2015 was a great year for us, building on the successes of our debut year in 2014! We worked with more partners, volunteers and local organisations, and extended the reach of the festival. 2015’s festival included our first big artist commissions, alongside a whole host of cultural and social events.

Check out our highlights:


Or watch our interview on Bay TV! https://youtu.be/94kYsRIQjR8

2015 Artists:

FESTIVAL 31 2015 commissioned eight locally based artists to collaborate and produce work for the festival that reflected on our theme ‘Journeys to Freedom’. The work created was vibrant, thoughtful and provocative and will be shown again at this year’s festival. Join us on social media or keep checking the website calendar for updates.


See below for more info about the amazing artists who created new work for FESTIVAL 31’s 2015 edition!

Festival 31 Artists Final Poster Small (2)


Rania Alkhllo is a Syrian Kurd and has a degree in architecture.
She likes drawing and sketching designs for new buildings and creating blueprints.
She wants to show people famous buildings from war torn countries and share positive memories and give an optimistic side of places we often see as damaged and sad. She also wants to show connections between buildings ‘here and there’ to create a sense of unity between countries and the refugees seeking asylum here.


Francisco has been writing and composing for the best part of 20 yrs. He has worked with artists from all over the world and collaborated in some exciting projects, including NGOMA project with Eugene Skeef, Bheki Mseleku, Thebe Lipere from South Africa, Kama El Alaoui (Moroco) and Jeff Gordon (Guyana).
He has produced and directed many events including the Merseyside International Street Festival 1998 – 2002; Fiesta Latina (Latin American Cultural festival) 2004 – 2011; The Giant’s Carnival 2011; and Launch procession of the Zion Arts Centre, Manchester.
Francisco has also written, composed, directed and produced many theatre pieces including “A Reason to Sing”, commissioned by Invisible Cities and Brouhaha International and additionally performed in the Green Room and Unity Theatre. He was commissioned by The Bluecoat Arts Centre, Black Arts Alliance and The Arts Council England to develop his ‘Azanian Trilogy’. The show was performed at the Bluecoat, The Green Room, Manchester, Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester and Oval House Theatre, London.


Nairouz Habash is a fashion designer and illustrator from Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan. Nairouz’s work for the festival is a message from the women of Kobani to the women of the rest of the world: women can be both beautiful AND brave, and play a massive role in fighting for human rights, and for freedom.

Sarah is a British artist who makes temporary installations about the ways in which we relate to, and engage with, daily life; with places, spaces and people.

“Exploring the Declaration of Human Rights is high on my personal agenda… The right of asylum is ancient: recognition of the rights of all humans to exist that is far from modern.”

Migration is not only a process of leaving but also of arriving, discovering a new home, being absorbed into a society. Peoples have flowed through here for commerce, for culture, for refuge and to conquer, but all have ultimately absorbed into this small space to make a stronger and much more interesting whole. Long may it continue…

private view-s.h.
Jonathan began life as a musician and composer and over the years has branched out to create work in theatre, multi-media performance, writing and installation. His work attempts to be moving and engaging and to create a space for audiences to think and reflect.

This project with Festival 31 is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a team of artists with an extraordinary range of skills and experiences and to explore important themes of home, journey and belonging.

Reagen is an artist from Eritrea whose works primarily in sketch and computer graphics. He is looking forward to collaborating with our other commissioned artists and FESTIVAL 31 generally!


Ehsan is from Shiraz in Iran, and has been living in the UK for 3 years.
Ehsan wants to use his work to talk about ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ and what that means to him: “How can I expect people to understand me or my experiences and want to talk about these things if I do not”


Darren is a british based writer, poet and activist
Rojava poster - low res

See below for interviews with Bay TV, Up For Arts & BBC Radio Merseyside’s Upfront show for the 2015 programme.


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