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27 March 2024

British Council Venice Biennale Fellowship Programme - King's Fellows Announced

Today, King’s announces its partnership with the British Council’s Venice Biennale Fellowships Programme and the support of two Fellows, Oluwatoniloba Adebajo and Simran Junaid, who are both MA Arts and Cultural Management graduate students.

the skyline of Venice, Italy

As part of their Fellowship, Oluwatoniloba and Simran will spend a month at the Venice Biennale developing personal creative projects and engaging audiences as ambassadors at the British Pavilion. They will be part of a cohort of 66 Fellows, chosen from 40 creative enterprises and Higher Education Institutions across the UK.

This opportunity was initiated by King’s Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI) in collaboration with King’s Culture, the university’s knowledge exchange institute for creative and cultural engagement. Oluwatoniloba and Simran were selected as the successful candidates from a very strong list, following an open call to post graduate students across King’s Department of Arts and Humanities.

The Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries and King’s Culture are delighted to be collaborating with the British Council on our inaugural Venice Fellowship partnership. The Fellowship offers an exceptional opportunity for two graduate students from King's to gain a deep insight into the longest running and most important event in the contemporary art calendar. The fellowship will enable the two selected fellows to spend a sustained period time with the works of art in the biennale exhibition and to experience the event as part of the vibrant cultural life of a unique place. We congratulate the two selected fellows and hope that the fellowship opens new paths for them intellectually, professionally and creatively.

Dr Clare Carolin, Programme Director for King’s MA Arts & Cultural Management

King’s Fellows and Creative Projects

Oluwatoniloba Adebajo

Arts and Cultural Management MA Student Oluwatoniloba Adebajo, has a professional and academic background in Law, and intertwines her interests in African Literature and discourse with a passion for exploring the intersections of Art and Legal Systems.

Oluwatoniloba Adebajo - Venice Fellow 2024 on a red background

As part of this Fellowship, Oluwatoniloba will be exploring the question ‘what does access mean to you?’, taking a multimedia and multidisciplinary approach to collating visual, sonic and written responses as well as stream-of-consciousness recordings.

Oluwatoniloba will draw on connections to the accessibility in Giardini, Venice and the British Pavilion, as a landscape that has various physical hindrances to mobility and the reasonable adjustments that have been made to improve them.

Simran Junaid

Fellow Arts and Cultural Management MA student, Simran Junaid is passionate about challenging and reshaping heritage practices in the UK to be more inclusive and representative of diverse communities.

Simran Junaid - Venice Fellow 2024 on a red background

Simran will be developing her research into the impact of the Islamic world on the city of Venice, examining the historical artistic and cultural influences and juxtaposing them with the contemporary integration of faith and analysing the lingering influence of Islamic aesthetics in the city, exploring the relationship between modern-day Venice and Islam.

Simran is interested in discerning any shifts in the tolerance of Islam and characterising the experience of Muslims living in Venice.

About the British Council Venice Fellowships Programme

Over 40 organisations, including King’s, form the British Council’s Venice Fellowships Programme partnership. These organisations include both returning and new creative enterprises and Higher Education Institutions.

The 66 chosen Fellows are artists, curators, critics, public educators, mental health professionals, entrepreneurs, philosophers, international relations scholars, climate activists, a peace negotiator and a data scientist.

Over 65% of Fellows have previously faced barriers to the arts and economic opportunity because of race, class, homelessness, upbringing, disability, ethnicity, gender and/or nationality. The group hail from over 20 nations, some are well-travelled, and others have yet to leave the UK until now. 44% of Fellows went to UK state schools for their secondary education, and a further 24% undertook secondary education overseas. Between them they are Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Atheists, while almost one-third have no religion.

Today, as previous 'foreigners everywhere’ they will collectively prepare to represent the UK at the Britain Pavilion and welcome international visitors in the spirit of collaboration, deep listening and intercultural camaraderie.

In this story

Clare Carolin

Senior Lecturer, Art and Public Engagement