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Arts &Refugees Tender: Website and National Events

Bridge + Tunnel would like to bid for the tender Arts and Refugees – Website and National Events, as sponsored by The Baring Foundation and Arts Council England.

Why Bridge + Tunnel?

Bridge + Tunnel has a wealth of experience in refugee arts and in running and delivering extensive, complex projects with a particular focus on web-based media. We are a small, youthful organisation that will be dedicated to delivering high quality output, year after year. We have an excellent track record in providing national and international projects with mainstream crossover. We are innovators in our field but we also have long-established partnerships with funders.

We have the right people and skills to deliver a unique and well crafted website, with staff who have experience of running events and planning conferences. We have the experience to guarantee connectivity between the website and National Events. The work that this tender requires would be our organisation’s primary purpose. Our organisation is nimble enough to deliver added value in terms of attention to detail, along with the dedication and focus that this tender merits.

Bridge + Tunnel was founded in 1997 by Tina Gharavi, herself a refugee, and since 2001, the company has focused extensively on refugee arts. The company is committed to representing unheard stories, empowering individuals to find their voice through creativity, as well as building community cohesion and understanding through the arts. Bridge + Tunnel has earned a reputation for creating and managing interactive websites and multi-media projects as well as for fundraising and managing large-scale projects (in excess of £250K). These range from feature films to community training initiatives and international touring exhibitions with wide remits and budgets. The company works extensively with individuals and groups from refugee, asylum seeker and migrant backgrounds yet we bring this work to the mainstream through a variety of means. We are committed to building stronger communities by overcoming isolation and fragmentation and encouraging inclusion, connection and integration. We have a high level of user involvement and our work addresses complex and multi-stranded, often difficult, problems in unusual or imaginative ways. In 2005 Bridge + Tunnel Voices (previously Nomad Cultural Forum) became a formal charity and received core funding from the Baring Foundation in 2008. Recent innovative media projects include The Last of the Dictionary Men, an exhibition that showcased the Yemeni-British, one of Britain’s oldest Muslim communities in the North East of England and was one of the bestattended exhibitions ever held at the

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, attracting almost 18,000 visitors in just five weeks. Since 2001, the company has run workshops, as part of the Kooch project, providing an opportunity for adult and young refugees and asylum seekers to generate creative ideas that will become short films, theatre productions, interactive websites in addition to other art forms. This mechanism allows the recent migrants and host communities to participate in creative practice and expression and has boosted involvement in active citizenship. During the first half of 2010 Bridge + Tunnel will release a full-length feature film with a strong refugee theme. The aim is to raise awareness of social issues facing refugees and asylum seekers and to promote education among young people at risk of segregation. Ali in Wonderland is a mainstream feature, but one that has been made collaboratively by refugee and asylum seekers working alongside film professionals. The film will provide audiences with a unique insight into the experience of migration, transition, isolation, loss and identity. The film will be shown at cinemas and at schools nationwide, bringing the struggles faced by refugee and asylum seekers to a wide audience not normally reached by refugee arts projects. But Ali in Wonderland is much more than just a feature film. The Ali in Wonderland project will also provide an innovative online interactive educational tool that can be used to digitally distribute stories of migration.

One of the main aims of the project is to create a permanent online resource that records narratives of migration, principally those of young refugees and asylum seekers and to then use this content in an education setting. This will allows its users to build, edit and link web pages. This means that participants in the story and the story tellers will themselves shape the medium of the story telling environment, allowing the narrative to develop through the interactivity with those who watch listen and hear it. School children and young people will be targeted to use this education tool at Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum.

What people have said about us ... “Bridge + Tunnel are a unique company - a much-abused word, but in this case truly appropriate. The people with whom they work, the stories they tell, are ignored by mainstream media, especially broadcasting, and B+T’s ability to fight for and depict the struggles of often marginalised peoples and communities is a hugely valuable service. —Mark Scrimshaw, BBC Filmmaker & Chair BECTU BBC Division

“I think you have done wonderful job so far. Your project had a positive impact in community and individuals both. I am sure Bridge + Tunnel helped to increase individuals’ confidence and community’s awareness.” —Hengameh Ashraf Emami, Project Participant

“I’ve been a supporter of the work of Bridge + Tunnel since advising the Northern Production Fund to support Tina Gharavi’s first shorts and feature length projects in the late nineties. Since then both B&T and Tina have grown in stature as producers of socially committed, high-quality film and television projects that reach out to and involve audiences. Tina and Bridge + Tunnel are a welcome and necessary part of maintaining the cultural diversity and political health of the North East and the UK wide film making scene.” —Paul Moody, Screen Academy Executive/ Head of Diversity The National Film & Television School

“We are always excited to work with Bridge + Tunnel. They are one of the very few film companies that genuinely embrace cultural diversity and are actively involved in enabling people from different cultures to express themselves through film.” —Mark Dobson, Chief Executive Tyneside Cinema

B + T produces innovative websites ... Bridge + Tunnel is focused on bringing innovative leading edge technologies to bear on the creative process. Bridge + Tunnel has developed several interactive web projects. These include:

Wiki-Wonderland: which is the website for the feature film Ali in Wonderland, due for general release in 2010. It is comprised of three distinct projects:

i-Kooch : loader5000.swf, which is aimed at refugees and asylum seekers attending film workshops. This project was used in schools as part of the citizenship curriculum.

Website for our film, The King of Sound Shields:

This tender: www.bridgeandtunnelproductions. com/tender

Not forgetting our own site: www.

Bridge + Tunnel has extensive experience in running big events … As well as being a growing creative force, Bridge + Tunnel has run several national and international events. The Last of the Dictionary Men exhibition, in conjunction with the Baltic, was a major logistical exercise. Bridge + Tunnel worked to ensure that the event was a success not only from a purely artistic view, but that it attracted the kind of demographic that many large exhibitions fail to reach. We had to raise the profile of the event, which we did via an effective PR campaign that saw the opening of the exhibition attract far greater media attention than most expected. This included national press and TV coverage,

as well as local and ethnic media (including a full page article in the main national news section of The Guardian). This exhibition travelled to Yemen in 2009 and opened in three important centres in Sana’a, Aden, and Ta’izz. The exhibition was produced in collaboration with the British Council in Yemen and will travel to further locations worldwide during 2010. The King of South Shields film (part of The Last of the Dictionary Men exhibition) was also a regional interfaith tour, travelling and presenting to faith-based groups across the country. To support these efforts, Bridge + Tunnel arranged high-profile speakers and provided feedback sessions.

Bridge + Tunnel has also produced a feature film Ali in Wonderland. This proved the company’s credentials in terms of its ability to plan, fundraise and organise complex and time-specific tasks and to deliver on time and under budget. The film was delivered to a challenging, extremely demanding schedule with many logistics, problematic locations (including post-election Iran), a large crew and a restricted budget. In a very real sense, the Ali in Wonderland feature film has been made collaboratively by both refugees and asylum seekers. Not only did Bridge + Tunnel pull off the huge logistical task of producing a mainstream feature film, it also managed to use the production to train refugees and asylum seekers in media production techniques by organising a programme allowing them to shadow film professionals throughout the course of a fourweek film shoot.

Bridge + Tunnel has the ability to hit the ground running ...

Bridge + Tunnel’s hard won experience means that it is now uniquely positioned to undertake on complicated, time-sensitive commissions where budgetary concerns are paramount. As we have been working with community media and web-based multimedia for 12 years now, Bridge + Tunnel is already fully-fitted with the necessary technology and filmmaking equipment, giving it the knowledge and the pedigree to deliver the tender without recourse to expenses investments in additional equipment or commissioning outside contractors. As a creative agency, the output is guaranteed to be of high quality and to have an innovative edge. We also believe we have many of the right relationships in place to ensure this project is a success.

‌ with the right people Bridge + Tunnel hired Richard Baillie as Producer and Operations Manager in March 2009. He has a background in journalism and in investment banking in Moscow and he has organised several high-profile gatherings in the UK and overseas for the oil and energy sector. If we were chosen then he would be responsible for managing the logistics of the National Events.

He also maintains our websites and ensures the high standard of outputs. Tina Gharavi is the Creative Director of Bridge + Tunnel. Bridge + Tunnel is over-seen by a board of trustees that includes: an immigration judge (formerly an immigration solicitor, a director of a writers agency, a member of local governments and the arts, a refugee and a director of a social enterprise in sports).

Our Technical Manager Paul Dingwall is responsible for our systems, organising events/filming days, distribution and marketing, and training a host of participants.

We also have a pool of regular collaborators who we employ on a freelance basis.

‌ and a consultative approach We firmly believe that a collegiate approach works best and while we have a clear responsibility to deliver and provide leadership, we are always ready to listen to the input of others and to act on it where necessary. We have built and maintain strong partnerships including Newcastle University, The Sage Gateshead, North of England Refugee Service and Tyneside Cinema.

Our national relationships include the British Council, the Alzheimers Society and The National Film School. Since 2007, we have grown ties with organisations across Europe, raising our profile at national and international events. In June 2009 Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley came on board as our patron for Ali in Wonderland, supporting our endeavours.

Our proposal :

A project that truly delivers ... Bridge + Tunnel will deliver a website and series of National Events that can provide long-lasting benefits to refugees, young people and asylum seekers and the host of arts organisations that support them. We will also ensure that there are secondary beneficiaries such as academics and the wider public as well as school age students and teachers. First and foremost we would consult before we made any definitive choices for the path forward on how we would undertake this work. All the expressed ideas are a springboard that we would bring to our funders, stakeholders, partners and consultant experts as we define the shape of our strategy.

An interactive website ... Interactivity is key. We don’t want to build a website that looks good but doesn’t get used. We want to create a website that links artists, academics and organizations interested in Refugee Arts. We want to ensure that there is a home on-line for all their needs and resources. We want to ensure that this is innovative and explores new technologies as they are invented. We will ensure that this is fully integrated into social networking type levels for maximum coverage (Twitter, Facebook, Ning, etc) and that the website works fluidly with the National Events.

Bridge + Tunnel would create a website that: - has a national profile and is central to the study of refugee arts - works for different users: artists, academics, the general public and organizations - is updated regularly and doesn’t feel stale - is easy to use, clear and visually inviting and encourages sharing - provides a database and archive of current refugee arts projects - is innovative in how it shares information - will be regularly updated as partnerships develop and networks flourish - would also provide useful contacts, including artists and project managers, aids contact between refugee artists and local artists, perhaps linking to community support networks where artworks can be sold, promote local events and list local resources - gives a better idea of current best practice in the field with examples of successful participation led projects as case studies.

Naturally, none of the above can easily be delivered without both some consultation and some time to develop a clear concept. Above all, we believe that we don’t have the answers to this right now. However, examples of solutions can be found in our portfolio of previous work. It is important that every website is fresh and responsive to the needs it addresses and the content it contains. To create a website that is going to be truly effective, Bridge + Tunnel recognizes the need to broaden networks and engage with a larger hinterland than traditional refugee networks.

We believe that our website will allow us to engage with the many refugee arts and cultural groups that operate on an informal basis and are not necessarily reached through existing refugee agency structures or arts networks. At B+T we believe that a website needs to be reinvented every few years. So at the end of year two we would seek a redesign, and launch the new site in year three, so that it is relevant and up-to-date.

‌ as a gateway to the National Events

The website will also play a crucial role in the organization and planning of the National Events. Attendees will be able to sign up for events via the website as well as for the various workshops. This will save time, cut down on paperwork and make the website the focus of attention leading up to events as well as a forum for subsequent feedback and discussions. This will also allow us to better shape the agenda of future events, allowing us to provide a better and more targeted service. We will ensure that the website is able to telecast and pod-cast the National Events (or, if more appropriate, the highlights) so that those who were not able to attend can also gain benefits. Websites are useful for providing basic information, listings of resources, case studies of projects, toolkits and good practice guidelines.

We would encourage the use of the site for social networking, creating a wiki site where ideas and thoughts could be left on a graffiti wall (moderated of course), where we can have well organized discussion forums, and places where people can upload their work to a picture gallery. Much in the same way that TED ( uses its web presence as a way of ensuring its impact and relevance, so too will we use this tool for our outreach and engagement purposes. In fact, we are using TED very much as a model for us to think of as a starting point for our discussions about what we want to bring to this opportunity.

Ensuring quality delivery ... A priority would be to ensure that information is kept up to date on an ongoing /long-term basis and our Technical Manager Paul Dingwall would be tasked to do this. We believe that having one person with overall responsibility for maintaining the website is crucial as all too often website start out well but then fall out of use due to neglect, particularly if they are commissioned from designers who themselves are not involved with the content and their role in developing the tool ends once their contract does. Our own experience has taught us the value of regular website maintenance and continual updating and modification.

High profile National Events ... Bridge + Tunnel believe that an arts based, practical approach will have the greatest impact and we would like the events to strike a good balance between speakers and workshops. To achieve this, we plan to take the National Events away from traditional conference venues and into unique spaces, including Kebble College at Oxford, perhaps a venue such as a museum, a stately home or even at a venue such as the Eden Project. We believe the context is very important and we would seek to find partners who seek to engage with us in delivering an exemplary day. Opting for a kind of bottom up grass roots approach rather than a top down approach means that refugees themselves can become more actively involved in the process of delivering this conference. We would plan a volunteer programme that would coincide with the delivery of the National Events. .

We believe that it is very important that refugee and asylum seeker artists and young people should take centre stage wherever possible at these events, which we intend to film and create as podcasts (naturally, we would ensure that those who are not happy being filmed are excluded). We would aim to have high profile guest speakers at some of these events to deliver the keynote address. Speakers should have a genuine refugee flavour and could include actor Sir Ben Kingsley and best-selling Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. These speeches would be filmed and posted on the website. We want to ensure that these are headlining speakers; we want to attract both a specialist audience but also one that is mainstream. In this way, we can cater to many audiences. This would provide the National Events and the attendees with much greater media attention and is a path that has been successfully pursued by other conferences such as TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). TED is an academic organization owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation, which holds an annual, invitation-only conference focused on a broad set of topics including science, the arts, politics, and education. We also believe that in taking the events to the hearts of communities is very much in keeping with the ethos of self-help and allowing different perspectives to flourish.

Sitting and listening to speakers is fine as far as it goes but the events should also be a day for showcasing talent and performance as well as networking. We believe that art should be at the centre of what we are trying to achieve and that a good mixture of practice and theory is essential as well as the opportunity to interact. We will appoint a Consultant for Education and Events who would ensure that facilitators, speakers and the event would be suitably chosen to ensure a top-quality National Event. Subsequently, we plan to hold a major National Event in Sheffield in 2014. This would be a larger event with more of a build-up and status (perhaps at this point we are giving prizes and awards or announcing new commissions, etc). This longerterm goal will also give the annual events something to build towards. In consultation with our Consortium, we would seek to make this a significant event with a high national profile. Our Consultant for Sustainability would also ensure that a plan was in place for events and continuation after 2014. This will ensure that the Legacy of the four-year programme continues and that the shared learning and information gathered is not lost but can be built upon. We want to leave people smiling, buzzing with ideas and both proud of what they have seen and inspired to create more and add to the debate.

Legacy What will these four years of showcasing, debating, sharing, critiquing, workshopping and webcasting create. Surely it won’t stop there. Bridge + Tunnel is responsive. We are small and this is why this project is ideal for us. We will ensure it is tended and not just another filly in the stables of a large organization. We believe in the central core of this work and our heart and interests lie here. Without doubt, we will look to take this further than the project before us. It would not be unlike us to add more limbs to it (an academic conference to coincide, a publication, a prize even) before our time is through.

By being fundamentally aligned with the work that we would undertake over these four years, we would ensure that it is sustainable and has longevity. It is important that this builds to something and is not merely a conclusion. With Bridge + Tunnel, this is possible. What this will be, again, we cannot offer a definitive answer, but we can tell you our process. This will be to firstly ensure that this is on the agenda from day one. We will also appoint a Consultant for Sustainability whose remit is to ensure that there is a strategy for growth and continuation following these four years of work. The discussions will happen for this both on the website

and also form a part of the discussion which we inspire at the conference. It is important that the community of artists and organizations own the plans going forward. Though this is a difficult community to please with a one-size-fits-all approach, and we would ensure that the process to get consensus is well drafted and delivered. No doubt, we will learn an awful lot on our journey and we will perhaps have learnt a lot about what the community wants and needs through the National Events and the information which comes from the website. We need to be responsive to this and see one of our primary tasks as to be the guardians for managing the national debate on refugee arts.

The Basics Budget Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Budget for Baring Tender

Management Core office costs Communications Insurance Research Visits/Travel

Staff & Consultants Senior Staff Supervisor Project Management Consultant for Education/Event Consultant for Sustainability

Costs for Consortium Meetings Fees Costs for Website Website build Website maintenance Running costs Production costs Re-design Marketing/Promotion

Cost for Events Staff (and/or volunteers) Venue Communications (leaflets) Speakers x 4 Workshop Facilitators Hospitality Signers/Enablers Conference materials Contingency TOTAL

6,000 1200 700 2400

6,000 1200 700 2400

6,000 1200 800 2400

6,000 1200 800 2000

5000 10000 8000 8000

5000 10000 8000 8000

5100 10000 5000 5000

5100 10000 3000 3000

1200 5000

1200 5000

1000 5000

1000 5000




3000 500 300




3000 500 300 5000 1000

600 3000 1500 3000 500 3000 500 1,200

600 3000 1000 3000 500 3000 500 1,200

700 3000 1000 3000 600 3000 500 1,200

700 4000 1000 3000 600 3000 500 1,200









500 500 -




Income Amount to fundraise

£150,000 £121,150

3000 550 300 1000

Funding Additional funding of approximately £121K would be sought from the following potential funders: V-Match, Big Lottery Fund, Northern Rock Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation & a host of other sources. Having raised over £150K for our last project, Ali in Wonderland, we are confident that we have the expertise to make this figure attainable.

Staffing & Management The website would be run by our Technical Manager Paul Dingwall while our Producer Richard Baillie would organise the National Events. Tina Gharavi would oversee the entire project and ensure that the artistic delivery and content is appropriate and of a high quality. Additionally, a Project Manager would be hired for two days per week to over-see the delivery of the Baring Foundation Tender. This would be supplemented with two additional key members from experienced Consultants: 1. Consultant for Education and Events would be responsible for ensuring expertise for the delivery of the National Event and also the design of the Workshops and Participation involved in the National Events. We would ensure that this linked up with the Website and that this relationship is seamless. 2. Consultant for Sustainabilitythis person’s key role would be the business development of the project, ensuring that delivery of the project is both sustainable and has legacy. In addition, they would work with the Creative Director to strategise about fundraising and ensuring good national links and a high profile. . Partnerships- Bridge + Tunnel will not deliver this project in isolation. Our approach is to put together a Consortium of key organisations that will work together to deliver this project.

These members will be invited to take part and a small bursary for their participation will be offered to defray any costs to the Organisations. Elements of the National Events Strategy may be divided amongst partners where they can offer additional benefit to the project. This will enhance the over-all delivery of the project and will avoid it being a ‘one-horse show’. Bridge + Tunnel feels that working with partnerships enhances delivery. Ultimately, this stronger association will mean that more can be achieved at a higher level. Organisations that we anticipate approaching and some with whom we have had exploratory talks include: British Museum, North of England Refugee Service, Oval House, Sagegateshead, British Council, Arts Council, BBC, Commission for Racial Equality, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and the Refugee Council. We can confirm the involvement of Newcastle University as one of the organisations involved. We will ensure that the Consortium is a type of steering committee who will meet bi-annually to discuss progress and near and long term goals. This will also include invited representatives of Baring Foundation and Arts Council England.

Stakeholder involvement Refugee artists and practitioners should have a significant stake. We would look to hold conferences in regional venues with large refugee populations, including Bristol, London, Leeds and Newcastle. We believe that a key guideline for having work showcased at National Events is that the refugee/young person/asylum seeker involvement should be as high as possible.

We would like to showcase work where refugees have been strongly involved in the management and creative side of projects, not just the performance side. We also want to ensure Stakeholder involvement through a Volunteering Programme (possibly funded via the V-Match Fund) to ensure that active delivery at all phases of this project is done with participant involvement.

Monitoring & Evaluating

This group will meet bi-annually to ensure that the project runs smoothly, is monitored and is able to be relevant to the organizations working within the sector.

Each region could be linked with an academic institution, with a focus on research and development in the field of applied/community arts. This link could provide invaluable in-kind resources such as personnel (students and academics) research support and venue/hosting support. It would attract academic interest and strengthen the theoretical elements of the project.


We will ensure that the Project Manager and the Creative Director produce an Evaluation for the funders each year. The Consortium and invited members will also be part of a steering group that will ensure good monitoring and advice giving.

Bridge + Tunnel’s aim is for the arts industry and the wider community to see refugees, young people and asylum seekers as a valuable resource, both in terms of audience and in terms of talent. We believe that the website and the events will boost the status of refugee and asylum seeker talent on both an individual and group level, while the process of preparing for events should provide a lasting legacy of best practice. We will ensure that events and information is captured and distributed on our website and that there is a legacy to the project after the four years of project funding. .

Our details Bridge + Tunnel Productions Partner: Bridge + Tunnel Voices Contact: Tina Gharavi, Creative Director Richard Baillie, Producer (0191) 222 3893/3894/3895 Mobile: 07970 176 732

Referees Dr. Tom Shakespeare World Health Organisation Beacon for Public Engagement Newcastle University Claremont Road, Newcastle, NE1 7RU Mark Robinson, Executive Director, Arts Council England, North East Arts Council England – North East office Central Square Forth Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PJ

Arts & Refugees Tender: Website and National Events  

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