UCA supports three students at
Venice Biennale 2024

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has partnerned with British Council’s Venice Biennale Fellowships Programme to support three students who will spend a month at the Biennale.

28 Mar 2024

A British Council panel selected Viktorie Brezinova, Yi (Jill) Chen, and Youssef ElNahas to participate in the British Pavillion programme, under the theme Foreigners Everywhere, developing their creative projects and engaging with audiences.

Leo Burtin, a lecturer in cultural business and management at UCA’s Business School for the Creative Industries (BSCI), and Professor Jean Wainwright of the School of Fine Arts Crafts and Photography (FACP) were integral in UCA’s successful bid to become a partner said:

“All three of UCA’s Fellows have proposed projects which powerfully resonate with the 2024 Biennale’s theme of Foreigners Everywhere," commented Leo. "Moreover, our students’ profound concerns with climate justice and its relationship to questions of international mobility, migration and intercultural exchange are timely, to say the least. 

“The Fellowship Programme also represents a significant opportunity for UCA staff to strengthen creative connections across the Globe. I can already tell that we will gain as much from our mentoring relationship with the Fellows as they will from their experience at the Biennale.”

Professor Jean Wainwright added: "As someone who has been involved in the Venice Biennale for a many years this presented a fantastic opportunity for our students. We are so excited for them to be part of this global network and world stage. Living in Venice for a month under the stewardship of the British Council not only gives students an opportunity to witness the unique phenomenon  of the Biennale for themselves but also a great opportunity to make work that highlights global concerns." 

Jill (Yi) Chen, studying MA Global Marketing and Communications at the BSCI in Epsom, is an international student from Taiwan and plans to use the opportunity to document her encounters with local Venetian residents around the subject of foreign immigration.

“Globalisation has brought different cultures closer and has an impact on the identity of individuals and communities, said Jill.

“With this project, I hope to contribute to a more inclusive and globally connected community, enhance mutual understanding and build meaningful connections between Venice and Taiwan.”

Studying MFA Photography, UK-based Egyptian photographer Youssef ElNahas has been documenting the world around him since he was a child. He is particularly drawn to the sea and has first-hand experience of the effects of climate change on marine life and coastal communities.

Youssef explained: “During my time in Venice, I aim to develop a project serving as a documentation and commentary on sea level rise as a result of climate change, a global crisis that could cause irreversible damage to coastal communities around the world, including Venice itself.”

Lastly, Viktorie Brezinova, also studying MA Global Marketing and Communications and with a background in journalism and media, is focusing her project on how the media shapes public awareness and understanding of the effects of climate change threatening Venice.

She said: “I would like to explore how local media can help draw attention to the pressing issue, what measures the Italian government and local organisations are taking, and how the Venetian public reacts to the evident threat.”

The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious cultural festivals in the world and the British Council have commissioned the British Pavilion exhibition since 1937.

To learn more about the programme visit the British Council website.