us with little real interaction with one
another in the day.
During the week, we spend most of our time in our individual spaces, fixated on the work
projecting from our screens.
The initially refreshing, yet haunting, absence of travel and distractions from colleagues,
friends and life has led to a resurgence of intense self-reflection with internal monologues,
that threaten to be consuming.
Introspection can be healthy, but ensuring I practice caring for the flow and
compartmentalising of thoughts and pressures in new ways has become essential for solace.
I was the fortunate person who received a bursary from the
New Art Exchange in Nottingham to make a short video film for
ReFramed during COVID-19. After Nottingham was placed into Tier
3 restrictions, my trip to the city was cancelled. In the films I have
produced, I present three stories from Birmingham, from three very
different groups of people.
In some respects, I am here as a casualty of COVID-19. I lost my
job after 17 years because of the pandemic. I worked in a large
industrial manufacturing corporation. When the pandemic started,
the company had so many meetings, working out how they would
ensure we could continue to work socially distanced and safe.
The new working practices keep us physically safe, but not the jobs;
they had to go. So after 17 years, I decided to enter the creative
sector on a full-time basis.
In my work, I explore how the pandemic has hit the small business
owner. Small family businesses were mostly left to their own
devices to come up with a health and safety action plan, while the
government was still working out their guidance.
I come from Birmingham, from a community where English is not their
first language, and people are already struggling.
I have appreciated spending time filming these stories. Despite
the pandemic, these people all remain resilient, determined, and
optimistic about the future. Growing up in an Indian household, my
father and mother always taught us to face life and stay positive.
However tough life gets, we can get through it, and we have each
other. So when I took these photos of the staff at Suraj Sweet Centre
and the gentleman getting haircuts, their smiles and laughs made me
think of those lessons.
I explore the lives of the team from Stag Barbers. This young
team recently took over a former music venue, predominantly
used by Birmingham’s Black artists, and turned it into a creative
hub, with the barbers at the epicentre. Only one week after
opening, they were forced to close as the pandemic hit. They
talk about their experiences over the six months.
One of the stories features Suraj Sweet Centre on Stratford
Road. For more than 20 years, they have served their
community delicacies from their motherland. However,
large Asian weddings have now stopped.
People have stopped long-held traditions giving out sweets
at births, marriages, and birthdays. In the film, the owner of
Suraj Sweets, Bhavesh, speaks about the challenges and
hardships his team have faced.
I also talk to my parents; in their late 70s, retired and physically vulnerable. They talk about their
hopes, and the role art has played in their lives at this moment in time.
These photographs exist as documentation of
how faith and fear interject with one another.
A trivial yet underrepresented component of a
To fathom the difficulties of a forgotten
generation, a marginalised demographic and
a person of faith can be even harder. These
images intend to provide insight into the life of
one woman who sits at the intersection of all
of the above.
My grandmother, Vinora, has lived in England
for 60 years. What is clear is that, throughout
her time here, she has sought comforts of
Jamaica; searching for reminders of her
As her place of worship was forced to close in
March 2020, Vinora’s ability to cope with the
fear of contracting the virus was tested.
Vinora was being consistently inundated and
overwhelmed with daily news updates that
continually preached fear into her space.
Vinora sat, clinging onto her faith with one
hand and grasping onto fear with the other.
These images capture and communicate the commitment to fear and faith but
explore the superiority of the latter.
As the pages of the hymn book imply, my nan’s relationship with God has been a
long one. Her faith, her hymn book and her decor engraved with scripture have
aged well. Like her, they have conquered time and tribulations.
As she talks me through a few of her favourite hymns and scriptures, she very
confidently and gently bookmarks hymn 167 from the ‘Hymns of Glorious Praise’
Resting her finger on the musical notes, the hymn reads Onward Christian
The series of images focus on her space. A space where her and her God are; where she
devotes her time to prayer and worship; where she is supposedly safe from the virus.
‘Onward Christian Soldiers’; an encouragement worthy of the title, encapsulates the
atmosphere in Vinora’s home.
Communicated through the composition within each image, COVID-19, for a Jamaican-born
Christian elder, is ultimately a documentation of God at the centre of one’s space. It is where
faith drowns out fear.
Fajr / A New Dawn
Throughout this series, Sanah explores the
significant changes that have emerged in
religious spaces as a result of COVID-19.
She focuses on the Muslim community,
showcasing how mosques have enforced
social distancing measures to ensure the
safety of individuals coming together to pray.
Prayer is an essential part of a Muslim’s life.
Before COVID-19, mosques were bustling with
individual and communal prayers.
When congregating, everyone stood in
straight rows shoulder-to-shoulder. The
arrival of COVID-19 has shaken the practice
of congregational prayers and the feeling of
community. Social distancing is now the new
Using fragments of light and shadow, Sanah
highlights extracts of the mosque which
are overlooked, and gives them a renewed
perspective. The ambience created within the
space reveals how detached we have been
with each other but a light shines through
bringing hope for a new dawn.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.”
– Quran (2:286)
Raúl Valdivia Murgueytio
Pages 6 to 11
Raúl Valdivia Murgueytio is a Peruvian-born independent scholar based in the UK. His
academic interests include visual, cultural and curatorial studies, with a particular focus on
Latin America. Trained in clinical psychology and sociology, he received his Ph.D. from the
School of Arts at Birkbeck, with a thesis on the photographic practice of marginalised groups
Raúl became interested in photography through his training of school teachers in global
citizenship education. In his sessions, he discussed a range of global issues using examples
of social documentary photography, including Sebastião Salgado’s series on migration and
Raúl’s photographic practice addresses notions of cultural identity and belonging, and it
is influenced by the work of Carrie Mae Weems, Seydou Keita and Francesca Woodman,
among others. Currently, he is organising an exhibition of photographs by renowned
Peruvian intellectual José María Arguedas, to be shown in London 2021.
Pages 12 to 15
Krishan Patel is a 19 year old from the West Midlands, currently studying Geography in his
first year at university. His cultural identity has been influenced by growing up in an Indian
household with a lot of ethnic family and friends around him.
With his future ahead, he is ready to develop his photography skills. This interest in
photography has been inspired by his family members as well as a desire to see the world in
He enjoys exploring work about underrepresented members of society and personal stories
that convey a powerful message. Aside from studying and photography, Krishan has interests
in music, films and sports such as football, badminton and basketball. He is keen on learning
more about a range of other cultures.
Pages 16 to 21
Emerging artist and writer, Amrit Doll, is based in Leicester. Amrit has used this project to
bring together writing and photography to convey the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on
taxi drivers. Many are from ethnic minority backgrounds and have a cultural reticence when
After studying MA Fine Art at Birmingham City University, she has presented artwork across
the Midlands and in 2018 to 2019 completed an AA2A residency at Loughborough University.
Kala Phool & Slanguages Bursary Award Winner
@nilupayasmin_ & @bangles_for_all
Pages 22 to 25
Nilupa Yasmin is an artist and educator working with primarily lens-based media. Nilupa takes
a keen interest in the notion of culture, self identity and anthropology.
Combined with her love for handcraft and the materiality in photographic explorations, she
repeatedly draws upon her own South Asian culture and heritage.
Her research examines the principles of craft in art-based practice; becoming an evident
methodology shown throughout her work whilst investigating ideals and traditions that are
very close to home.
She continually draws upon what it means to be a British Bangladeshi Muslim Woman and
aims to create a space of representation for the underrepresented through her photographic
BCU Bursary Award Winner
Pages 26 to 31
Justin Carey’s work reconsiders the urban environment, looking for connections to memories
and emotions that are often unsettled or uncomfortable. Carey’s work also contemplates
how the urban environment itself, with its inherent contrast between densely-populated
spaces and individual solitude, shapes our experience of the world.
Justin seeks to invite the viewer into a discourse around universal themes, creating room for
collaboration and fair representation in his work. Justin was shortlisted for the ArtGemini Prize
in 2015, graduated from the MA photography programme at Falmouth University in 2019, and
combines his photographic practice with a career as a consultant in the NHS. He currently
lives in Birmingham, UK.
Pages 38 to 41
Rebecca is a photographer based in Birmingham. Previously, she has been involved with the
Inside Out Project for Birmingham, capturing lost stories in 2013.
She was able to capture moments, views and skylines around the London Olympics &
Paralympics in 2012, whilst officiating wheelchair basketball games at the Paralympics.
These opportunities have encouraged Rebecca to learn more about different genres of
photography through Instagram meetups and workshops from local photographers.
She has also embarked on a portrait project capturing the feelings of people involved
with a major disability sporting event held in Worcester: European Wheelchair Basketball
ReFramed Bursary Award Winner
Pages 32 to 37
Bharti Parmar is an artist and academic based in Birmingham and has a practice of 30 years.
She studied at the Royal College of Art and has a doctorate in fine art which examines the
poetics of Victorian material culture. She is a regular speaker at conferences on material
culture studies and the postcolonial archive. She has been a trustee of various arts
organisations, including MAC Birmingham, Meadow Arts and Coventry Biennial, currently
serving as an Arts Council England Artistic and Quality Assessor.
She has participated on many international residency programmes, most recently at the
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Recent work includes a commission by ITV to take over
their identity logo for a week in March 2019 for #ITVcreates. In July 2020, she was awarded
the a-n Time Space Money bursary to research a project on Gandhi, Khadi, cotton and
Pages 42 to 45
Ismail moved to Britain from Bangladesh in 2004 as a student. For a few years, he moved to
Poland with his family and last year they decided to move back to the UK.
Ismail was taught Fine Arts in Bangladesh and developed his interests further through a
Masters Degree in Design for Communication from Westminster University in London. He has
spent most of his life in the retail sector but is now spending more time in the art sector.
He has worked as a volunteer at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Brady Art Centre London and
Surface Gallery. Now he works at New Art Exchange in Nottingham.
Ismail has a broad interest in visual arts, and his practice includes painting, sculpture,
photography, text, installation, graphic design, illustration and poetry.
Bharti is interested in vernacular crafts, systems, taxonomy and the poetics of repair. The
ReFramed bursary has supported research and development of an embroidered COVID-19
infographic sampler. This long-duration work will be produced in her studio with the
assistance of STEAMhouse Birmingham.
Pages 46 to 49
Ashwin is a British Indian living in the West Midlands. He is fascinated by and passionate about
the field of international relations with interest in the interplay of Culture and Politics from nonwestern
perspectives. He is currently researching Interest Groups in India.
His love for photography has stemmed from watching and learning from family involved in the
art. He loves it as a form of creative expression, as a tool and new perspective to investigate,
express emotion, and discuss dimensions of life further.
Identity has become an increasingly important aspect of his life. As a British Indian, he has
experienced personal conflict in fully embracing culture in his life, initially desiring to assimilate
to fit into a environment that didn’t always encourage and nurture a non-white heritage.
As he has grown, Ashwin is confident embracing the warmth and vibrancy of Indian culture. He
is passionate about exploring the different cultures within an individual’s heritage and identity.
NAE Bursary Award Winner
Pages 50 to 55
Multiple award-winning artist, Pritt Kalsi, has been involved in the graffiti scene since 1984.
Growing up in Birmingham, he was very quickly influenced by the spirit of the city and its hip
hop scene. Pritt is from an immigrant family that came to the UK from Nairobi, Kenya. Their
original roots are Indian. Very working class, his mother was a seamstress and his father a
As other music trends and cultures came and went. Pritt stayed true to his hip hop roots and
went to New York to search out his peers and those that pioneered this movement.
His father had a passion for photography and quickly taught Pritt and his brothers how to
use cameras. Whilst studying design, Pritt became interested in film-making and furthered his
interest in photography.
At the same time, he learned the ins and outs of sampling and DJing, working with drum
machines, old records, turntables and track recorders. After meeting legendary UK graffiti
artist, The Artful Dodger, Pritt was inspired to make his first film, The King of The Beats. This
became an underground hit and inspired beat competitions all over the world. This led to Pritt
making more films.
ReFramed Bursary Award Winner
Pages 56 to 61
As an artist-educator, much of De’Anne’s practice considers the collaborative and collective
experiences of others. Engaging their practice as a form of activism rather than a teacher
of art, De’Anne’s relationship with pedagogy and contemporary art has cultivated a strong
sense of play with political, moral and emotional themes.
During her fellowship with the Black Hole Club and within her recent commissions for
the Film and Video Umbrella and Vivid Projects, De’Anne has been testing the praxis of
contemporary art adjacent to and in harmony with Blackness. Using video, performative
and fine art, De’Anne continues to address cultural pedagogy with a focus on the oracy of
With an unapologetic and deliberate approach to both education and art, De’Anne continues
to challenge the authenticity and inclusivity of her own artistic processes and the culture
within British institutions.
Pursuing opportunities that employ De’Anne’s hybrid skills of using art as an educational tool
is a priority, so De’Anne’s venture into working more closely with and for her community is
Pages 62 to 67
A British Pakistani living in Birmingham, Sanah graduated with a BA in Photography in 2018.
She focuses on contemporary minimalism and architecture, with her work exploring abstract
shapes and textures of buildings.
Her aim is to re-engage viewers into rediscovering the beauty within ordinary and everyday
Taking an interest in curating, she has gained experience with organisations such as the New
Art Gallery Walsall, Ort Gallery and Centrala Space.
Working with ReFramed, Sanah has adopted a documentary approach when examining the
effects that COVID-19 is having on the Muslim community.
ReFramed Team, Co-Directors and Co-Founders:
We would like to thank all participating artists, the following
partners and ReFramed friends:
Indy Hunjan, Kala Phool; Rajinder Dudrah, Slanguages &
Birmingham City University (BCU); Melanie Kidd, New Art
Exchange; Alison Honour, BCU; Benjamin Chesterton, duckrabbit.
Funded by Black Country Visual Arts and Arts Council England.
Copyright © 2020 ReFramed Network
Edition of 150
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted or
reproduced in any form by any means without permission from
the publisher, excepting brief excerpts with appropriate credit for
publicity and reviews.
Images & text copyright © the artists
Designed and printed by Amaris Press
Published by ReFramed Network
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