Artists 2017


Fantastic news – this year’s artist development programme is being supported by an Arts Council grant. We’re working with eight Merseyside based artists from refugee backgrounds. Exciting stuff! Find out more about them all below. 



THE ARTISTS We’re super excited to be working with eight artists for this year’s festival; some old F31 friends, and some new…


Rania Alkhllo My name is Rania  Alkhllo, I am Kurdish Syrian. I graduated as an architect in 2014 from Itihad Privet University. I have been in England since 2014 and in that year I joined with Festival31 as an artist. It was a good experience. My biggest problem has been language but I feel I am getting better!

Nairouz Habash My name is Nairouz Habash. I am a fashion designer and illustrator from Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan and I have lived in Liverpool for about four years. At the moment I am studying in order to go to university in the future. My previous work with Festival31 has focused on the role of women in the struggle for human rights and for freedom.

Farhood Jafari Farhood is an Iranian poet, actor and alternative grime artist based in Liverpool.

His works are politically charged, affected by growing up in Iran and being an asylum seeker in UK.

He’s part of Between The Borders magazine and cofounder of Manteq Records representing Tehran’s underground abroad.

Faris Khalifa Faris is a Liverpool based guitarist who will be creating new collaborative work with Dorcas Seb for performances during the festival. He is also a writer and mental health advocate who represents a number of mental health charities around the UK. His work has appeared on such online publications the front page of Reddit, Upworthy, The Guardian, BBC,The Echo and the Daily Mail. Faris was has been recently featured as a case study in a documentary filmed by VICE UK, which tried to shed light on the stigma around men in mental health.

Dorcas Seb Dorcas Sebuyange is a Congolese Creative Artist based in Liverpool. She specialises in drama, music, poetry and dance.

Starting at the age of 10 as a poet and spoken word artist with Writing On the Wall’s Liverpool Young Writers, Dorcas has produced work as a rapper, singer, actor and more, including supporting the likes of Akala. She has trained with 20 Stories High, Frantic Assembly, PurpleCoat Productions and Collective Encounters, WAC Arts and Catalyst Performing Arts.

Dorcas is working on a new musical collaboration  with Faris Khalifa for this year’s festival.

Noel Urbain I believe that arts are an indispensable tool for addressing many of the challenges that our communities face today.

Having experience in Architecture and arts management; I bring creative vision and expertise to enhance the visual aspects of project identity and development.

My works focus on the use of arts with a demonstrative creativity and emerging technology. For instance arts for well-built environment and arts to creating a dynamic and cohesive community exempt from prejudicial divisions.

Benyamin Roghnachi My name is Benyamin. I am a sculptor from Iran. I have been sculpting for thirty years, but came to the UK four months ago. I mostly work with clay to create my pieces.

Faith My name is Faith. I am a tattoo artist interested in a realist art style and humanism. I live in Liverpool, and have spent my entire life drawing.


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