Announcing the 2018 Slate Commissioned Projects

In May 2017, we launched Slate: Black: Arts. World.

Five months later, we were receiving over 50 brilliant project proposals from Black* artists across the North of England in response to our first commission call-out. Having considered each application with care, and been introduced to the work of more and more Black artists across the region, we are delighted to announce the artists we will be working with for their Research and Development and Make commissions.

“It is exceptionally exciting to be announcing these first ambitious, radical and fearless commissions.  We were looking for artists that were going to confront the system, to lead radical political and cultural change through their work and ideas.  Nwando, Naomi, Shanaz and Dorcas have each proposed diverse and thought-provoking work that will encourage audiences to look at subjects differently and we’re incredibly proud that Slate is able to help them realise their potential.” 

Dawn Walton


Research and Development
Shanaz Gulzar

With ARC and Slate

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Shanaz is best known for creating work across disciplines to make innovative and challenging interventions.  She works as a digital installation artist and stage designer also working as producer for specialist projects. Her work explores interactions between new technologies, film, theatre, place and identity. She has a clear and distinct artistic voice with a vision for producing ambitious, contemporary art that is accessible to both arts and non-arts audiences. Currently she is Associate Digital artist with National Theatre Wales.

Different from What We Are is a VR experience describing the other, the alien in detail, the fears, the hatred and the hopes of our diverse community creating a discourse of difference. A Virtual Reality (VR) world will be created responding to collected narratives, allowing us to enter into some of the darkest fears and strongest hope of our time, turning the audience into participants, owning the experience they are viewing, allowing them to step into the shoes of another. These encounters will be uncomfortable, destabilising and difficult for the conscience led.

Dorcas Sebuyange

With Unity Theatre, HOME and Slate

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Dorcas Sebuyange is a UK based creative artist who works in theatre, music, poetry and dance. Theatrically, she has trained with 20 Stories High, Eclipse, Theatre-Rites and more. Writing and performing music and poetry since the age of 10, she has supported the likes of Akala, Lady Leshurr, Sway, Bashy, Lowkey, Mz. Bratt and was part of a young writer’s group nominated for a BeMOBO award in 2010.

Her project is, in the most literal sense, a visual projection of her musical collection (Vice Versa) which explores consciousness – scientifically, spiritually and above all politically. Working with a range of different art forms such as animations and motion graphics, filmography, poetry, visual art and movement. All these forms cooperate together as a way for audience to experience an immersive event and realm-breaking experience.

Nwando Ebizie

With HOME and Slate

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Nwando Ebizie is a multidisciplinary artist whose work converges around performance art personas, experimental theatre, neuroscience, music and African diasporic ritualistic dance. She has created her own strand of afrofuturism, combining research into neuroscience (inspired by her neurodivergence) and an obsession with science fiction and ritualistic live art practice.

20 Minutes of Action: A visceral performance-installation. What does '20 Minutes of Action' mean when experienced by a survivor of trauma who relives the original action both psychologically and via everlasting images due to a rare neurological condition. Inspired by psycho-dramatic retellings of European and African folk tales and rituals and featuring an analog electronic score, this performance draws on the artist's research into the perceptual disorder Visual Snow and dance research through the meeting points of Haitian Vodou, Vogue and Ballet.
Naomi Sumner Chan

With Pilot, York Theatre Royal and Slate

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Naomi Sumner Chan is a Manchester based playwright, poet and theatre maker fuelled by a diet of chips, beans and cups of tea! She is the Creative Director of Brush Stroke Order a business which provides training, mentoring and support to those who write for performance. During 2017 she was on the National Theatre's Step Change Programme enabling her to move from working in Education and Community Engagement to Literary development and New Works. She is currently a Leader of Tomorrow through the Artistic Directors Leadership Scheme, a development opportunity for BAME cultural leaders.

SAME SAME DIFFERENT is a new verbatim play that has been made in collaboration with adoptees and their families from all over the world. The play explores identity and belonging where those affected by adoption are given the opportunity to share their stories in their own words and the focus is firmly on the adoptee voice. Often adoption narratives are Adoptive Parent centric and focus on the parent's story or the adoption process. This play is different because it explores what everyday life is like in an adoptive family and what happens after the "happy ending." The focus is on family dynamics, the adoptees sense of place and self and how both nature and nurture influence identity. By allowing adoptees to speak honestly about their experiences, Naomi hopes to explode some of the myths around adoption and hopes the play will be helpful to adoptive families struggling with cohesion by knowing other people have experienced similar situations.


If you're a Black* artist in the North of England, there are plenty of upcoming Slate Events coming up - and we are hiring an Enabler for West Yorkshire! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get in touch with Slate in your area.

*To Eclipse, Black includes anyone who is marginalized for their race or ethnicity.

Announcing the 2018 Slate Commissioned Projects