Open Call for Artists

The Opportunity

Are you an artist aged 18-25 living in Coventry or Nairobi, who would be interested in creating bold, thought provoking or playfully disruptive digital stories using immersive audio, interactive video or 360 video? Would you like to develop work using tools from BBC R&D and work internationally with other artists to create and showcase new work?

Through a unique partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust, British Council, The Space and BBC R&D, we are launching an open call for artists aged 18-25 in Coventry (UK) and Nairobi (Kenya) to collaborate with one another and create digital, interactive and immersive storytelling that responds to some of the themes identified in the Youthful Cities Index.  The Digital Storytelling Lab programme is part of Youthful Cities, a series of four international cultural and creative exchanges between artists in Coventry and Nairobi (digital storytelling).

Working with data from the Index, exploring what it means to be young in the world today and what life is like in cities across the world including Coventry and Nairobi, the cohort will develop bold, new digital stories to reveal how a new generation of storytellers, activists and imagineers can inspire change within their cities.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for 6 Coventry based and 6 Nairobi based artists (artists, filmmakers, digital storytellers, YouTubers, and activists) who are curious and want to develop bold, new digital stories across immersive audio, interactive video and 360 video through a collaborative process with each other and experts in the field of digital storytelling and production.

Through a 10 month programme from July 2021 - March 2022, Youthful Cities: Digital Storytelling Lab will take the 12 selected artists through a collaborative process that is part cultural exchange, part digital storytelling lab and part commissioning programme. 

All selected artists must commit to a minimum of 20 days over the 10 month period - 5 days for attending the creative development days (the Cultural Exchange, The Masterclasses & Labs and The Global Youth Summit),5 days for prototyping and 10 days for production. The total cumulative stipend per artist for completing the programme is £3400 (inclusive of VAT) or approximately 520 000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling).

Selected artists will take part in:

  1. Cultural Exchange:  30 July and 6 August 2021:  exploring what it is like to be young in a different society and culture and finding out more about the Youthful Cities Index.
  2. Masterclasses and Labs:  7 - 9 September 2021:  a virtual series of Masterclasses from trailblazers in the field of digital storytelling andintensive workshops from BBC R&D and Google Labs introducing the cohort to a range of existing, cutting-edge storytelling techniques, tools, and platforms across immersive audio, interactive and 360 video . This will result in the development of initial project ideas in international teams.
  3. Prototyping Phase: 21 - 23 September 2021: working remotely and with additional tech support in each location, the cohort will work in teams to develop a “cardboard” or working prototype of their project.
  4. Global Youth Summit 11 - 13 November 2021: the Digital Storytelling Lab cohort will join the cohorts of artists taking part in the other three Youthful Cities exchange programmes between Coventry and Detroit, Bogota and Beirut, to share their experiences and work, and to discuss the role of art and culture in the future of their respective cities with international speakers and changemakers.
  5. Production Phase: November 2021 - January 2022: collaborating with international peers, through the Production Labs, in teams of 4 (2 artists from Coventry and 2 artists from Nairobi per team), 3 final projects will be taken forward to be scaled up into production
  6. Publication and Distribution February - March 2022: publishing, distributing and showcasing their projects as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture year in March 2022

Selected artists will receive an artist fee of £3400 (inclusive of VAT) or approximately 520 000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling) and a production budget of up to £4000 or approximately 612 000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling) to make and complete their projects in teams of 4.

Learn more

Sign up for our Youthful Cities - Information for Applicants Webinars:

How to apply

Download the Creative Brief and apply online here:

Download a copy of the application questions here:

The deadline for applications is Monday 12 July 5pm BST/ 7pm EAT.