Meet our incredible 30 Under 30 2020
Check out the West of England’s best and brightest 30 and unders, all chosen by you
Rife’s annual list of amazing people is back, and we’re reaching more people than ever before. This year, we’ve chosen thirty talented individuals under the age of 30 from across the West of England, with the aim of showcasing their amazing work and giving them the recognition they deserve. This process has felt particularly important during such a challenging time for so many. Thank you so much to every person who nominated their friends, colleagues, family and partners – each nomination was a beam of hope through 2020’s fog of doubt and disappointment.
Here are the amazing thirty under thirty selected this year – follow them, celebrate them, and share to support their incredible work:
As one of the youngest university lecturers in the UK, Lewis co-created the module ‘Flourish’, a personal development and positive psychology module taught at the University of The West of England. He is also a Social Action Lead at Project Zazi, Off the Record’s mental health project for young Black people and ethnic minorities, working to “create an army of young activists empowered by their magnificence.”
Lewis is a creative director of Project Zazi’s Black Bristol, an online interactive timeline that highlights the history of Black people in Bristol and hosts Amplify, Black Bristol’s podcast. He is the creator of Pinpoint Academia, a personal development resource for University students, and consultant at Voxel Hub, accommodating and representing people of colour in tech spaces.
Lewis would like to express his “sincerest thanks to those who deemed me worthy of such a wonderful recognition. I am very privileged to be in the position I’m in and it would not be possible without those around me who inspire me every day to be better. I am a consequence of your love, support and care. It does not go unnoticed.”
Photography credit: Khali Ackford
Find more of Lewis’s work on his Linktree
Huw James is a North Somerset Councillor and a Young Person’s Champion. He is working to improve the empowerment and advocacy of young people within North Somerset by promoting initiatives led by young people alongside engagement and participation opportunities. He seeks to include young people in the planning processes which affect the places they live. His role focuses on policy on employment, skills and adult education, improving transport, and tackling the climate emergency.
Huw is also the Chair of North Somerset’s Housing Issues Group, where he examines housing affordability and the protections of tenants. Alongside this he is helping to ensure investment in green jobs and build affordable carbon-neutral homes. Huw is the youngest housing association board member in the UK, and is helping plan more affordable housing in North Somerset in places like Millcross in Clevedon, and Marina Gardens in Portishead.
Huw says, “It’s a real privilege to be featured by Rife Magazine in this list highlighting audacious and caring changemakers of the West of England. I appreciate the recognition, and I can only thank the people who first asked me to stand. Young people should empower and raise the voices of each other where possible – so I hope my voice encourages others to find and use theirs.”
Find Huw on LinkedIn
Travis is a writer, theatre maker and performer who for the last five years has been creating work that has been applauded for provoking dialogue around LGBT+ identities and their intersections internationally. Burgerz, Travis’ 2018 theatre show, toured and sold out venues around the world including at the Southbank Centre, traverse, Bristol Old Vic and in Sao Paulo. The show won a total theatre award, commended for its breakthroughs in trans theatre.
Travis’ work has made them a prominent voice for transgender rights. They appear on over twenty university syllabi, have been listed in the Evening Standard’s most influential under 25 list, won a Gay Times Future fighter award, and have spoken at over fifty European universities. Their show Overflow recently opened at Bush theatre, placing more trans stories on the main stage.
Travis says, “This means so much to me! Bristol is my hometown, and I’ve recently moved back here after some years away in London, which makes this even more special. Bristol is full of so many incredible and exciting people – and it is a real honour to be included on a list alongside some of them. When I think of my performing and theatrical career now, I think of how it would not have been possible without affordable and accessible access to creativity from Travelling Light theatre, or brilliant drama teachers at Downend like Kelly Burgess and Charlie Scherp, or Redcliffe Sixth Form with Steph Reese, which all happened within the city of Bristol!”
Follow Travis on Instagram @travisalabanza
Antonia May Cross
Antonia manages the external communications, brand, press, and marketing for Caring in Bristol. Adhering to strict communications values – no messaging, imagery, press or wording that furthers stereotype or stigma – she works tirelessly to challenge preconceptions about those experiencing homelessness. Her work, ‘Make Homelessness History in Bristol’, won the Regional Campaign 2020. She has been granted a position on a Voluntary Sector Management and Charity Marketing and Fundraising Msc at CASS Business School Masters course without having an undergraduate degree based on her achievements and has been awarded a Derek Holder Memorial Trust Scholarship.
Antonia replied, “Wow – well, I’m beyond chuffed. The first thing I did was question why on earth I had been nominated. I meet and speak to people every day who I am mightily impressed by and work really hard to be more like them! So I just class myself as incredibly damn lucky to be considered amongst such hard-working and pioneering peers. I feel very blessed and it’s a joy to commit my life to sharing those blessings – fighting for more social housing and inclusive sex education is the very least I can do. Thank you to the judges and Rife family who provide such a creative contribution to the world. “
Qezz is a photographer and filmmaker. Having only lived in Bristol for a year, Qezz has achieved a lot: she was a member of the first Creative Workforce for the Future programme and has worked at Rife Magazine as a content creator and filmmaker, creating work exploring her heritage, beautiful photography work and insightful writing. She has also photographed a cover for Bristol 24/7 while working at the publication as a photojournalist, and more recently worked at Fourth Floor Creative. Qezz is also a founding member of Purple Girls Collective, an artistic collaboration made up of a group of talented female creatives who are all friends living in the same house.
Qezz says, “For someone like me who has only been living in Bristol for a year, being on the list feels incredibly honouring. I started as a content creator at Rife in February and I am ending the year with experience of working with some of Bristol most influential hubs. The work I have done at Rife, Bristol 24/7, and Purple Girls Collective has been super rewarding. I got to share stories about my identity, social issues and make a short film. I got to share the Black Lives Matter march through my eyes, shoot the front cover of Bristol 24/7 and debuted by first short film, a love letter to the women who raise us. The stories and photography series I share come from a place of love. My only aim for creating art is to empower people, especially young creatives. This year has been challenging for everyone around the world. The main thing that has helped me through it all is art and creating art. I truly believe that the future is now and it is ours to create.”
Lucy is an illustrator, writer, and activist. Her frequent updates of her beautiful illustrations on Instagram focus on Black bodies, self-care, and her journey towards self-love through meditation. Through her art she “constantly seeks to represent and try to enable Black people’s voices.”
During the first lockdown Lucy created stickers to spread positivity in her community, going on to submit them to Made at Home. The book raised £4000 to support people experiencing homelessness. She also worked with Black Minds Matter this summer, her artwork featuring on their website. She also hosted the We the 33 Creative Youth Network conference on inequality, saying, “I’m so passionate on educating and informing people as well as encouraging people to have difficult conversations, especially around race.”
As part of a collective group of young black female artists, Lucy made a political statement that went around the world when the Jenn Reid statue was erected. Prints from the subsequent viral photoshoot donated all profits to Bristol African Caribbean Culture Space. Her candle design for Grant and Blossom donates £5 from each sale to Stop Hate UK, an organisation challenging hate crime and discrimination.
Lucy says, “I’m so honoured! Each year I’ve witnessed some incredible people feature on the list and I can’t believe I’m one of them. Just a few years ago due to illness I was barely surviving, mentally and physically, I look back at all I’ve achieved the last few years and for the first time I can truly say I’m proud of myself. We live in a world where Black women are shamed for showing off their achievements, well, you better believe I am going to be telling everyone about this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Alfie is a freelance artist and animator. The main themes in his original, captivating and funny work are dark comedy and the digital world. He’s recently been getting into directing, and particularly likes working with musicians to produce videos and cover artwork. His portfolio includes work for The Eric Andre Show, Tim Heidecker, Declan McKenna, Adult Swim, and loads more. In an interview with Rising Arts in 2020 Alfie told emerging creatives, ‘Make art for people, not algorithms!’ His work has been exhibited globally, reaching far flung art spaces in China, Portugal, the Netherlands, and more.
Alfie says, “It’s such a lovely surprise to be featured! I moved to Bristol a year ago, so it’s a massive honour to be recognised for my work in the South West! It’s nice getting a positive reception from social media for my work, but it can also feel very intangible. Being chosen for this list however feels very real.”
Sarina has been selling homemade items at market stalls since she was 16, and now runs her own eco-friendly brand SmartSquid, a range of clothing, accessories, and homeware that features nature-focused designs that spark ecological conversations. Each piece is created using screen prints and hand paints using low impact water-based inks, and everything she prints on is organic or reclaimed vintage.
She also runs SmartSquid Nature Magazine, a not-for-profit magazine for children that aims to engage children from all backgrounds with nature. It’s been distributed for free to children around the South West and beyond through partnering with charities, hospitals and food banks including FareShare South West.
Sarina says, “I’m so pleased! I am a big fan of the authenticity and range of content produced by Rife so I was very excited to find out I’d made the 2020 list alongside such inspirational people!”
Find more of Sarina’s work on her Instagram
Will calls what he does ‘a bit of this and that’ – but we reckon he’s being modest. His work lies in research, creative production, and podcast production and presenting, but as he says, “there’s so much more behind that – it’s impossible to fit it all into one week. So much of my work is about people, their realities and the spaces in between. Giving them a mic to tell their stories, so those moments of connections can really be felt. If it’s not through moments of artistic expression, it’ll be through working on strategies for some long-needed social culture shifts.”
Asked about what this nomination means to him, Will says, “Feels dope to be honest. I really enjoy my work at the moment and the challenges are all very worth it. You can never truly know how the work you do is being received by audiences, colleagues and peers. It’s so easy to feel like ‘you should’ve achieved more by now,’ so to be included in this list after a year like this fills me with more faith that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It affirms the fact that the right people have turned up at the right time and stayed involved in my journey. So much of what I do is a reflection of the people I spend time with, so this is just a nod to say that everyone plays a massive part!”
Check out Will’s Pervasive Media Studio profile here
Tanisha has worked in mental health for over ten years in the NHS, in private healthcare, as a community psychiatric nurse, in A&E, in schools, and now in higher education. She has lectured on anti-oppressive practice and anti-racist practice within mental health at UWE. She also delivers sessions to undergraduate and postgraduate social workers, mental health nurses and medical students. She is on the anti-racism board for the medical school at University of Bristol and is co-leading on BAME staff and student wellbeing and is the BAME rep for the LGBTQ+ network at University of Bristol.
Tanisha co-created a six-week therapeutic group for young people struggling with their body image while working at Off the Record, concentrating on unlearning diet culture. She now runs workshops on mental wellbeing, most recently for Black Girl Convention and Knowle West Media Centre. She also writes a wellbeing column. In collaboration with Wellcome Trust, Tanisha is working on a project about mental health, power and ownership. She has also spoken at the Watershed and eating disorder conferences about body image, and on panels around mental health and LGBTQ+ issues. Tanisha is also a published poet, writing about all things centring self-acceptance. Her poems have featured in various anthologies, magazines and zines.
She says, “When I found out I was speechless (which is saying a lot for me!). I feel so overwhelmed and have been in disbelief. It’s a real honour to be on this list alongside so many incredible people. I’ve been reflecting on why this feels so special, and it’s because there are so many of us doing this kind of work. Working in mental health can be tough and when you’re on the frontline there are often few ‘thank yous’ or recognition whether it’s in the NHS or voluntary sector. I love my work, which in essence is about liberation from those things we believe are holding us back and working towards accepting ourselves for who we are. I have done a lot of work on myself in regards to my race, gender and sexuality and am so happy I have been able to support other people on their journey towards self-acceptance and ultimately self-love.”
For the last four years Brook has been building and exhibiting a collection of fine art portraits which have been widely recognised around the city, but in the last six months he has been making more personal work in the medium. “I have taken a step to ‘coming out’ online and making much more personal work around themes of homosexuality and internalised homophobia,” he explains. See more of this work here.
He’s also a theatre maker, covering script writing, composition and lyrics, as well as performing and puppet making. His first musical, Mr Maglump, premiered at The Bristol Old Vic in 2019, which was highly praised by Andrew Lloyd Webber. You can watch Brook in action in his second musical, My Great Giraffe, also show staged at the Old Vic which features him as a writer, lyricist, composer, maker and actor. He is currently adapting the show into a picture-book-musical, set to be released later this year. You can follow this development on the book’s Instagram account here.
Brook also composes original music, both solo and with a full band, which he is slowly releasing online. You can find him on all major platforms including Spotify.
Brook says, “This nomination is such a beautiful thing from out of the blue! It’s so lovely to know you are recognised and noticed for the things you do, especially when I have been making big and personal changes in my artwork. I feel very privileged to be among a list of so many other inspiring people, and happy to be more ‘myself’ among them ”
Momin has worked with Integrate UK as an outreach worker since 2014, combatting issues such as female genital mutilation, extremism, racism, Islamophobia, and violence against women and girls. He has travelled to Sweden to advise the Swedish government and to Morocco to offer Integrate’s assistance to a charity that safeguards the wellbeing of disabled people.
Momin graduated as a LPC and Master of Laws from BPP University in 2020. He has been a Lead Student Voice Representative and a Lead Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for BPP since 2019, and was the co-founder of the first ever Diversity in Law sub-committee in UWE Law Society.
While studying at UWE, Momin collaboratively compiled legal research regarding rape and sexual assault. Widely credited, the information from the report will also be used in training to keep both staff and volunteers Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support up to date with latest information.
Momin says, “I never expected this at all! I have been living in Bristol for most of my adult life and it is an honour to be recognised alongside all of the other incredible individuals on this list. This past year has been extremely difficult for most including myself, but I’m so glad I persevered through ticking off so many of my goals. It’s always rewarding to be recognised for your work and it’s something that I find difficult to do myself as I always want to push myself further but the downside to this is that I don’t stop to appreciate how far I have come. I’m thankful for being on a list that gives young individuals a platform for our voices to be heard, and for giving us a place to network and grow among other creatives.”
Sam Jenkins is also known as Jenks In The Cut, a Swansea-born multi-disciplinary creative now based in Bristol. His work is bold, exciting, modern and has turned heads since he started out three years ago. A hard-working creative, Sam works 9-5 as a graphic designer at a children’s book publisher and then fills any free time he gets with illustrating, animating, or “just about anything design-related.” He’s worked with brands including Nandos, Puma and more, and as he says, “I’ve worked with some really sick clients over the past three years and I’m definitely looking forward to what the future holds.”
Sam says, “If I’m honest, it’s super unexpected – I only started illustrating when I did because my girlfriend kept pushing me towards it, and I sort of fell in love… again. It’s really sick to be recognised for something I’m truly passionate about. Biggup Rife Mag for the opportunity.”
Lily is an artist and small business owner who crafts books by hand, designs printed products, plays with audio, and designs and delivers workshops that “incorporate all these things.” She runs a small independent press called No Bindings, which combines print, audio and workshops to make extraordinary publications. The No Bindings team works with “all kinds of creative citizens to showcase our world’s lesser-known voices.” Check out No Bindings’ project RadioBook Rwanda here, and We Can Make Chat Show here.
As well this, she runs a startup, Grapevine, alongside technologist Tim Kindberg. Grapevine is a tool that links up physical images to digital content via popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. Read more about the research behind it here.
She says, “It’s a great honour to be featured on this list. Some of the people who have previously been listed are artists and creative practitioners who inspire and astound me with their work. No Bindings especially has been a slow burner of a project, something I created and constantly tinkered with when I moved to Bristol five years ago, so being featured feels like a beautiful recognition of how this publishing experiment and I have matured and grown together.”
See No Bindings here
Photography by Mikael Techane
Thomas is a musician, poet, performer and inspirational speaker. Three years ago he was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent six months in isolation. Writing poems and songs was vital to him for getting through this time. “It made what I was going through meaningful,” he says, “and so made it manageable.” He was able to share this work through Dear Lady Death, his one man show facilitated by Creative Youth Network. He has also toured the UK with CLIC Sargent Singers, a band of ex-cancer patients. Thomas also creates the Making Tracks Music Podcast. He has recently received funding for another season of the podcast and will be running podcasting workshops for disadvantaged young people. He has also been working for the poetry projects Poetry By Heart and Poetry Screen. Currently, Thomas is working on a new version of Dear Lady Death and new music. He hopes to start gigging soon.
He says, “It’s an honour. It’s been a long, tough journey the last few years, as well as being very rewarding, and I want to use this platform to thank the friends, family and youth arts organisations, who have supported me through this time, and helped me to get here.”
Evie is an activist and an active member of the NHS Youth Forum, currently campaigning for reforms around trans and non-binary access to healthcare. They are also an #iwill ambassador. As one of the founders of the We Deserve campaign, Evie campaigns for Bristol youth mental health services to become fully rights centred. Follow the campaign on Twitter here. When they’re not campaigning, Evie runs a business named Human Sightingswhich promotes mental health wellbeing through art and zines.
They say, “It’s incredible to be recognised for the work I do, thank you! There are so many wonderful young people in Bristol doing amazing things and I’m honoured to be alongside them!”
Photography by David Betts Photography
Stand-up comedian Abi’s hilarious and super relatable comedy sketches have racked up millions of views on her TikTok where she’s become a must-follow for a giggle this year. She slips seamlessly between being a happily deranged office worker, forgetful bride, or even spoilt cat, knowing just the right funny bone buttons to push to slow your scroll and secure multiple millions of likes. She’s even spread the love to her household after featuring her parents in dance videos that have been watched all over the world.
She says, “It’s absolutely mad to think that just a few months ago no one knew I existed and now I’m being included on a list like this! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for everyone, but I am so thankful for the opportunities that taking my comedy online has brought me and the incredible support that I’ve received. Can’t wait to see what happens next and to get back to performing live!”
Photography by B.Clarence Photography
Chloe is a Psychology student at Cardiff University currently on a placement with Cardiff Women’s Aid working with women who have experienced domestic violence. She is also a freelance writer and creator of Melanin and the Mind, a blog exploring topics surrounding blackness, neurodiversity, and wellbeing. She also writes poetry and performed her first poem aloud at a BLM peaceful protest this summer. Watch her speak on the racial injustice panel at Cardiff University here.
She says, “When I heard I was going to be on the 30 under 30 list, I felt honoured. This year has been humbling in many ways and this just felt like a spark of hope; my passion and my work is being elevated. One of my goals for MATM was for it to be a hub where wellbeing of the black community was at the centre, so for it to be recognised fills me with so much joy. Thank you Rife for considering me and choosing me as 1 out 30 amazing people and I hope MATM continues to grow because of it.”
Check out Chloe’s website
Amber is playing her twelfth season at rugby club Bristol Bears and is the current co-captain of the club. She also plays for England, having achieved 58 caps for the team. In 2014 she was a Rugby World Cup winner and in 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup runner-up. In 2017 and 2020 she was a Women’s 6 Nations Grand Slam winner, making the pass to Emily Scarratt that clinched the decisive try in France.
Off the pitch, Amber is Looseheadz mental health ambassador and is an Eagle Project Ambassador for Bristol Rugby Community Foundation, whose aim is to get schoolgirls in the local area into not just rugby, but physical activity.
She says, “I am very humbled to be alongside so many talented and inspirational people. In life things do not come easy or as planned, but I want to show others that it is possible if you have self-belief and determination. I feel lucky that I am in a position to help and inspire others through my own experiences and can share my success with them. Everyone has undiscovered potential within them. “
Photography by Robbie Stephenson/JMP
Olamiposi, or Posi, grew up in rural Ireland and moved to Bristol five years ago. He is “passionate about challenging and expanding perceptions about how we see and interact with the world.” He explores accessibility and diversity in media and creative spaces. His main goal is “to be involved in sustainably diverse creative spaces and develop means of accessibility and communication for creatives.”
He has worked with Multi-Track, Rising Arts Agency, Netflix, Screenology, BBC and Afrika Eye Film Festivalspeaking on panels, managing socials, curating events and hosting exhibitions, particularly exploring topics of mental health, social politics and the accessibility of creative opportunities to a diverse social sphere.
He says, “It’s a massive honour to be part of this list! We get thrown into the world with baggage, no one particular person to blame, and at times can feel like we’ve just been given cut outs of a soggy map and left to piece it together and fend for ourselves in the wild. So, it’s a great check-in to pause and allow myself to take in some fresh air and breath. Give gratitude time and energy; for the people, places, platforms like Rife, the wisdom, experiences, and conquered obstacles we’re a part of, and are still to go through. The journey’s not over yet, but we’ve come so far and are really doing our best to make sense of a complex spectrum of matter. We’ve got this!”
Follow Posi on Instagram
Nick is a digital illustrator, comic book artist and YouTuber. His work is inspired by manga and anime and portrays gorgeously illustrated characters that seem like they could jump off the screen and straight into the real world. If you follow his regularly updated Instagram, you’ll be acquainted with his memorable sense of style, his emotionally hard-hitting comic panels, and his versatile range of subjects that he draws from all kinds of sources. His YouTube shares his techniques set to a soundtrack of lo-fi beats, while his TikTok is where you can find a whistle-stop tour of this prolific artist’s portfolio.
He says, “It’s amazing to be recognised for the work I’ve put in. It’s gratifying and makes me want to work even harder. I don’t know how or who nominated me but I wanna say thank you. I have faced so many pitfalls and roadblocks throughout my journey as an artist but I’m grateful to be doing something I love to its fullest no matter how small.”
Viki is Artistic Director of mental health charity Many Minds, a performance artist, and a theatre director. Many Minds makes performances that put people who identify with experiences of mental ill-health in the driver’s seat, engaging their creativity, to improve their self-esteem and build their social skills and networks. In 2020 Many Minds have made three live performances for Zoom co-composing music with vocal composer Verity Standen, and they are working towards a large-scale community musical.
As an independent performance artist Viki creates work about topics that are uncomfortable, risky or taboo. Last year she was resident artist at IGNITE at the Trinity Centre focusing on a new project called Hyper Fem which considers the performance of femininity through drag. Her work has been performed at Bristol Old Vic, Camden People’s Theatre, Salisbury International Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe, Glastonbury Festival and VAULT.
She says, “I feel grateful and privileged to feature on this list and glad that the work we are doing at Many Minds can be sung about. As a young person carving out my career as an independent artist and director, I often tried not to mention my age and I was worried that people might not take me seriously if they knew how young I was. I co-founded charity Many Minds in 2017 when I was 25, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of my wonderful co-founder Olivia Ware, who has always believed in me, and our Members, whose trust in me has allowed me to flourish. I have learnt so much through the process of starting and co-leading a charity, that I feel quite old beyond my years now!”
Ella is an artist, illustrator and filmmaker advocating for social and environmental justice. As an artist, she is represented by Rising Arts Agency and is part of Rising’s radical Transforming Leadership Programme: BE IT. In 2020 she was part of #WhoseFuture, a city-wide billboard campaign that acted as a provocation to listen to young people. She is a Babbasa Trailblazerand recently launched the City of Change campaign alongside other Youth Ambassadors, developing over 150 employment opportunities for marginalised young people in the South West.
Ella has spoken at events on youth empowerment, indigenous peoples’ rights and intersectional environmentalism for organisations such as Green New Deal UK and Culture Declares Emergency. In 2020 she co-led the Avon Wildlife Trust Youth Forum and created illustrated and written content while supporting other young members to create. As a volunteer on the Black and Green Ambassadors Programme, Ella supports diverse environmental leadership, community action and elevates underrepresented stories of climate justice. She is a founding member of Bristol Culture’s Young Collective, who consult and challenge Bristol’s exhibitions and events to be accessible for young people. She also volunteers as a Natural History Assistant in Bristol Museum and is a member of the Organising Team for UK Youth for Nature. Most recently, Ella has become a member of the Fairtrade Foundation’s Youth for Fairtrade group.
She says, “I feel very blessed to be on this list, and I think it’s important to recognise that so much of what I’m able to do has been dependent on me being able to volunteer on projects that I care about – this is a privilege. The South West is full of incredible young trailblazers who are unable to create the work the world needs them to because they can’t afford to volunteer. This is why investing in young people is powerful. If you’re young and wondering what you have to offer: you are an expert in your experiences, you bring something unique that nobody else can, and you are an integral part of our community. The 30 young people on this list are part of your network. Together, we are powerful.”
Follow Ella on Instagram
Cidella Brown is a fashion photographer, creative director and model with incredible personal style and an inspirational vision for the future of fashion. After moving to Bristol in 2018 to study fashion communication at UWE, she started working in fashion outside of university and building up a portfolio of work, including PR support at London Fashion Week. Her outstanding work led her to achieve UWE Bristol Equity’s Mentee of the Year award in 2019. She has also worked with various projects in the community, including photographing Bristol Museums’ Uncomfortable Truths project and 21st Century Kids Project. She is currently completing her third year of Fashion Communication at UWE and continuing to build her portfolio of achievements.
She says, “I feel honoured to be featured for Rife’s 30 under 30. It feels great to be recognised for the work that I do. I know that this is only the start of my creative journey and I’m excited to see what new projects will come my way.”
Photography by @aleshahickmansphotography
Farnaz has spent 2020 freelancing for the BBC as a Junior Researcher, working at the Natural History Unit at BBC Bristol and at Antiques Roadshow. She started as a runner at Icon Films in 2018, where she received a production assistant credit making props using Photoshop for TV show Mysteries of the Deep. Her notably excellent work helped her secure her first job at the BBC. She was also shortlisted for BBC Scriptwriting competition InterConnected in March 2020 with her co-writer Beth Privitera.
Farnaz is concentrating her practice on creating more work in Photoshop in her spare time, particularly focussing on making digital collage and posters. She is also co-writing with Beth Privitera and writing her own short mockumentary based around a cult.
She says of being nominated, “A bit of a surprise! I didn’t realise people were following my progress. Although this year has been a bit up and down, it’s nice to know I’m being cheered on secretly – thank you.”
Abbi is a digital illustrator, visual artist and journalist. Her regional exhibition tour of her Black Portraits Project was exhibited at Bristol’s The Station and Exeter Phoenix in early 2020 and she has previously exhibited at Spike Island, Arnolfini, M Shed, Centrespace, Southmead Hospital, and more. She has also exhibited her work at Sophie Tea Art Gallery in Carnaby Street Soho in partnership with Black Minds Matter.
Abbi has also illustrated a children’s book, Where is Summer’s Fluffy Cat?, and was commissioned by the BBC for Black History Month to create an illustration of historical figures The Three Dikgosi, which was curated by David Olusoga. Abbi has recently finished an internship at Arts and Health South West illustrating the Big Give campaign and has launched her own blog, BIBI Magazine, reporting on arts, culture and lifestyle. She is the youngest Artist Board Member of the VASW Steering Group.
She says, “I feel honoured! It feels amazing to be recognised and appreciated for all the work I’m doing. It’s so easy for me to get stuck in my own head so this encouragement reminds me that I am making a change, no matter how big or small!”
Liza Bilal, Xahra Saleem, Tiffany Lyare, Clayton Wildwoode and Sam Little of All Black Lives Bristol
The Black Lives Matter march on 6 June 2020 was a defining moment of the year, seeing thousands of people take to the streets to march against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Soon, the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue had become headline news globally. The protest was organised by Liza, Xahra, Tiffany, Clayton and Sam, members of All Black Lives who collated donations, speakers and support from the community, along with attracting press coverage. They are now asking for people to show their support for the people charged with toppling Colston. See more here.
They say, “We are so grateful to be honoured with a place on this list after a year of such hard work, it shows the positive direction we’re heading in with the movement. And it is a movement, not a moment. Through the New Year, we will continue to protest as well as hold our popular online panels and workshops. We want to thank everyone who has helped us so far on this journey. Protestors, people who provided PPE, friends and family who supported our cause and encouraged us to continue this fight. Thank you to the people who told us we could do this and should do this; thank you to everyone who used their privilege to speak up or provide a platform for black voices; thank you to our allies for supporting our progress. Our friend El, a member of Black Community Rising, often says ‘Until we are all liberated, we are not liberated.’ The truth in their words is potent; we have to continue this momentum and prove to everyone that Black Lives Matter.”
Photography by Khali Ackford
Manoel is an artist with many strings to his bow. He is an activist, leading conversations about race and human rights and teaching and speaking in schools in Bath and Bristol. He owns production studio Blouhaus and media platform The Everything Post. He is a freelance cinematographer, filmmaker, creative director, graphic designer and photographer who has written and directed a short film which will be released this year. He is also a singer/songwriter working on an album to release this year, as well as being a poet, illustrator, public speaker and musician.
He says, “I’m so excited to be selected for the list, it feels so good to feel like your work and you as a person are being seen and acknowledged especially in a whole city. It also feels particularly special because as a Christian I believe in speaking things into existence, and last year while celebrating all my friends who made it into the 24 under 24 I told myself that I’ll be on it this year and it feels like another manifestation moment.”
Unrelentingly dedicated to his home city of Bristol, rising grime star Jay 0117 dropped his album, Half Way Home, in May last year to much excitement. Its cover came characteristically adorned with landmarks from across the city, from Stokes Croft’s premier chicken spot Slix, to the instantly recognisable blue frontage of Watershed. The album is replete with references to Bristol, too – “There’s more to life than Bristol but I still rep ‘coz I’m from here,” Jay 0117 raps on Con Air, the second track on the LP. He has also appeared on the BBC discussing race and on Channel 4 talking about white privilege.
He says, “Big up Rife Magazine for putting me in the 30 under 30 list. 2020 was a weird year for us all but just concentrate on your sanity and keep it moving the best you can. Bristol is full of young creatives and influential people and I love to see it, it gives me faith that the future of Bristol is very bright.”
Photography by James Beck
Solomon’s exceptional oratory skills and charismatic presence won him Hammer & Tongue Slam Champion in 2016 and Black British Entertainment Spoken Word Artist of the Year in 2017. He was also aTED x Unicef Speaker in 2017 and 2019, as well as being a TACT Fostering Ambassador and a voice of BBC6 Music. In 2020 he spoke on top of the toppled Colston statue plinth during the Bristol protest for Black Lives Matter.
He says, “Pleasure to be recognised as a figure in the city. Been here a little while now and Bristol has played a huge role in my development as an artist.”
30 Under 30 Team 2020:
Project Coordinator: Aggie Andrews
Editor: Sammy Jones
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