Loved Seeds by Eldin & Love

Loved Seeds is a new exhibition from Look Again in collaboration with We Are Here Scotland featuring the work of Eldin & Love, taking place in a project space over a month-long period.

The exhibition focuses on Aberdeen's flawed history of connections to slavery. It explores how the artists' own identities connect to local sites. This show extends the Quasheba project, a performance using poetry and clay that will be part of the Aberdeen Performing Arts Rise Up festival.

The exhibit aims to take visitors back in time to the lives of an enslaved family in Jamaica in 1832. The family are connected to Aberdeen's Powis Gate, Powis Community Centre, and Jamaica Street. The exhibition runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 29th April to 28th May, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Rise Up! Festival

Rise Up! Festival is back celebrating Black and People of Colour creatives in Aberdeen and Scotland. Taking place on May 5 and 6 at the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, this year's festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Organised by We Are Here Scotland and commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts, the festival aims to showcase the talents of Black and People of Colour creatives from Scotland and beyond. The event includes workshops, panels, performances, and a live podcast.

What's on at Rise Up! Festival

On Friday, 5th May, the festival kicks off with a Cabaret event featuring diverse performances, including poetry by Courtney Stoddart, comedy by Safeena Rashid and a dance piece by Dorine Mugisha.

Saturday, 6th May brings Rise Under, a new strand of the festival aimed at 12-17-year-olds. The workshops include creative film-making with Sara Stroud, 'Finishing the Song' with musician Chef the Rapper, and a screen-printing workshop by Caitlin Dick and Phoebe McBride. There will also be an Open Mic hosted by Mae Diansangu.

Rise Up! Festival also offers further workshops with Ravideep Kaur on anti-racism and Andrés N. Ordorica on the power of friendship. The festival will also host panels on mental health, generational experiences as a BPoC creative, and uncomfortable conversations in safe spaces.

Cabaret Event

Friday 5 May 7 pm | Lemon Tree
Join the team for an exciting opening night of Rise Up for artistic exploration and expression! The cabaret evening will feature a diverse array of performances, including poetry, spoken word, dance performance, and a captivating theatre performance.

Tickets are pay what you want (Free, £2, £5, £8, £10)

A Sonic Hug presents: BPoC Wellbeing in Scottish Arts

Saturday 6 May 11 am | Music Hall Big Sky Studio
Presented by mental health podcast A Sonic Hug, this is a panel featuring creative practitioners and a healthcare professional looking at ways we can protect our mental health and wellness while working in the industry. This panel will be also recorded as part of a live podcast.

Free but ticketed event. 

Rise Under: Screenprinting

Saturday 6 May 11:45 am | Music Hall
Aberdeen-based visual artists Caitlin Dick and Phoebe McBride will be facilitating a screen-printing workshop for Rise Up. Participants will have the exciting opportunity to have a taster experience of screen-printing as well as printing their own We Are Here Scotland tote bag.

Free but ticketed event. 

Generational experiences as a BPoC creative

Saturday 6 May 12:20 pm | Music Hall Big Sky Studio
Creatives from different generations discuss their experiences growing up and working in Scotland and how their journeys compare.

Free but ticketed event.

Rise Under: Filmmaking on a budget with Sara Stroud

Saturday 6 May 1pm | Music Hall
A short introduction with Sara Stroud to the basics of filmmaking using your phone or iPad. Create a film through games and play. Learn to create a story from random objects and sounds. This short course will teach you how to film and edit. You will learn the basics of filmmaking on a budget using your mobile device.

Free but ticketed event. 

Uncomfortable conversations in safe spaces

Saturday 6 May 1:40 pm | Music Hall Big Sky
Exploring how we encourage and foster conversations around diversity, inclusion, equality and more in the creative industries.

Free but ticketed event.  

Anti-racism workshop with Ravideep Kaur

Saturday 6 May 1:45 pm | Music Hall
This workshop aims to create a safe and inclusive space for participants to engage in open dialogue, ask questions, and develop skills to challenge racist attitudes and behaviours including biases in their personal and professional lives. Overall, the goal of the workshop is to empower participants to take action towards creating a more equitable society and develop an intentional anti-racism practice.

Free but ticketed event.  

Chef The Rapper: Finishing The Song

Saturday 6 May 2:15 pm | Music Hall
The ultimate workshop for taking your music to the next level. This workshop is perfect for artists of all skill levels who are looking to enhance their creative process and complete their musical projects. Not only will you learn valuable techniques for writing and restructuring your music, but Chef The Rapper will also provide you with expert advice on collaboration, choosing the best collaborators, and what to do with your music once it’s complete.

Free but ticketed event.   

Black Scot Podcast

Saturday 6 May 3 pm | Music Hall Big Sky Studio
Join best friends turned co-hosts of Black Scot Pod Suzie Mwanza and Shirley Mcpherson for a live podcast with special guest Muslim Alim. In this special live episode of Black Scot Pod, the hosts will the important topic of diversity and inclusion in the creative industries, with a specific focus on the TV industry.

Free but ticketed event.   

Creative Writing Workshop

Saturday 6 May 3pm | Music Hall
In this 60-minute workshop, led by Andrés N Ordorica, participants will explore the power of friendships and how writers across time have attempted to capture the intimate subtleties of this unique type of human relationship.

Free but ticketed event.   

Rise Under: Open Mic with Mae Diansangu

Saturday 6 May 4 pm | Music Hall
Join in an exciting open mic event hosted by Mae Diansangu, exclusively for young performers aged 12-17! This is an opportunity for musicians, singers, poets, and other performers to showcase their talents in front of a supportive audience.

Free but ticketed event. 

Evening Concert

Saturday 6 May 7:30 pm | Lemon Tree

The Rise Up! Festival closes with a massive night to celebrate and champion an array of Black and People of Colour talent from across Scotland, who are changing the narrative within the country’s music scene.

Pay what you can (Free, £2, £5, £8, £10)

Rudy Kanhye - Composition with Red and Yellow

The new Rudy Kanhye exhibition at the Look Again project space promises a unique and thought-provoking experience. The show, hosted by We Are Here Scotland, features eight works that reflect the politics of food, decolonisation, and the economy of time through the lens of Mauritius Island, where Kanhye's father is from.

New work is the show highlight, supported by Peacock and Gray's School of Art, called Token Offer. Each visitor is given a modest gift with the effigy of the dodo, the symbol of Mauritius, which they can take home and keep for life or use to activate other works in the show.

The exhibition offers an inventive sharing game centred around consumption, food, and storytelling. By participating in the play elements like the ping pong table and exchange, the visitor enters into a sharing game proposed by the artist. This creates a space to be activated and appropriate by the visitor.

Rudy Kanhye aims to creatively engage with the audience in a unique way. Kanhye encourages visitors to think more deeply about these topics and their relationship to society.

We Are Here Scotland presents INCUBATA

Vagrant Real Estate headlines INCUBATA, a special night celebrating the We Are Here Scotland incubation programme to develop BPoC creatives. He will be joined by special guests from the worlds of Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B. Danny Cliff and EYVE will perform on the night, with visuals from Kumi McKenna. The Event Event Manager is Raymond Igbinoke. Expect an unforgettable night at The Lemon Tree.

What is We Are Here Scotland?

The We Are Here Scotland incubation programme was launched in 2022. The aim was to nurture, mentor, and develop BPoC creatives based in Scotland. As part of the pilot, four creatives have been invited from different creative industry sectors.


Danny Cliff

Born in Nigeria and raised in Austria, singer-songwriter Danny Cliff now calls Edinburgh home. Gaining his love of music through attending church in Austria, was a double-edged sword. The country’s music scene didn’t live up to expectations but that all changed when he moved to Scotland. His love for music flooded back when he was submerged in the bubbling music scene of Edinburgh. 


Originally from Zimbabwe and now based in Scotland, Eyve realised that music and singing were something she wanted to pursue thanks to her church choir. As a queer person, Eyve felt her faith being challenged due to rejection based on her identity. This helped shape her musical path and still does. Rap was a strong means of expression. In 2019 she started to feel empowered to sing and rap about subjects such as feminism, self-love, confidence and politics.

Vagrant Real Estate

Vagrant Real Estate is a producer and DJ from Aberdeen. He has self-released a number of projects with both local and international artists. His most recent independently funded and produced project was “The Iceberg Theory.” He is also the co-founder of the music & events platform HOURS. His aim was to build infrastructure for independent artists in Aberdeen. To champion rising local acts from hip-hop and the wider scene.

We Are Here Scotland in the spotlight

Back in late 2020, we interviewed Aberdeen creative and podcaster Ica Headlam. He had just established We Are Here Scotland, a creative fund designed to practically support creative people of colour (POC) throughout Scotland.

Nearly a year later, having achieved funding through a successful GoFundMe campaign, We Are Here Scotland are just about to close applications for their first round of funding of creatives. We wanted to chat to Ica further about We Are Here Scotland. We wanted to know the background behind the fund, some of the challenges he has faced, and what he can offer creative people of colour. As always, Ica was keen to share his experience.

What is We Are Here Scotland?

Tell us a little about We Are Here Scotland. How did the idea came about and develop into a real life fund?

The idea for We Are Here Scotland came from my experiences of presenting Creative Me Podcast. And also, of course, being a person of colour here in the north east of Scotland.

Being born in the early 1980's I've always recognised the importance of representation. However I didn't see much of that in Scotland across the artistic and creative industries. I wanted to create something that not only allowed for there to be recognition of black and POC artists and creatives, but also as a means of supporting the community in practical ways too. This is where the Creator's Fund comes into play.

I had numerous private conversations and a number of Instagram Live events. After that it became very clear to me that many people in the community needed help. Both in terms of funding and practical support. However, getting this from larger organisations always seemed like such a daunting and monumental task.

Bearing that in mind, I felt that there should be a fund that not only made it easier for people to apply for, but also provided some follow through in terms of practical support via mentoring and guidance from industry professionals to help those who are awarded funding.

What are some of the challenges you've faced in launching the fund?
Well we launched the fund in mid-November last year whilst still in the pandemic. Given the climate it was a slow burn, however we eventually reached our target of £6000 in June this year. Recently that amount has grown to £7,490. This has allowed us to support more black and POC artists and creatives across Scotland.

What advice would you give to creatives of colour starting out just now? In particular, advice about raising funding and dealing with the challenges that their industry may throw their way?

With regards to funding, I think it's important to explore all the viable options available to you as a creative. It's about finding out what opportunities are happening in your local community as well. For example, does your local authority have funding opportunities for creatives? Is your local art space/gallery looking to commission artists etc?

In terms of the challenges you may encounter? For me I always find that it's important to have a good support network around you. This industry isn't easy to navigate. Over the past year I've heard from people in my community who have had horrible experiences within Scotland. So, I would say it's also important to hold people accountable. We can't minimise problematic attitudes and behaviours in the hope that it'll all be forgotten about. Especially in the current climate.

Systemic misrepresentation in the arts

Do you think there's a genuine willingness within Scotland's creative industries to actually stamp out their systemic representation problems once and for all?

Well I'd like to think so. But the past year has shown me that within Scotland's creative industries the conversation of representation and systematic change can easily turn into a tick box exercise. It's becoming on trend now for some predominantly white led businesses and organisations to be seen to be amplifying black and POC voices. The thinking is in doing this, organisations show evidence to potential funders that they are actively engaged with supporting the community.

In all honesty I do think that some people prefer the status quo of things. Some people don't want to be challenged. They don't want to reflect on certain issues that requires them to actively engage in meaningful conversations or progressive thought.

Is there anything people working in creative industries can do to pressure their organisation to be better?

I think people need to be more vocal about the systemic issues within the creative industries. However, it shouldn't just be black and POC doing this all the time.

I think we have gotten into this mindset in society that if it doesn't personally impact on you or your mental health then do you really need to say anything. Yes ,you absolutely do need to challenge and hold people accountable especially in this industry. People need to ask important questions within their organisations. Ask about meaningful representation and what that can look like for marginalised groups.

Who in benefiting?

Who are some of the creatives that you have helped? Tell us a little about them and the work they do.

When I first started We Are Here Scotland. I used to do a lot of Instagram story shout outs. We've given this a little more structure with a spotlight feature on our website. This feature will introduce people to a number of talented artists and creatives across Scotland. The first artist in our spotlight is the acclaimed Scottish-Caribbean poet and performer Courtney Stoddart. You can check out her interview here.

What are your future plans for WAHS?

We have a number of projects that I'm really excited about beyond the Creator's Fund. Hopefully we'll be in a position to secure funding to develop these projects. We ant to provide more opportunities for black and POC artists and creatives in Scotland.

The Creator's Fund is still live until Sunday 31st October at 11:59pm you can apply for the fund here:

Thank you so much to Ica for again taking time to talk to us. He has a special ability to focus on his project and achieve his lofty goals. That has always been an inspiration to us here at POST, so it's great to catch up with him again.

We Are Here Scotland | Find Out More

You can fine We Are Here Scotland at a number of places around the web. Please go follow them to stay up-to-date on their progress.

We Are Here Scotland | website | Twitter | Instagram

We also very much enjoyed this episode of Just a Chat With...Ica Headlam