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Art for the Climate

23 May 2022

Creative Writing student joins Climate Justice fight in new Future Wales Fellowship

Rising star of writing Durre Shahwar has become one of eight creatives named in the first Future Wales Fellowship.

Created in a partnership between the Arts Council of Wales and Natural Resources Wales, the Fellowship is exploring the everyday impact of climate change on the people of Wales with a focus on energy, food and transport.

Using art in numerous forms, Fellows will develop work to challenge the way people think about climate change to encourage a more sustainable lifestyle.

Beginning with a residential course at the Centre for Alternative Technology, each Fellow will collaborate with scientists and thinkers working to tackle climate change and promote more sustainable ways of living, each supported by a £25,000 grant.

Co-founder of Wales’ first open mic collective platforming writers of colour ‘Where I’m Coming From’, writer Durre Shahwar is curator of Just So You Know, an essay anthology featuring underrepresented writers.

Working across the boundaries of research, essay, autofiction and prose poetry, Shahwar’s work has appeared in various journals and anthologies including Know Your Place: Essays on the Working Class (Dead Ink Books), We Shall Fight Until We Win (404 Ink), Welsh (Plural) (Repeater Books) and Homes for Heroes 100: Council Estate Memories (Bristol Festival of Ideas).

As a creative practitioner, Durre has worked with British Council Wales, National Theatre Wales, National Museum Cardiff, Artes Mundi, Visual Arts Group Wales, Literature Wales. A past recipient of the Literature Wales Writers Bursary, Durre has been part of Hay Festival Writers at Work and BBC Writersroom, with collective resident artist experience at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and National Theatre Wales.

The Future Wales Fellow is in the final stages of her PhD in Creative Writing as a recipient of the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Currently writing her first book, Durre said:
“"I'm really honoured to be given the opportunity to develop my writing and creative practice, as well as engage with communities on the issues of climate justice in order to imagine and create a future that is sustainable and equal for everyone.”.

Judith Musker Turner, Portfolio Manager Arts Council of Wales said:
“We’re delighted to have selected eight outstanding artists as Future Wales Fellows who will inspire new approaches to issues relating to sustainability, wellbeing, the Climate Emergency and Climate Justice, and engage with the lived experiences of people in Wales and beyond.”

The first members of the Future Wales Fellowship are Kathryn Ashill, Angela Davie, Kirsti Davies, Dylan Huw, Durre Shahwar, Rhys Slade-Jones, Fern Thomas and Heledd Wyn.

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