Here at Rife magazine we are all about celebrating and nurturing your talent. This is our second list of 24 Influential Bristolians Under 24.
If you’re young and making movements in Bristol, we want to know about it. And we want to write about it.
We’ve gathered together 24 influential people in Bristol under 24 below.
We want to celebrate everything they’ve done for Bristol and for youth culture in the city. This isn’t the be all and end all of lists – no, it’s a conversation-starter. It’s a list designed to get you thinking. Who are we missing? Who do we need to know about? We’re here to celebrate all the talented young people of Bristol.
Here are our influential Bristolians under 24, in music, film, technology, fashion, social issues, politics and art, the 2015 class:
1. FILM: Anna Hoghton
Anna is a writer of film, poetry and theatre. She is a published poet, who was shortlisted for the Lancelot Andrewes Award by Carol Ann Duffy. She has an MA in Writing for Young People and is a founding member of Tremolo Theatre Company. Her award-winning climate change action film ‘Never Land’ is being made in partnership with Cape Farewell. She will direct the BAFTA-nominated crew and cast, which includes John Nettles and Marcus Brigstocke.
‘I am thrilled to be nominated. Age should never prevent people achieving their potential.’
2. ACTIVISM: Becky Dudley
Becky is an 18 year old campaigner, who, in her own words, gets ‘super angry about inequalities around identity and mental health, and work towards positive change’. Currently, she is fundraising for Mental Health Research UK, in a campaign called 2015in2015. She is also the LGBTQ+ representative for the Bristol City Youth Council. In her spare time, she is found studying, wearing glitter and finding new ways to embarrass herself in public.
‘Best moment of my campaigning career? Standing in town, handing out lemons whilst wearing a unicorn onesie to raise awareness of my current campaign.’
3. POLITICS: Ella Marshall
Ella is, first and foremost, a ranter. She is also a writer and campaigner. Aged just 16, she is endeavouring to do her bit to make the world a better place. She was elected onto the Bristol City Youth Council and as the Member of Youth Parliament for Bristol in February 2015. She has spent the last year nagging politicians about youth voice and working on anti-austerity, refugees welcome and mental health campaigns. She blogs for Huffington Post.
‘Politics is, to be quite honest, even worse than I first thought. I dream of a whole generation of activists infiltrating the establishment to end poverty, discrimination and inequality. Oh, and George Ferguson called me “challenging”. ‘
4. FASHION: Emma Blake Morsi
Emma Blake Morsi is the editor-in-chief of Nocturnal magazine, an authentic voice and platform for young people to contribute work to showcase their obsessions and express themselves through the medium of the Arts, which was featured by the BBC earlier this year. The magazine is a collection of digital stories, allowing young creatives to share insights into social and cultural issues. She is also currently juggling post-student lifestyle as a digital marketing apprentice for Saffron Records as well as taking on invaluable opportunities within Young Arnolfini, Situations Rising, Watershed and Spike Island.
‘It’s incredible to think what a difference a year can make. The work I do is centred around supporting fellow Creatives and I hope to build on Nocturnal as a weapon of influence.’
5. FILM: Finlay Coulter
Finlay is 18 and has lived in Bristol his whole life. He has a YouTube channel where he posts vlogs and little travel videos. He is a graduate of the 2015 BFI Film Academy docs class. He is always trying to make people happy and promote positivity wherever he can. He loves being creative and interacting with new people. A strong music lover, his taste is massively varied but his favourite band currently is Caravan Palace.
‘As a young person in the creative industry, my favourite part is becoming friends with so many like-minded people who share the same passion and ideas as me. A lot of my friends who I met on the BFI Course at the Watershed are now some of my best mates and we are still creating together.’
6. SOCIAL ISSUES: Gracie Sodzi
Gracie Sodzi completed her A levels this year and upon leaving school, decided to set up her own social enterprise. Inspired by her own difficulties with mental health and determined to make a difference in other young people’s lives she was led to start facilitating mental health workshops which involved making gifts. Each gift, often inspired by a friend, is intended to promote mental wellbeing.
‘The great thing about it is that I get to turn whatever ideas are in my head, into a reality. The terrifying thing about it is that I get to turn whatever ideas are in my head, into a reality; glass half full or glass half empty?’
7. FILM: Hassan Sherif
Hassan Sherif is an AS-Level student from Bristol. He has received awards at film festivals ranging from a local to international status, and has had a couple of films screened at the Watershed Cinema, plus a few outdoor cinemas in Berlin. He enjoys dabbling with creative and journalistic writing, and recently received the inaugural Rife Award for Feature Writing. Also keenly involved with the theatre, Hassan has directed four school productions (and starred in many more).
‘It’s an absolute honour to be included in this list, as it’s a true recognition of the varied work that young people across Bristol do in the name of art and passion. Certainly in this city, the creative youth of tomorrow have a wealth of opportunity to express their own ideas and develop their unique skills through so many different mediums.’
8. FILM: Isabelle Rose Neill
Isabelle is a filmmaker who tells human stories. She moved to Bristol to study Filmmaking & Creative Media at UWE in 2011 and very quickly the city felt like home. In that time she made her own docs about OAP sea swimmers, pom-pom covered sheep, and inspirational nanas. Alongside studies she began freelancing for BBC Outreach, working in communities across the city and with charities like Crisis Centre, Unseen and WaterAid. Now, she is a freelance filmmaker and photographer, using multimedia to get important stories told.
‘I’ve just completed my first scary year of being a full time freelancer. The project that I’m most proud of working on is “Across The Tracks”, a documentary by WaterAid, exploring how something as simple as a toilet can help transform lives, following the story of one ambitious mother in a railway slum in Kanpur, India. See the film here. I worked alongside an amazing team, as second camera and photographer. Most of all I loved spending time with the people in this community and hearing their stories.’
9. VLOG: ItMustBeAlex
Alex loves to dip his toes into many things; be it vlogging, presenting, filmmaking, playwriting, acting and singing, or recently directing. His mother says he is a man of many talents. Alex prefers to think he just does what he enjoys. An English student at the University of Exeter, Alex is however Bristol born and bred. He was voted Campus Cutey 2015.
‘It’s quite scary but exciting being a young person in the creative industries. Traditional media is more competitive than ever, and a lot of creative industries seem hard to access without a huge wealth of experience. However, with the internet and social media, new paths are being trod, and there’s so much innovation and creativity all around. That is really inspiring.’
10. MEDIA: Liv Little
Liv Little is a force of nature, committed to countering the white-washed narrative dominating mainstream media and politics. When she’s not acting as a warrior for social justice she spends her time eating copious amounts of cheese and watching documentaries on loop. In 2015, she launched a new collective called gal-dem, as editor-in-chief for a new site that provides a platform for women of colour. gal-dem has already attracted the attention of The Voice and ASOS.
‘What it feels like to be nominated: When I saw the nomination I was like YES M8. It feels amazing to be recognised for doing something which I love and is so necessary. Shout out to all of the gal-dem for backing me and making this possible.’
11. MEDIA: Mo Osman
Since he was 16, Mo has been volunteering with Ujima Radio. Starting out working on the website, three years later, he is an integral part of the technical team. Mo now provides expert advice on all the technical aspects of Ujima’s technical infrastructure, form on-air output, outdoor broadcasts, or the website, Mo is the go-to-guy. At only 19 years old, there is a lot of responsibility has been placed on this young man’s shoulders and without his input Ujima’s award-winning output would not have been as high quality as it has been. Mo is definitely one to watch and an excellent role model for aspiring young people looking to develop an influential career in the creative media industry.
‘I’ve never been nominated for anything before. It’s the biggest achievement I’ve had so far. Never say never.’
12. POLITICS: Neha Mehta
17-year-old Neha is a youth mayor of Bristol. She got involved with the Youth Council because it’s a great introduction into the world of politics and an opportunity to get her voice heard. The youth council manifesto is around work experience and careers advice. She is a strong believer that everyone’s voice matters. Young people should not be disregarded due to their ‘lack of understanding’ but listened to because our generation will be the leaders of tomorrow. Being a Youth Mayor has been a real privilege and has made her more driven to implement change and make a difference.
I feel honoured to be a nominated as one of the 24 Most Influential Bristolians Under 24. One of the highlights of my time in office as well as the meetings and events was the youth council residential. We stayed up very late (much to our youth workers’ dismay) hyped on sweets singing Busted’s “Year 3000” at the top of our lungs.
13. MUSIC: Phresh Boiiz 3Culture
Phresh Boiiz 3Culture is a Bristol-based hip-hop collective. they offer a fresh new perspective for the alternative hip hop genre. Focusing on growth & self empowerment. made up of three members, Reckless, Chase and T-soul PB3C. They shine a new light on the music industry and tell it like it really is. Watch out for these guys.
‘We really are honoured to be part of the list. We’ve been putting so much energy in to this over the last year’s it’s nice to get some recognition. And we plan to keep moving forward and impressing every body.’
14. ART: Rachael Baskeyfield
Rachael is a Fine Art graduate working in Bristol as Digital Reporter for public art producers Situations, from the Art Weekender and Theaster Gates’ Sanctum through to Katie Paterson’s Hollow. She is also an artist and a writer, and has recently joined Young Arnolfini as a member of their steering group. A feminist, an advocate for new ways of thinking, and a general enthusiast for all things visual arts; she is always seeking the new and the unexpected.
‘Every day I have conversations about artists, ideas and possibilities; it’s incredible to be given that permission to imagine, and to be supported by the most incredible team. It gives me hope about what is possible for the future.’
15. MEDIA: Sammy Jones
Sammy, after a harrowing six-month-long trial of fire at her Rife internship, has now become the Junior Digital Editor at Crack Magazine. Sniffing out all the most clickable music news is her bread and butter, but she can turn her mouse to almost anything. Listicles? NBD. Thinkpieces? NBD. Listicles on thinkpieces? Thinkpieces on listicles? Also NBD. She’s fluent in emoji, too.
‘Everyone at Crack is deeply talented, devoted and wise, and all of us are thirty and under. Anyone who says that young people don’t pull their economical weight (here’s looking at you, Matthew Hancock) I would invite down to the Crack offices to witness the blood seeping from everyone’s eyes on deadline day.’
16. TECHNOLOGY: Sammy Payne
Samantha is the co-founder of Open Bionics. An award-winning startup creating 3D printed bionic hands. Samantha came runner-up in a global tech competition run by Intel, and was recently named as one of the Top 25 women in robotics you should know about. An alum of the Disney TechStars accelerator based in LA, Samantha has a keen interest in Bristol’s creative and tech scene which she covered as a freelance reporter for the Bristol Business Post, where she’s now a columnist.
‘Thanks for the nomination dad (just kidding). I’m surprised to find myself on this list and I’m really happy to be here. I love Bristol and its vibrant style so it’s fantastic to be counted as one notorious Bristolian. I’ve been super lucky to have been making my way around some of Bristol’s most creative institutions from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, to the Pervasive Media Studio, to Knowle West Media Centre and the Bristol Post. Bristol’s creative industries are thriving and it’s an exciting thing to be a part of. I heart Bristol and robots.’
17. PHOTOGRAPHY: Sham Ahmed (aka ShamPhat)
If you see a guy walking through the city centre walking around and talking to a camera passionately, with a big beard and a smile on his face, that is most likely Sham. He’s a YouTube vlogger, a young-ish dude that aims to spread the message of peace, love & smiles (hold the cheese) through his experiences and weirdness. He’s also a part-time superhero (don’t tell his mum). He says, ‘if you see me, come hug me and let’s go out for coffee.’ He was part of the Creative Talent Lab in Bristol in February 2014 and was in Rife magazine’s second team of in-house of Young Journalists. Sham is a successful freelance photographer, has appeared on the BBC and recently joined the Watershed board.
‘It means an incredible amount to be included in Bristol’s 24 under 24 along with some of the greatest in this little beautiful city. Never would I thought I would’ve ended up on something like this, little over a year ago I was filming videos from my bedroom, and taking photos in a local park, and now I’m on the board of directors at Watershed.’
18. MUSIC: Sophie Ellam
Recently debuted at the Saffron Records showcase, Sophie is a singer and live performer with her own, unique style. She is a self taught musician. who is empowering at the very young age of 15. Not only to herself but also to others.
‘It is a pleasure to be nominated and it has inspired me to continue my creativity, not only as a musican, but also as an artist.’
19. POLITICS: Sophie Giltinan
Relatively average 17 year old student, she represents North Bristol on the Bristol City Youth Council and Member of Youth Parliament. She had the amazing chance to speak in the House of Commons’ chamber on the Living Wage. For her, politics is great but really she is just in it for the young people. She is trying my best to make those important decision-makers actually listen to us. And yes, she is a feminist.
‘Massive thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. It’s a real honour to be nominated for this list and hopefully it goes some way to proving to young people that you can actually make a difference somewhere. BCYC and UKYP are fantastic organisations and I’m very glad I’ve had the opportunity to work with them.’
20. MUSIC: Sophie Hosken-Taylor
Sophie spent the first half of this year fighting to save the Performing Arts Department at Yeovil College, gaining the support of local Labour and Green parties and also performing for ITV West Country. Recent winner of Wath Festival’s Young Performer Award, Sophie independently released her ‘Maps’ EP on her own label, Shabby Cabin Records.
21. POLITICS: Thanushan Jayarajah
Thanushan Jeyarajah is a 17-year-old currently doing his A levels, studying, maths, accounting and economics. Also, he is a Youth Mayor of Bristol. For the past five years he has been a member of the Bristol City Youth Council, which is a group of 28 elected representatives, who have been elected through a citywide election. Besides his academic and social interest, he is about to be a black belt in karate.
‘One of the things that I’m most proud of is being able to work alongside key decision maker within Bristol as this has helped me to voice and tackle issues that I’m very passionate about such as, work experience and careers advice, which is one of the areas within the education sector that I consider to be lacking in attention, as I believe that every young person should be provided with tailored careers advice and work experience, that will really help them to make important decisions for their future.’
22. TECHNOLOGY: Thomas Williams
Thomas is a composer and designer working with technology to build opportunities in public spaces for people to create with music and light. Based in Bristol, Thomas takes inspiration from the fantastical to spark joy and curiosity around music composition. As well as designing and building interactive installations Thomas works with other artists and brands to create bespoke music and sound design for film, animation and performance.
‘Being a relatively new face in Bristol it’s super exciting to be considered for this list. Bristol has been an amazing place to present and develop work with so many people interested in different and new things. I really hope that I can keep creating work that engages with the city.’
23. ART: Young Arnolfini
Young Arnolfini is a collective of creative young people aged from 16–24 working, learning and living in Bristol. We aim to bridge the gap between young people and contemporary art through our workshops, live events and exhibitions. During 2015, we’ve taken over the Arnolfini gallery one with our group exhibition, curated workshops with other artists, and are currently working on our next project, exploring the city we live in.
24. FILM: Zoe Alker
Zoe Alker is a filmmaker, writer/director and general film busybody. Working in film and media for the last five years she has had incredible opportunities to work with some amazing talents from around the world. She specialises in writing and directing drama, short films, music and poetry videos with her debut feature, ‘Summers’ in pre-production with the aim to shoot next year.
‘I’m really excited and proud to be nominated, I love living and working in Bristol. I think often it feels quite scary to be trying to make things happen when you haven’t been doing it for as long as most of the people around you, but it’s really encouraging to be around so many friendly, accommodating and patient people here in Bristol that it really makes doing creative work here a total joy.’
That’s all for 2015. See you next year.
Tweet us @rifemag #24under24 and let us know who we’ve missed and why.