Picture shows the 11 International Changemakers chosen for the bursary
International Changemakers from Coventry (L-R): Jennifer Verson, Nor Aziz, Ben Cook, Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki, Chaitrali Chitre, melissandre varin, Tarla Patel, Roze Navab, Lou Sarabadzic, Lucy Tomlins and Dom Breadmore / Ludic Rooms. ©

Coventry City of Culture Trust

Coventry is famous for its pioneering international links – and they are going to be strengthened through a Coventry City of Culture Trust project aimed at connecting the city with even more people around the world.

Coventry City of Culture Trust, in partnership with the British Council, has chosen 11 changemakers from the city for the creation and development of new online projects that will link them with international counterparts as part of the International Changemakers Digital Collaboration Bursary.

Bursaries of up to £4,000 were made available for new or existing projects that demonstrated how the changemakers could bring global communities together digitally for a shared international goal.

Ideas were based around Coventry City of Culture Trust’s 12 themes: Welcome; Sanctuary; Harmony; Freedom; Peace; Utopia; Coventry in the World; Light; Being Human; Hope; Amazing Women; and Green Futures.

The changemakers chosen to deliver a series of projects are: Ben Cook, Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki, melissandre varin, Jennifer Verson, Tarla Patel, Lou Sarabadzic, Nor Aziz, Rozeann Navab, Chaitrali Chitre, Lucy Tomlins and Dom Breadmore. Their projects include the creation of an interactive game that explores the River Sherbourne in Coventry and the Atuel River in Argentina; a radio story-telling project linking Jewish communities in Coventry and Uzbekistan; and an ambitious project to link creatives in Coventry’s 27 twin cities via an online platform.

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:

“The International Changemakers Digital Collaboration Bursary was inspired by the city’s pioneering activism after World War Two, which resulted in the creation of the twin city movement. This initiative strengthens our longstanding role as city of collaboration and friendship.We wanted projects that built on the city’s international identity. So, we are really excited by the 11 local changemakers we have chosen and their plans to create new global creative connections for the city.

The past year has been difficult for everyone and we have all, undoubtedly, missed having human contact but what this project underlines, is how we can use digital technology to bring people from all over the world together.”

Ellen Berry, the British Council’s Director England and Cities, said:

“The British Council is delighted to partner with Coventry City of Culture on the International Changemakers Bursary, continuing our wider work supporting and sustaining vital international connections through culture.

The bursary will support established and emerging changemakers from across Coventry in building lasting connections around the world through the lens of arts, culture and digital collaboration. We look forward to seeing these projects realised, supporting Coventry’s international ambitions and showcasing the city’s cultural offer on a global stage.”