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Meet our incredible 30 Under 30

Check out 30 of the West of England’s best and brightest change-makers, 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 30 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 2021’s fog of doubt and disappointment.

Here are the amazing 30 under 30 selected this year – follow them, celebrate  them, and share to support their incredible work:

Oona Chanfi

Oona is an Actor, Filmmaker and Photographer. She recently created a series of short films called “Roots”, as part of Creative Futures at Creative Youth Network, which explores identity and multiculturalism as a young person of colour in Bristol.

Representation is something Oona is extremely passionate about and through her work. Oona wants to focus on people sharing their own personal stories and experiences through conversations.

Oona is a former Rife Resident where she produced a photography series reflecting on June 2020. She has participated in National Youth Theatre and is currently working as a Workshop Assistant at Tobacco Factory Theatre. In 2021 Oona began work producing and took part in BFI Network Creative Producers lab. She is also Research and Admin Assistant at Little By Little Films.

“I really can’t believe I’ve made this list because I’ve grown up in Bristol and I know there’s so many amazing creative people here who are doing incredible things. Being recognised for the work I’ve been doing makes me feel seen and so grateful. It also allows me to give myself credit for what I’ve done which can be hard to do at times. So, thanks so much to Rife for this and I hope to keep connecting through conversations and sharing stories.”

You can find out more about Oona’s work below:

Instagram: @oonachanfi

Photo credit: Tanisha Claudaè

Tara Lily Klein

t l k is the project of Bristol-based independent Producer, Vocalist, Multi-Instrumentalist and Sound Artist Tara Lily Klein. As part of Bristol’s genre-morphing experimental music scene, Tara prioritises the blending of improvisation, collaboration, and introverted production to build an ethereal sound world for therapeutic processing to evolve. Their practice continues to form an environment for deep immersion, through both introspective listening and live sound.

Beyond t l k, Tara is the founder of “The Marma Project”, a multi-sensory play-oriented event space that explores flow state and centres collaboration to transgress audience/performer duality. Tara works freelance in podcast production, audio journalism, composition, and sonic poetry. They also curate tunes for Deepbed and Noods Radio.

Contributing to the documentation of UK protest culture, Tara also captures digital photos and field recordings in the streets of Bristol and beyond.

“The tingling’s of imposter syndrome are definitely coming to the surface with this one… at the same time, I feel a deep warmth for Bristol and the lives that converge in this city. There’s an unprecedented energy here that both pushes and holds. It’s mind opening, it teaches, and sharing in it feels defining. Gratitude to Rife for this curation and to whoever took a moment to nominate my work – the resonance is much appreciated.”

You can find out more about t l k’s work below:

tlkvox.com

Instagram: @tlkvox

linktr.ee/tlkvox

Photo credit: Giulia Spadafora

Ant Lightfoot

Ant is a queer, neurodivergent Artist, Performer, Writer, and Filmmaker who strongly believes in making work that is loudly imperfect. Ant embraces failure and is heavily invested in the liveness and energy that can be created in the moments between performer and audience.

Ant strives to make difficult and complex themes accessible for audiences by creating endearing, candidly honest and occasionally uncomfortable spaces for the ideas to thrive and runs workshops for anxious artists focusing on how to ground yourself, listen to and ask for your needs and how to write an access document.

Ant says, “The more I understand my own neurodivergence and access needs, the more I am galvanised to support, empower and uplift the disabled community and will continue to fight for accessibility for disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent folks always. Access is love.”

He recently completed BE IT programme as a part of Rising Arts Agency as well as being featured as part of their Whose Future campaign. During lockdown Ant made a short film entitled “AM I A TERRIBLE PERSON?”, which went on to win several awards and a live showing at the Camden People’s Theatre.

“I am beyond honoured to be listed alongside so many incredible, beautiful people doing such amazing things. Being a young creative has its own set of interesting challenges, and to be recognised and put on this list is unbelievably vindicating. The world coming to online platforms to work has meant I was able to access many things that I previously couldn’t and begin to spend some time falling back in love with making art, engaging with others, meeting new, amazing people, and sharing my work and skills.

I’m so grateful for all the support, mentoring, chats, endless Zoom calls, kindness and generosity that have helped to shape my understanding of myself, the arts and how I can move forward making work that I can really be proud of with my wellbeing in mind at all times. Thank you!”

You can find out more about Ant’s work below:

Instagram: @mrheavyhand

Twitter: @mrheavyhand

www.antlightfoot.com

youtu.be/bs3cSS2HlXM

youtube.com/heavyhandedvlogs

Neisha Hussain

Neisha is a Bristol Youth Counsellor in Year 10. For the last 3 years, Neisha has been representing and creating campaigns for the young people of Bristol for Bristol City Youth Council.

Neisha has been a member at One Bristol Curriculum for 2 years where she’s a youth representative. As a member of the steering group, she hopes to contribute her opinions and ideas on evolving and improving the current curriculum from her position as a young BAME student, as well as speaking on what she believes other students would want in their new curriculum.

She also works with Integrate UK on their Youth Board, where she hosted their annual conference in 2021. Through Intergrate UK, Neisha has developed and acted in a short film to educate people on the reality of sexual harassment/assault, victim blaming and rape culture within schools.

“Finding out that I made it onto this list was surreal. As someone who isn’t even an adult yet, I feel so honoured that I have been recognised amongst such influential people. I am very grateful to all the people in my life who have helped me achieve this. Having so many opportunities to speak from my heart about topics I care about has been a privilege. I will continue to campaign against the sexism and racism that many young people face on a daily basis.”

You can find out more about Neisha’s work below:

Instagram: @neish.hu

Twitter: @NeishaHussain_

onebristol.inventive.host/about-us

youtu.be/vY3cdSWb8ZQ

youtu.be/tr6UT6y8hoI

  1. Abby Gray / A For Alpha

Abby Gray is a Music Producer, Record label owner, Promoter and DJ also known as A For Alpha.

She has a radio show on Bristol’s SWU FM every other Friday 5-7pm which features a variety of genres, guest features, mixes and more. As a DJ A For Alpha has played across the UK, mainly featuring, House, Garage, and techno.

Most recently, Abby’s been running a new label and brand called “Alpha’s Trip”, a vinyl and digital label, realising new remixes of 90s tracks, as well as new tracks heavily inspired by the 90s.

As a record label owner, Abby has run various nights such as “Function 16”, “Kiwis + Coconuts” and “Mangoes + Melons”. She also runs a business called “Bristol DJ Lessons”, which teaches people how to DJ, Produce and build up their profile to gain sets.

“There are so many inspiring individuals in Bristol, so it’s a real honour to be featured on this list! I have lots of plans coming up for 2022 with my new label “Alpha’s Trip”, as well as events with this brand. I have some really exciting gigs booked in and I’m hoping to release some of my own music. I’m also looking forward to expanding my teaching business further, helping give people the ability to create and express themselves has been one of my biggest achievements so far!”

You can find out more about Abby’s work below:

Instagram: @aforalphaa

soundcloud.com/aforalphaaa

bristoldjlessons.com/

soundcloud.com/mangoesandmelons

soundcloud.com/kiwisandcoconuts

Pheebs Jameson

Pheebs Jameson is an Activist, Musician and Creator. She uses her online platform to share experiences from recovering from trauma, discovering queer identity, navigating the aftermath of abuse, tackling fat shaming/diet culture, and living with severe mental illness. Through sharing parts of her own experiences, Pheebs aims to empower other survivors and members of their community, whilst showing that you can talk about your experiences without shame.

Having lost many of her teenage years to trauma and (previously undiagnosed) severe mental illness, Pheebs is extremely passionate about supporting people with finding their voice and ensuring that the process of speaking up is accessible and inclusive to all.

Pheebs is the Co-founder of “The Speak Up Space”, an online, peer-led, signposting space for any survivor of any form of sexual violence. “The Speak Up Space” has provided support and signposting to over 600 people within the last 18 months and continues to support survivors each week.

For the past few years, she has volunteered with youth organisations and projects across the South West, ensuring marginalised young people’s voices are being heard and participated when it comes to the development of mental health services and provisions.

Most recently, Pheebs has joined Galop, the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity, as their latest Training & Development Officer.

“I’ve lived in the South West my whole life, so this is genuinely such an honour for me. To be recognised and acknowledged this way means a great deal and it’s something I won’t ever forget. I say this phrase often, but I wish I could jump back in time and show my younger self this achievement. Since a young age, there have been too many times where my voice, sanity and body have been taken away from me, I never ever thought I’d make it to the place I am in now. I want to help others with finding their shine again. There is so much power within community and peer connection, it leads to such genuine change. So, I want to send my love to the legends at Rife Magazine, the 29 wonderful others who make up this list and every single person who’s ever shown me honesty, guidance, and compassion. And to whoever nominated me for this brilliant list, I owe you a pint!”

You can find out more about Pheebs’ work below:

Instagram: @fatpheebs

www.tiktok.com/@fatpheebs?lang=en

thespeakupspace.format.com

galop.org.uk

Jade Ayino

Jade is a Multidisciplinary Artist currently living it large in Bristol. Jade’s work explores themes of fragility within social constructs, autonomy in femininity, and the introspectiveness of intersectionality. They carry out these themes through filmmaking, photography, presenting, poetry and installation work.

As an artist, Jade’s aim within their work is to blur, bend and bounce the boundaries between creative disciplines, curiously finding new ways to entertain, educate and influence future and past generations.

“This is just such a wholesome activity and I am feeling super special and honoured to be recognised alongside all of the other talented individuals on this list. I have been experiencing a lot of internal and external shifts that have really played on my creativity, mental health, and spirit so I am really proud that despite being discouraged, I persevered and continued to believe in my dreams. Saying that, I also want to use this platform to thank my inner circle and mentors that have challenged, twisted, and pushed me to be the person I am today.”

You can find out more about Jade’s work below:

www.ayino.org

www.youtube.com/channel/UC-EUmwObk1h5MSphe18VkzQ

Instagram: @jadeayino

Shaheim Minzie

Shaheim is a student currently studying for his A-Levels. Whilst studying, Shaheim works with Integrate UK as a Junior Trustee and Junior Outreach Worker and a Candidate for Bristol City Youth Council.

Most recently, Shaheim made a directorial debut on “Earned a Seat”, a music video inspired by Black Lives Matter. He also co-Wrote, and acted in “Fear”, a short film about knife crime and gang culture.

As a freelance journalist, Shaheim has been published by Bristol24/7, Bristol Cable and Eastside Community Trust where he writes about topics such as racism, toxic masculinity and the climate crisis.

In addition to all these incredible roles, Shaheim is a Nominee and Finalist for the Bristol’s Young Hero Awards and a Youth Peer Researcher for The Young Foundation.

In 2020 Shaheim featured on Rife and shared a poem about the complexities of the Black Male Identity and the roles that they’ve played within his life. At only 16 years old, he is one to watch.

“To be recognised for my work is a privilege, especially when this recognition is being done alongside so many other amazing young people who are shaping and changing the world. Whenever I do my work, I always aim to magnify the realities of minorities that are glossed over or are deemed too ‘uncomfortable’ to speak about. I couldn’t be more grateful for those who’ve given me the platform to do that.”

You can find out more about Shaheim’s work below:

www.bristol247.com/opinion/your-say/ive-always-felt-dissonance-between-the-jarring-fractions-of-my-identities/

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBjG-ZEQX9k&t=5s

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpzuzRpVebM&t=4s

Katie Hodgetts

Katie is the Founder and Executive Director of “The Resilience Project”, which empowers young people in the face of the climate emergency.

The Resilience Project started with Katie designing and delivering an 8-week resilience circle for people in Bristol age 18-25 where they met weekly to explore topics like burnout and eco-anxiety, building resilience and a supportive community throughout.

Katie also led a 5-day “Resilience Residential” retreat last year for climate justice activists from England, Wales and Scotland, teaching pairs to facilitate the 8-week circles in their local movement. The process has been described as life changing.

She is also the Co-Founder and Trustee for “Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate” and runs monthly strikes with thousands of young people and was part of the campaign to stop Bristol airport’s expansion.

Katie was a Global Youth Awards finalist in 2018 for service in empowering young people and campaigned with the UK Youth Climate Coalition from 2016.

She has also chaired several events and hosted workshops for some of the South West’s finest, including Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Catalyse Change and Somerset Wildlife Trust.

“A lack of political will and the power of big polluters can make it feel like it’s on my generation to “fix” the climate crisis. After 5 years of intense youth climate campaigning, I knew first-hand how this pressure and urgency can lead to hopelessness, anxiety, loneliness, and burnout. That’s why I started “The Resilience Project”, to empower youth and build our collective capacity and to shift from wellbeing to well-doing. I am so happy to be recognised for this important work, and to honour this I will continue, with ferocity, to spread connection, joy and support for young people.”

You can find out more about Katie’s work below:

Twitter: @KTclimate

theresilienceproject.org.uk

Greg Hollywood

Greg is a Founder, Writer and Creator of “Vibe Rating”, a music platform and blog that was created to give up-and-coming musicians and creatives a free platform to share their music and art. “Vibe Rating” regularly posts to keep content new and fresh. All growth up until now has been done with zero funding, just hard work, consistency, and passion for music and helping others.

Alongside all this, Greg is an avid long-distance runner. He is a strong advocate for raising awareness for mental health through sponsored runs and content. Greg is looking to take this to next level in 2022 with new challenges and improvements. Watch this space!

“I’m incredibly honoured to be included in this list with such amazing and inspiring people! I remember reading through the 30 under 30 last year and being so impressed, so to think that I’m now on this list is mind boggling… As someone who regularly battles with my mental health (chronic anxiety) it’s a real privilege knowing that my work and content is being noticed by others, and that my words are helping people to elevate and grow on a personal and professional level. It’s good to look back on achievements and pat yourself on the back every now and then or you just end up operating like a robot. Big love to all the creatives and musicians I’ve worked with other the past year, and all the cool people I’ve met on my journey so far!”

You can find out more about Greg’s work below:

Instagram:

@vibe.rating   

@greg_runs_

viberating.co.uk

Orla Bligh

Orla is an Artist, Curator and Organiser with a focus on building caring spaces which centre community.

Orla has a background in grassroots organising within the local LGBTQ+ community through their work with “Thorny”, a queer arts platform they founded in 2015. Through this platform, Orla has programmed and collaborated with artists from all over the world, filling dance floors and spaces across Bristol including bars, clubs, cultural institutions and festivals.

The pandemic impacted the way Orla works in many ways and over this time she found her focus shifted towards developing her own artistic practice as a musician and songwriter, while looking at ways to rebuild capacity and connection within the local artistic community as we emerge from the hardship of the past two years.

In 2021, Orla set up “Bristol Trans & Non-Binary Creatives”, a professional skills network and meeting space, which aims to regenerate the local artistic community through collective knowledge and skills sharing. The project is supported by Bristol & Bath Creative R&D and has also provided an opportunity for Orla to grow as an inclusive facilitator and mentor.

“I’m honoured to be recognised in this year’s list for my work as an organiser and leader in the local community. The past two years have put an incredible strain on everyone working in the creative industries especially for marginalised workers, as we navigate the multitude of personal and professional challenges which have arisen. This acknowledgement feels like a much-needed boost at the beginning of another uncertain year and I’m hopeful we can continue building towards an abundant future which is joyful, equitable and sustainable for all of us.

You can find out more about Orla’s work below:

Instagram: @wearethorny

Heather Gibson

Heather is a Creative Producer and Embroiderer on a mission to make change. She began stitching at university, choosing the media’s representation of the working class as her topic to tackle with an artefact. “CHAVESTRY” was born. Heather uses embroidery to capture a moment in time.

“With all things political and inherently wrong with the world”, Heather found capturing a moment in time with a needle and thread was much better than screaming into the void. This is when she began to develop her style and began offering commissions online.

Heather began last year with a residency at The Island where she explored home and community through intricate collages of prolific people and places in each community to comment on the government’s one size fits all approach to ending homelessness.

Heather has also worked with Creative Youth Network and Culture Weston, where she collaborated with youth groups through workshops, creating art for social change.

Last year, Heather also worked with Watershed and Art Centre Nabi on The Greenverse, a digital platform offering up young artist’s responses to the topic of climate change. She hopes to continue experimentation with unconventional materials and sculpture.

Additionally, Heather’s work has been published in several zines which raised money for different charities as well as three group shows shining a light on young creatives.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the long list of talented creatives acknowledged by Rife! Having only recently found an authentically HAG way of sharing my voice, entering the creative space in 2021 was a very daunting experience but realising that there are people listening is very exciting. My passion lies with correcting misrepresentation, offering explanations to the misunderstood and raising money for the mistreated and I’m very excited to see where 2022 takes me.”

You can find out more about Heather’s work below:

Instagram: @hagmedia

linktr.ee/hagmedia

CORONARY_SYNTHESIS 

SPARED_CHANGE

Ellen Downes

Ellen is a Teacher, Curator, Producer and Body Casting Artist. Her work explores community, social justice and women’s voices with a focus on storytelling and creative collaboration.

In 2015, she co-founded Enchanted Cinema, an events company through which she collaborated with local musicians and filmmakers and held autism-friendly screenings and a charity film festival.

The next year saw Ellen found the City Plaza School in an accommodation space for 400 refugees in Athens. She produced a short film and an online series documenting the day-to-day life of families, particularly mothers, living there. She crowdfunded £21,000 to fund the project.

In 2017 she moved to Vietnam where she lectured at the London College of Fashion in Hanoi. She was Country Coordinator for Fashion Revolution Vietnam and produced and curated a week-long exhibition and festival of events at The Vietnamese Women’s Museum. The exhibition raised awareness of the exploitation of women in the fashion industry and 7 national television channels covered the opening event.

In 2021 Ellen published a book and opened “Every Body’s Story”, an exhibition at Centre space Gallery where she exhibited 30 golden torso casts alongside the powerful stories of the women behind them. The project was covered nationally, and globally, by the BBC.

In 2022 she joined Bristol start-up Yuup, offering ‘celebrate your body’ experiences. Women can book casting sessions at her studio in Barton Hill to have their bust, torso or baby bump cast gold.

“When I first arrived in Bristol, I looked through the 30 under 30 list in awe of all the amazing people doing amazing things in this city… I can’t believe my name is now among all these inspiring creatives!! Since I set up Every Body’s Story, I have worked with so many incredibly bold and brave women in and around the city. Together we’ve created a body of work which I’m so proud of. We’re celebrating the diversity of women’s bodies and telling the stories they hold, which we so often carry in silence. What I’m doing is all about creating a platform for women’s voices, so this project being recognised here and raised onto a higher one yet is so great. And such an honour – thank you Rife!”

You can find out more about Ellen’s work below:

everybodysstory.co.uk

Instagram: @everybodysstory      @ellenfdownes

ellendownes.com

Pariah Khan / Hari Ramakrishnan

Hari Ramakrishnan (also known as the Prince of Persuasion, the South Asian Sensation, the Bodacious Bro with a Bebop Flow: Pariah Khan) is a Playwright, Comedian, Filmmaker and Professional Wrestling Manager. Since being voted one of Bristol’s 24 Most Influential People 24 and Under, he has gone on to write, produce and tour his phenomenally successful one man comedy show and debut production, “An Indian Abroad”, on a 20-venue tour around the nation. His short film “Slice” has been accepted in over 10 film festivals across Europe, Australia and North America and his continued involvement with Bristol’s Pro Wrestling Chaos has been a highlight for fans of the art form.

Alongside his work in the arts, Khan is known for his work in the community. He has been a pivotal part of Wellspring Settlement’s BOOST Project at Barton Hill Settlement over the past year, co-running a multi-agency partnership project supporting people with debt, benefits, employment and housing issues.

More recently he has started working for the Community Access Support Service where he will be upskilling Community Groups and Advice Agencies around the critical link between financial problems, debt and mental health, improving awareness, signposting pathways and ensuring some of Bristol’s most vulnerable citizens are able to get the help and support they need. Prior to this, he worked on the BFI funded Creative Enterprise Scheme supporting creative businesses in the English regions to receive business support and running the New Ideas Fund.

“It’s such an honour to be on the 30 for 30 list, I’m really proud to be on here for both my work in the arts and in the community. It’s especially important to me because I grew up in Bristol but I wouldn’t be here without the support of so many great organisations over the years: Talking Money, Rising Arts Agency, Creative Youth Network, Babassa, Pro Wrestling Chaos, Dragon Pro Wrestling and Arts Council England (plus the Arnolfini for giving me rehearsal space)”.

You can find out more about Harry’s work below:

Instagram: @PariahKhan

Twitter: @PariahKhan

SLICE (2019) – short film

All Or Nothing promo (Pro Wrestling Chaos):

“That” Batista promo (Pro Wrestling Chaos):

Photo credit: Mike Massaro and Love Saves the Day

Inez Solomon- Gardner

Inez is a Writer and Performer as well as a credited actor based in Bath and London with a keen interest in writing and music.

Inez loves working across disciplines and is creative in every way. She took part in the Watershed and Art Centre Nabi’s project on The Greenverse, in which she created an experience combining poetry and interactive video that explores our individual responsibility to save the planet. Titled “The last choice”, Inez’s work highlights the urgency of the situation and how our small actions can make a huge difference to the fate of humanity.

“I am so thankful (and surprised) to be featured on this year’s 30 under 30 list! Especially after what has been a very chaotic few years trying to navigate the creative world and find a place in it. I don’t think I’m quite there yet but I’m so grateful to Rife for this wonderful recognition and to be placed alongside all of these amazingly talented creatives!”.

You can find out more about Inez’s work below:

Instagram: @inezsolomon @inezsolomoncreative

greenverse.art/main/

Beth Palmer

Beth is a Curator, Artist and Founder who is currently working with Bristol based collectives on upcoming events. They founded The Queer School of Live Art, an artistic development programme for queer live artists in Bristol.

In 2021, Beth began work as an Associate Curator for In Between Time, working on The Rupture expanded festival.

Beth continues to run weekly workshops along with live artists like Mamoru Iriguchi, Mark Jeffery and Marcin Gawin.

“I feel so honoured to be part of Rife’s 30 under 30! I would really like to thank In Between Time for supporting me to run The Queer School of Live Art last year. I am so excited by all the queer art and nightlife that has been happening over the last year, there is so many people working so hard to support and grow the queer art scene in Bristol. Please continue to support these amazing people by attending, sharing and donating to their events!”

You can find out more about Beth’s work below:

Instagram: @ b_l_palmer_

inbetweentime.co.uk/our-work/ibt21-the-rupture/

Esther Afikiruweh

Esther is an Assistant Producer at Trinity Centre and a Freelance Creative Producer with experience in various roles in film festivals, the event industry and heritage arts. Esther specialises in ethnocultural arts and is a firm believer in using the arts as a vehicle for social change. She has worked with Harbour Fest as an Engagement Assistant Producer, Afrika Eye Film Festival as an Assistant Producer and a Producer for Beyond We.

“I’m so proud to have been included on this list, it feels really wonderful to be acknowledged for the creative work I’m doing since finishing my events degree at BIMM Bristol in 2020! I’m passionate about ethnocultural arts and am a firm believer in using the arts as a vehicle for social change whether it be radio, events, TV or any other art form. Please check out my latest production Art of Resistance’s The Final Frontier at Trinity Centre, a two-day protest themed festival of performances, talks, workshops, and an exhibition. If you are a Black creative in Bristol and the South West, please apply to Beyond We’s artist retreat.”

You can find more about Esther’s work below:

linktr.ee/esthertheproducer

Photo credit: Colin Moody 2021// Everything is Music

Ella McDonald

Ella is a Writer, Director and Multidisciplinary Artist, born and bred in Bristol. They are passionate about stories that explore identity, feminism, relationships, gender expression and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Ella is now working alongside the Eight Creative Agency team at Knowle West Media Centre as an Emerging Creatives Assistant.

In 2018, Ella was commissioned by Rife Magazine to direct a short documentary about the queer, female members of the skateboarding community. This was used to promote Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen and Jonah Hill’s Mid 90’s at the Watershed; as well as being screened in Millennium Square.

In 2020, Ella was selected by BBC Arts New Creatives to write and direct their short film “Wounds”, which explored Ella’s real-life experience of domestic abuse.

Most recently, Ella took part in ‘Our Culture’ with Rising Arts Agency. This involved open communication and action planning around accessibility for working class people, disabled people and asylum seekers in the arts.

“This was literally the best news ever. I am so so proud to be a Bristol creative, when I lived in London all I did was shout about the creative scene here to my friends. I adore Rife and everything they do so to be recognised for my work is really special and something I’ll never forget! Here’s to 2022.

I want people to know two things. Number one, always keep it pushing after rejection but always rest when you need it. Number two, I love collaborating and sharing knowledge so if you’re looking to get into anything I do then please hit me up.”

You can find out more about Ella’s work below:

Instagram: @ellamcds

 ellarmcdonald.com

Ife Grillo

Ife Grillo is a Writer, Producer, Performer and Educator based in Bristol. Ife’s work focuses on unpacking what it means to be Human in an innovative and engaging way.

As a Cultural Producer, he specialises in engaging young people in the Arts. Ife was part of BBC New Creative’s 2021 and in 2020, he won the National University Poetry Championships. He is also one of the contributing writers to Penguin’s Anthology, Black Joy.

As a former Rife Resident, Ife created a series of films called “Humanity at the End of the World” that explores the ways in which the pandemic has changed what it means to be human.

In addition to this, Ife also works as a NSPCC Trustee, Arts Engagement Officer for University of Bristol, Advisor at Google and an Associate Collaborator at Ad Infinitum Theatre.

“Navigating the start of my career during Covid has been really difficult and like many young people, I often feel like I’m not where I want to be. I feel really humbled to be included on this list and be reminded that even when you don’t feel it, people notice the work you’re putting in and the impact you’re having”.

You can find out more about Ife’s work below:

Instagram: @ifetalksback

Twitter: @ifetalksback

https://linktr.ee/IfeTalksBack

Mevis Birungi

Mevis  is an Ugandan born British writer, Actor and Director.

Mevis creates short form films depicting experiences and issues often ignored by society, writing with a focus on the psychological perspective of the female leads in her stories.

As such, her debut BBC funded short film “Nakato”, produced by Bristol based production company, Calling the Shots, explores the fear and complex afflictions faced by victims of domestic violence. This brilliantly executed short film; written, directed and stars Mevis, is currently available to be streamed for FREE on BBC iPlayer. “Nakato” is a poignant narration of the unheard stories of survivors who have had to overcome harm and societal obstructions to assure their safety and survival.

Additionally, Mevis’ upcoming short film “What They Left” funded by the BFI Network and Produced by Blak Wave Productions is Mevis’ solo directorial debut. This short film is an innovative genre-blending short led by a black creative team.

Mevis’ career in film began less than 2 years ago. Having taken a leap of faith in her capabilities and inventiveness, Mevis chose to leave her job in the health sector to follow her passion in film and filmmaking. Since then, Mevis has quickly built up her creative CV with her debut BBC funded short film “Nakato”, and is also often recognised for her role in the feature length Netflix film His House. Mevis’ latest short film “What They Left”, funded by the BFI Network Produced by Blak Wave Productions.

When she is not busy writing, acting or directing she works as an Assistant Editor for one of Bristol’s leading Animation companies, A Productions Ltd, on ground-breaking and awarding winning children’s TV Programmes. Mevis has also been a part of the Development Team at another prestigious Bristol Institution, Aardman Studios, as well as worked as a Junior Digital Producer for the Knowle West Media Centre, a charity arts and community centre.

“Honestly, it feels pretty dope and I am extremely honoured. Creating art through writing and making short films has been such a great outlet for me. It has enabled me to explore a new way of expressing creativity and working collaboratively with others. So, for that to be appreciated by family, friends, peers and be featured alongside an incredible list of people, feels incredibly unreal and honourable.

Moments like this enable me to slow down and reflect. Looking back at the past 2 years since jumping headfirst into this creative industry, has been incredible. Now to be featured on a list that has had so many incredible creatives in Bristol is mad. It fills me with more faith that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and excited for the future and what’s to come.”

You can find out more about Mevis’ work below:

Instagram: @Mevcreative  @Nakatofilm

linkedin.com/in/mevis-birungi-a7483a1b5

Photo credit: Ruby Walker

  1. Graham Johnson

Graham is a Producer, Illustrator, Facilitator and Theatre Maker who does a lot of work around advocacy for accessibility and the need for better wellbeing in the arts. Graham has autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression, and has been working on embracing these and making their invisibility visible with public facing access riders.

He is an Online Producer for Visual Arts Southwest and is currently creating an online skills development programme for visual artists in the region.

Graham also works as a producer with Kid Carpet on the tour of Epic Fail, a project that will see Kid Carpet work with four primary schools across England and Wales to explore embracing failure as a virtue. They will be launching YouTube series Noisy TV very soon.

At the end of 2021, he launched Radical Wellbeing, his wellbeing practice for the creative sector. The focus is on holding the organisations with power to account in their ability to embrace healthier working practices, while working with individuals to develop survival techniques founded in compassion. The development of this practice was supported by an Arts Council England’s DYCP grant.

Graham is on the board of the Bristol Improv Theatre, who are developing fast as an organisation and continue to show incredible strength and ingenuity as an organisation. As an Illustrator, Graham’s main output is live illustration at live Dungeons and Dragons show Tales of Adventure, which is monthly at the Bristol Improv Theatre.

Later this year, Graham will be working with Tobacco Factory Theatres, running their Producer Training programme.

“This was so unexpected and means so much to me. I feel like a lot of my practice is grounded in being hidden, making things happen without being noticed, so being noticed feels strange, new and exciting. Change is something we must create together, and I believe we can have a healthier, kinder creative sector if we try.”

You can find out more about Graham’s work below:

grahammacleodjohnson.com

grahammacleodjohnson.com/mr-g-johnson-illustration

Instagram: @mistergjohnson

Twitter: @mrgjohnson

Photo credit Seb Peters

Joyann Boyce

Joyann is the Founder of Arima & Co an Inclusive Marketing consultancy that shows companies an inclusive approach to marketing.

Her work helps brands to convert intent into action by establishing inclusivity in their marketing strategy. She has worked with a wide range of clients including Coke, Adobe, SETsquared and Nationwide. She has been named one of the South-West’s 42 Under 42 by Insider Media and TechSpark Top 50 Rising Star.

Joyann is the Founder & CEO of Inclued AI, software that highlights bias in marketing content and is currently studying a Data Science MSC at UWE. She works closely with BSWN and TechSpark to advocate for Black & Brown people in Tech & Marketing.

Alongside this, Joyann Co-Founded Founder The BME Collective Meet-up group. Although she is no longer running this, she helped create the Black & Asian owned list as part of this.

“Sometimes when you have big ideas and the need to change the world, you can forget to take a moment to reflect. Being featured on the list has given me that moment and I feel grateful to be recognised. There is so much I want to do; this is only the start of my legacy.”

You can find out more about Joyann’s work below:

Twitter: @Joyannboyce

linkedin.com/in/joyannboyce/

joyannboyce.com/

Photo credit: Bobbi O’Gilvie

Clara Fung

Clara is a Project Coordinator at Bristol Green Capital Partnership and on the programme team of the Black & Green Ambassadors which exists to connect, empower and celebrate diverse leadership and community action on environmental issues in Bristol and beyond.

She supports the recruitment of Black & Green Ambassadors from the city’s African and Caribbean communities, as well as their work in exploring, amplifying and enabling solutions towards an environmentally and socially just future for all.

The other part of Clara’s role is to convene, engage and amplify cross-sector members and stakeholders on themes including transport, waste and resources, energy, food and nature, enabling them to build connections, collaborate and collectively influence change. An example of this, is her work with a local artist to creatively interpret what a carbon neutral, climate resilient and wildlife rich Bristol could look like in 2030, culminating the environmental themes brought forward from the One City Plan refresh into the Partnership’s “2030: Re-Envisioning Bristol” interactive vision, launched in Autumn 2021

Clara was one of the first members to set up East & South East Asian Solidarity Bristol (ESEAS) in May 2021. ESEAS is a grassroots community group for people of East or South East Asian heritage in the Bristol region to come together in friendly spaces.

She is also a member of Windsor Terrace Housing Society, a housing cooperative in Bristol that provides a secure and affordable home to over a dozen people spanning across four generations.

I feel incredibly humbled, grateful and honoured that my efforts have been recognised but I have mixed feelings about being featured on a list. As you have read, all that I do is with and supported by others. It is a web of collective effort and we are most impactful when we support each other and work together so let’s deepen our sense of collective interdependence and collaborate!”

You can find out more about Clara’s work below:

www.blackandgreenambassadors.co.uk/

linktr.ee/eseasbristol

www.windsorterrace.org.uk/

Twitter: @clara_fung

Tom Forsey

Tom is a filmmaker, born and raised in the South West. He has a background in climate science with a master’s degree in Earth Sciences from UCL and strives to combine his passion for climate with filmmaking and has created experimental videos that speaks to this mission.

Tom is always eager to learn about the latest filmmaking technology to bring unique perspectives and he enjoys pushing creative boundaries through the use of visual effects in the editing process.

Tom also took part in Watershed and Art Centre Nabi’s project on The Greenverse, an online landscape populated with ideas provoking climate action, made by young artists in Bath and Seoul during a Creative Camp; and ActZero – a provocation led by South Korean artists Bang & Lee.

It’s a real honour to be on this list, I want to express my sincere thanks to Rife for putting me alongside all these incredible people. I’m privileged to be in the position I am in and very lucky to be surrounded by many inspiring friends and colleagues. The South West is my home, and I’ve recently moved back after several years in London, so being recognised here means a lot. I’m looking forward to producing more work in the climate and activism space and collaborating more with Bristol-based artists!”

You can find out more about Tom’s work below:

Instagram: @tomforsey

vimeo.com/tomforsey

vimeo.com/643468325

  1. Amaleehah Aslam-Forrester

Amaleehah is a passionate gender equality Activist, Advocate and Youth Worker with experience in various project management, fundraising and communication roles within the charity sector.

She is experienced in managing and delivering young person-centred programmes, from design to evaluation, on topics relating to gender and racial equality and social change. In January 2022, she attended the United Nations Global Goals Event at Expo in Dubai as a gender equality activist. The Event brought together activists, advocates, leaders and to share thoughts & develop strategies around developing an equal, safe and progressive world!

Amaleehah’s work contributes to policy development and positive outcomes for women and girls affected by honour-based abuse, sexual harassment and FGM.

During her time at Integrate UK, Amaleehah fundraised over £30,000 for the charity and managed UK Youth’s EmpowHER programme for Integrate UK, supporting the well-being of 81 girls between the ages of 11-15, through social learning and social action projects within their own communities.

Inspired by the writer Florence Given, Amaleehah set up 13 WhatsApp group chats for 3,250 women during the pandemic to help women and non-binary individuals connect during a period of loneliness.

She has contributed to the development of one of Integrate UK’s resourses called “‘Onur”. Made to spread awareness about honour-based abuse through education in schools and to front line professionals. She also Project managed the development of two of Integrate UK’s resources called “What Was She Wearing” and “Hijabs and Miniskirts“.

Amaleehah is trained to deliver education on various topics including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour-based abuse, sexual harassment, grooming for child sexual exploitation, grooming for radicalisation, gang culture and right-wing extremism, Racism and Islamaphobia.

“This feature is not only a win for me, but for every girl who has dared to speak up against the patriarchy, I see you and celebrate you! Thank you to all those who have supported and inspired me. My activism is just beginning! Let’s continue to amplify the voices of young people in all their diversity, celebrate social action and empower young women and girls. Thank you for this incredible recognition Rife, I am beyond grateful!”

You can find out more about Amaleehah’s work below:

Instagram: @goldmoods

LinkedIn: Amaleehah Aslam-Forrester

Twitter: @amaleehah_

Olivia Sweeney

Olivia is a Chemical Engineer and was named one of the Top 100 most influential women in engineering in 2019. She works with Royal Academy of Engineering to increase awareness and diversity in STEM and Engineering specifically, talking to people about what she does and why she does it, creating fun things for young people to be involved in but also being part of working groups and strategy discussion.

Olivia is also a Consultant at Resource Futures, a sustainable waste consultancy, using data to drive policy and behaviour change, to make it easier to reduce, reuse and recycle and helping to build the circular economy.

Olivia co-hosts “Tuesday morning Rise Up Breakfast Radio Show” on Ujima 98FM focussing on content by and for people of colour.

She was Black & Green Ambassador last year, which is a community programme, exploring the intersection between climate and racial justice, undertaking community action research where her was clean air but also seeking to challenge perceptions, create opportunities and influence change on a wider national and global scale.

Olivia works with various boards, panels and steering groups to increase diversity in the environmental movement and embed justice and recognition in all decisions and actions. She along with others, Represented the city on the world stage at COP26.

“I am super excited and flattered. I do everything, even the videos and more ‘media-y’ things without thinking anyone is really listening or paying attention. It is great, humbling and a little scary to know that people are paying attention.

I want everyone to get on board the climate justice train, no matter how big or small the contribution they can make is. And though it makes me super proud to have my contribution highlighted in a list like this, if we are going to build a better future we need to stop thinking about the individual and start prioritising the collective and community”.

You can find out more about Olivia’s work below:

Instagram: @oliviameyonette

Twitter: @oliviameyonette

Photo credit: Eyes Up Films

Daniel Sved

Daniel is a South West based Producer, focusing on creating opportunities for young and emerging filmmakers to develop and showcase their work.

During lockdown, Daniel created and ran the “Indoors Project”, a festival of short films by young filmmakers. He commissioned and helped produce each of the 16 films featured and help fund their submissions into film festivals.

Daniel has recently started working at Calling The Shots, a Production company based at Spike Island, who’ve played a pivotal role in developing emerging filmmakers in the South West. His is taking the Indoors Project forward as a production company and am currently working on a slate of short films for 2022.

“I’ve always been a big admirer of the 30 under 30 list, as I think it’s great way of showing what the South-West has to offer. It’s a shame that it has made a rare misjudgement and decided to include me in this year’s list but I’m very happy to ignore the obvious admin error and accept.

In all seriousness this is an honour that I couldn’t imagine ever receiving when I first came to Bristol four years ago. I came in part because I thought the city would provide an opportunity for me to get a better idea of what I wanted to do after university. I definitely found that and I owe a lot to the city and the people I met for being on this list.”

You can find out more about Daniel’s work below:

Instagram: @danielsved

indoorsproject.co.uk/

Alfie Skinner

Alfie is a creative from Bristol currently studying for a filmmaking degree at UWE.

Alfie has always been inspired by the music scene in Bristol and has explored this through articles published in Rife.

Working with BFI Film Academy, Alfie has made documentary films. “Treading Water” is about a young carer who has looked after his sick mother for most of his life. This was screened at Watershed.

Home To Home”, explores the experiences of young African immigrants and their reflections on moving to the UK. For both productions, Alfie worked as a sound recordist and composed the original music.

During lockdown, he was selected to be one of the Calling The Shots New Creatives and was commissioned by the BBC to make an audio piece called “Rewinding Time”, which documents his parents sending tape recorded messages to each other during a year away in Zimbabwe.

“There is so much up and coming talent here in Bristol! I’m so happy to be included in Rife’s 30 under 30. I love being in the city and meeting new people and I’m excited to be working on more projects and always looking for new opportunities to collaborate.”

You can find out more about Alfie’s work below:

YouTube

Instagram: @alfieskinner.creates

Twitter:@AlfieSkinner1

Zoe Rasbash

Zoe is a Writer, Researcher and Programmer working at the intersection of visual arts and the climate emergency. Currently, she is Environmental Emergencies Researcher at Watershed and Pervasive Media Studio, exploring the role of creative industries in a transition to an inclusive, sustainable society. She is also a Climate Justice Editor for Shado-mag, a multimedia platform driving change at the intersection of arts, activism and academia.

In 2020, she co-founded of Lilith, a platform to highlight the brilliant diversity of global women and non-binary nature filmmakers, which aims to resist, question and challenge the pale, male and stale world of nature filmmaking.

With a background in climate justice organising, Zoe has campaigned at the local, national and international level for just responses to the climate crisis, previously as International Coordinator for the UK Youth Climate Coalition, policy intern at Amnesty International and Youth Representative on the UN Taskforce for Climate Displacement.

“I’m blushing! I feel very warm and fuzzy to be featured on this list alongside such amazing, interesting and inspiring young people. I feel extremely lucky to be able to do the work I do in such a fun, vibrant city. I was raised in Bristol and always been such a huge fan of Rife and all the brilliant youth voices involved. Having organised as part of the youth climate movement for the last 5 years, I have been constantly humbled by the tireless & collaborative work of other young people across the UK and the world. Big up the RIFE team, the young activists everywhere, and everyone on this list!”

You can find out more about Zoe’s work below:

 Animating Ecofeminist Futures

Sam Bee

Nigerian born Artist, Songwriter, Musician and Producer, Sambee is one of Bristol’s emerging new wave Alternative/Soul Artist. He has famously worked with the likes of JayLon TGM, Pekeys, Seeker OG, Jabani, Jante and PRZY, among others. He’s all about good vibes, great fashion, storytelling and club hitting music.

Sambee is a part of POPBOYS, a Producer Collective which features some of the best music talent within the African music scene. Sambee first garnered attention and made waves with his first single GAOU in 2018, before releasing his debut album 1718 in 2020. He is currently set to release a new project “BIG HEAD, Vol 1” out now!

Sambee graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was also elected as the Vice President at the university’s Student Union, where he improved student experience through a variety of projects involving Mental health, Careers & Enterprise and Tedx.

“I must say, it was a big surprise when I received the email confirming this as I had no clue how much I was impacting on the citizens of Bristol. It is indeed an honour and, on that note, expect nothing but the best and forever the best content.”

You can find out more about Sam’s work below:

sambee.com

Instagram: @sambee___

Edited and collated by Lucy J Turner