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Department bags top spots at King's Cultural challenge 2017

Sam Davies and Subha Robert William from the department of English have won top spots and internships at this year's fifth annual King's Cultural challenge. Anwar Malik, also from the department finished as one of the 10 finalists.

The King's Cultural Challenge winners pose with Professor Ian McFadzean and Deborah Bull

Sam Davies and Subha Robert William from the Department of English have won top spots and internships at this year’s fifth annual King’s Cultural challenge. Anwar Malik, also from the department finished as one of the 10 finalists.

More about the challenge

Each year, the challenge calls upon all King’s students to inspire debate and innovation around how art and culture can affect positive change in the world. Acknowledging recent global and political developments, this year’s challenge asked students to devise innovative projects, initiatives or activities to answer the following question: In a divisive social and political climate how can arts and culture drive social change?

The Culture Hack

The Challenge final was followed by a Cultural Hackathon where more than 100 students across eight faculties were provoked by cultural industry experts from some of London’s most prestigious cultural institutions: Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, V&A and Roundhouse. The provocations focused on topical, real-world challenges faced by the organisations and were designed to inspire students’ creative thinking and problem solving abilities.

10 finalists were selected from 30 full applications and each received presentation coaching to develop a concise five-minute pitch explaining their core idea. Students pitched to an expert jury including King’s senior staff, previous Challenge winners and leaders from Challenge partners. The judges were looking for well thought-out ideas that showed initiative and explained how it would work in practice and how it would be funded and resourced.

Winning Ideas

Sam Davies’ winning pitch is titled Synthate – An online forum to unite makers and performers to focus on the creation of art that encourages diversity and a positive attitude towards learning about what makes us different.

Subha Robert Williams’ riveting idea was the BAME Youth Immersion scheme – a mentoring, placement and events curation scheme for BAME (Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic) students, aiming to move towards a more ethnically diverse workforce in arts and culture.

Both students will now go on to pursue internships with partners of the Challenge. Details of previous Cultural Challenge Winners' experiences working within the Challenge partners are available here. More information about the King’s Cultural Challenge, which will run again in early 2018, is available on the student opportunities pages on the King's website.