Summit: ldn24

Length: 25:46

Future Art and Culture (FAC) is a major UK showcasing initiative focused on art and technology that takes place annually at SXSW. Produced by British Underground, the programme has run since 2017 and has helped establish the UK as a significant player at the event. In 2023 projects that exhibited as part of FAC won 3 major awards. As part of the programme, British Underground has collaborated with multicultural creative champion B3 Media to support four emerging artists at SXSW and this panel explores their work and ambitions for the future.Presented in partnership with British Underground

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This talk is presented by

Daniel Ford - Senior Associate Producer, British Underground

Dr Daniel Ford is Senior Associate Producer at British Underground (BU), an arts development organisation supported by Arts Council England. Here he manages British Underground's Connect Programmes, an initiative providing professional development, event orientation and financial support for those seeking to gain access to International Showcasing Events. In partnership with the award-winning B3 Media, BU have developed Future Art and Culture Connect, a scheme that supports emerging talent from those currently underrepresented in the creative tech sector with funding, soft skills enhancement, and direct access to SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas.

Marc Boothe - Founder, Creative Director & Executive Producer, B3 Media

Marc Boothe, a founder and creative director at B3 Media has made significant strides over his 20-year career in film, visual arts, and creative technology. His commitment to diversifying the creative industries is evident through his work with B3 Media, a Brixton-based creative arts network which has supported over 3,000 BAME creatives worldwide. Key to Marc's mission to drive sector change are initiatives including TalentLab XR and B3 Origin, providing pathways for ethnically diverse creatives to develop skills in immersive storytelling and virtual reality, helping to widen access to industry networks by nurturing new voices in filmmaking and digital arts. More recently, Marc has been producing B3 Microstudio - a development studio for immersive artists from diverse backgrounds. Collaborating with international showcase producer British Underground on FAC Connect, this exciting new partnership between B3 Media seeks to support emerging talent from those currently underrepresented in the creative tech sector. He is a NESTA Fellow, Cambridge Social Ventures Incubator alumnus, BAFTA member, an and an MBA holder, continually pushing the boundaries of creativity and inclusivity in the arts.

Comfort Arthur - Award-winning Animator, Illustrator & Visual Artist

Comfort Arthur is a British-born Ghanaian award-winning animator, illustrator and visual artist. She trained at the Royal College of Arts before moving to Ghana to set up The Comfy Studio. Her short film Black Barbie has been an international hit and has screened in more than 50 film festivals across the world and has won several awards. In 2020 she released her first children’s picture book under the same name.

She is the first Ghanaian animator to win the African Academy Movie awards for best animation for her web series I’m Living in Ghana Get Me Out of Here.

She has worked as the Festival Director for FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL, Africa's first film festival dedicated to short-form animation for kids. She also enjoys teaching animation and has worked with Ladima Film Academy to help facilitate animation workshops for women in Africa. In 2022 she collaborated with a non profit organization called Black Thrive. Working with young kids to explore the impact of mental health on their age group. Comfort Arthur has also worked as the Episodic director for Cbeebies Animated preschool show JoJo and Gran Gran in the United Kingdom.

Dzifa Benson - Award-Winning Multidisciplinary Artist

Dzifa Benson was born in London and grew up in West Africa. She is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist whose work intersects literature, science, theatre, art, the body, ritual, performance and immersive technologies. Her work has been awarded fellowships from the Jerwood Foundation and Hedgebrook, and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and James Berry Poetry Prize. Her arts criticism appears in the Financial Times, the Telegraph and Poetry Review and she has held poetry, curatorial and editorial residences at Whitstable Biennale, Orleans House Gallery and Granta Magazine. Her adaptation of the National Youth Theatre 2021 production of Othello toured the UK and she is currently adapting Roger Robinson’s T S Eliot prize-winning A Portable Paradise for the same organisation. Dzifa holds a masters in Text & Performance from RADA and Birkbeck, and her debut poetry collection, Monster, will be published by Bloodaxe Books in October 2024.

Jeremiah Brown - Writer, Photographer & Poet

Jeremiah Brown is a Black British-Jamaican writer, photographer and poet based in Croydon. His art is focused on the archiving of people and place, with intergenerational relationships central to his practice. Jeremiah is a Royal Court Writers Group, Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab, and Barbican Young Poet alum. He is a B3 Media TalentLab XR Associate Artist and former Roundhouse Resident Artist. His commissions include Nationwide Building Society, St Paul’s Cathedral, UNESCO and BT Sports (now TNT Sports.) His weekly Sugar Shots newsletter provides subscribers with an insightful and digestible read.

Marcus Joseph - Musician & Spoken Word Artist

Musician and spoken word artist Marcus Joseph aspires to be an instrument of change. Whether playing a proud role in his local Leicester community, lending his talents to perform for George Cole - the city’s first black mayor - or paying homage to his Afro-Caribbean roots through songs charged with the righteous energy of reggae music, the spirited lyricist and Alto Saxophonist possesses the gift to uplift. His debut album ‘Beyond the Dome’ (Jazz re:freshed) effortlessly blends jazz, reggae and hip hop with contemporary music and has won favour with the likes of Gilles Peterson (6 Music), Tom Robinson (6Music), Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM), DJ Lanni (Worldwide FM), opening the door to play at landmark events such as Love Supreme, Manchester Jazz Festival and We Out Here.

A seasoned live performer, Marcus has been known to bring the noise as part of hip hop/rock/punk influenced jazz trio Major Ruse; has supported the likes of Oscar Jerome, Blue Lab Beats and The Blackbyrds; as well as playing alongside luminaries such as Dennis Rollins, Tony Kofi, Arun Ghosh, Dave O'Higgins, Abram Wilson, Gary Crosby and Eska. Marcus’ relentless work ethic and commitment to creativity has even seen him venture into the VR space, where he is developing the Jazz Maze - an immersive experience that weaves together graphic novel aesthetics and interactive video game narratives to explore themes of freedom, oppression and creativity through storytelling, music and spoken word.

For Marcus, there is clearly no terrain that cannot be conquered through the alchemy of word sound power.