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AWE is a collaboration

Chloe Osborne (who lives on the UK’s south coast) and Dan Boyden (who lives by London’s south-circular) are responsible for planting the seeds, but AWE is a global network with roots in communities worldwide. Between them, Dan and Chloe wear many hats – makers, directors, facilitators, researchers, writers, producers. They have each spent over 20 years, fuelled by a restless curiosity, developing a practice of deep collaboration across cultures. AWE has been built on these foundations.

You will experience us as a changing team, inviting in experiences from across our network to inform and evolve the practice of AWE and direction we travel in. We are supported, challenged and grown with support from a network of cross-sector practitioners, researchers and thought leaders- our Look Outs. Each one brings a critical lens and sharp elbows, ensuring that we interrogate our practice as it evolves.

See some of the current AWE collaborators below, pulled together through curiosity and held together by the desire to work and explore outside of our own boxes;

Dan Boyden

Director [UK]


Dan is a connector - someone who sees the invisible threads between people and helps untangle them. Someone once referred to him as 'a person whisperer'. As an artist, he uses his elbows to unsettle things that have become stagnant or stale, he likes to link them with other artists to make him, and them, stronger. His welsh legs are short but his elbows pack a punch.

Dan experiences awe in the small everyday moments, as well as the big ones. He is constantly in awe of what people are capable of, especially in situations far heavier and more complicated than his own. He set up AWE, with Chloe, to ensure he keeps looking up and out at the world and to build a vehicle with enough room to carry some of the brilliant artists he knows.

His work in the Horn of Africa designing the Artivism programme is something that will always put a smile on his face, as well as his time as Director of The Change Collective. His work designing the arts strand to the Active Citizens programme has taken him to over 15 countries delivery workshops and trainings for audiences including young people, social entrepreneurs, local government and business leaders. When Dan goes to awkward networking events he occasionally introduces himself as a theatre maker and through AWE he is looking forward to doing that with more often.

Chloe Osborne

Director [UK]

Chloe is a Connector, a Maker and a Brain Scruncher who is based in Folkestone, a seaside town on the south coast of England with the greatest ratio of public art to people in the UK.

She uses her elbows to:
- hold spaces that offer freedom, safety and a mandate for exploration, where the radical imagination can thrive
- prop doors open to ensure everyone has access to places designed for a select few
- create bridges for people to find and learn from one another
- offer invitations to meet in making
- create beautiful mess
- revel in collaboration

Her life is fuelled by the Awe provided by the tiny rascals she co-habits with, jostled by their Irresistible ability to find wonder in the mundane and to layer colours and patterns in the least appropriate clothes, whatever the season.

Chloe built Artists With Elbows, with Dan, as a vehicle for continued international collaboration, as an act of resistance to the divisive politics and meritocracy that tells us we are stronger looking out for ourselves.

She has been working collaboratively in the UK and Internationally for over 20 years. In addition to the social justice work she does as director of The What If Experiment, and the encounters and experiences she creates as part of AWE, Chloe makes work in the public realm designed to gather, ponder and provoke action. You can find links to some of her work as artist / agitator / creative producer below.

Salma Omar

Associate [SUDAN]

She/ Her
Salma Omar is a percussionist, teacher and cultural worker with projects Drum Circle Sudan and Tribal SDN and manages multidisciplinary projects around arts, culture and music. She works with Music In Africa and Goethe Institute to create an educational instrument building and repair video series and facilitate communal drum circles and environment awareness workshops. Salma is a grantee for Africa No Filter (which works with partners to shift harmful narratives and stereotypes about Africa) as part of the Kekere Emerging Artists Storytellers Grant and is working on a mini documentary capturing the experiences of Sudanese women at work. Salma is currently leading on Roots, created by Drum Circle Sudan for Music In Africa's IBR Grant (instrument building and repair), preserving important knowledge and teaching skills to Arabic or English speaking youth. Roots is designed to create a new job market for a network of young musicians by demonstrating how easy it is to build traditional Sudanese instruments.

Seba Kourani

Associate [LEBANON]

She/ Her
Seba Kourani observes, reflects, builds, and creates.
She uses her elbows to move, act, talk, think, stretch, hug, protest, lay down.
Her elbows inform almost all of her moves, whether on stage, in training, in bed or on the street.

Where do you experience AWE in your life?
"When I gaze from the window in a moving car. When I work with people. When I create and share what I have created with people. Every time I meet a group of people holding the same spirit and determination of creating something I feel amazed and inspired. Every time I feel that I am part of a collective, enriching my identity and flourishing I experience AWE."

"I am part of Artists with Elbows because every time I meet new artists and think collectively with people, I feel like part of me has become bigger and better. I enjoy finding ways of connecting and collaborating. Plus, who would miss the fun of working with AWE founders."

"I have learned how to create something out of nothing. How to preserve your positive thoughts and attitude when times get harder. How people from different backgrounds can connect and create. How we can find the will to create an international and humanitarian language when it come to bringing each other closer.

In a recent project project called “La Demande d’emploi” bringing the team together at the hardest time was one of my proudest moments . Because, for me, what matters the most and what makes us grow is the process, what we carry with us after the project is finished and what changes in us as a result.

Edom Baheru

Associate [ETHIOPIA]

Edom Baheru, Is a performance artist of multiple traits. She studied Architecture at Addis Ababa University, in the hopes that it will equip her with the knowledge and skill sets needed to navigate the entertainment industry. She’s been able to get hands on experience in events, media and performance arts. She's had the chance to work with incredible artists from around the world in collaboration projects, lead some of the most top stages in events and organise even bigger festivals. She’s a firm believer in Afrocentrism and a fan of modern innovations. Coupling poetry, music, theatre and movement, she hopes to bring together an era of collaborative art within the new generation of artists in the horn of Africa that can compare and stand shoulder to shoulder with the global industry.

Karolina Sato

Associate [JAPAN]

Karolina uses her elbows as a designer. Elbow, arm, hand - represents the craft, the skill she has and hones to help and serve. She uses her hands and arms to create something visual or material to express ideas. She fells that the joint - the space in between the bones - is the place that facilitates the moment or the expression of intent, and believes herself to be in that place; helping to deliver the intention. Also, Karo believes that an elbow can be a "tool" to push and make the space - and thinks this is the part where she creates the impact of making things seen and heard.

• Where do you experience AWE in your life?
I love making ideas to be seen, connect, participate, collaborate, and create something meaningful. This collective effort can be very illuminating. In recent years it has been possible no matter the location or time zone.

• Why are you part of Artists With Elbows?
I have been collaborating with Chloe and Dan to create the visual identity for AWE and also on illustrating the Hope Street project. It's a very inspiring, thought-provoking project that I am thrilled to be a part of.

• Which projects do you speak about with pride? Or that felt needed by you and/or the world?

The collaboration for "The World From My Window" - a worldwide anthology of short stories and a podcast. Also, I design scarves. I believe we have an innate need to decorate our lives with objects of significance, symbols we can relate to. A scarf is a piece of wearable art that can inspire, empower, bring joy or make a statement.

Sarra Saed

Associate [SUDAN]

Sarra’s elbows help her wonder. With her head resting on her hand and elbow on the desk, she is often wondering how life snatched her from a steady medical career to the mystics of music for social change.

Sarra has always been in AWE of the ways in which arts can help us to see the invisible threads that bind us. She is very happy to be be joining other fellows from around the globe in a place for passion, wonder, ideation, linking, and realisation. For her, to explore with openness and imagination about life , art and people; to have found the ones to share the rush of “spraying invisible threads with the glitter of belief into becoming” with; to thrive in this togetherness’s confidence, to find uniqueness and greatness; and to deliver a past dream into existence over and over and over , is incomparable!

Sarra has been a voice for women since the foundation of Salute Yal Bannot, Sudan’s and the middle east’s first all-female band. She is proud of representing African Voices in the 16th European Development Days with country’s presidents, and development organisations’ leaders - joining the Queen of Belgium in a strong message of the role of culture and arts in sustainable development.

From The registration of Yalla! Khartoum Institute of Arts and Culture and involvement in Community Music with Musicians Without Borders, to the volunteering at Wilderness festival in UK and the continued singing and writing for developmental issues, Sarra’s passion for life and humanity is a clear drive.

Rana Yazaji

Look Out [SYRIA]

She/ Her
Rana Yazaji is a researcher, trainer and cultural manager. She is currently the co-director of “Arts and International Cooperation” at Zurich University of the Arts. She bases her work on the combination of research and cultural practices focusing on three interconnected levels: creative initiatives, institutional building and policy discussions.

Rana lends AWE a critical eye on the power dynamics and discrimination embedded in the international cooperation system.

Micheal Chandler

Look Out [UK]

He/ Him

From music producer & DJ on pirate radio to making films about issues such as mental health & racism; co-founding WAYout Arts to running grassroots community/social justice charities & projects with the likes of Shelter in UK- Michael Chandler has long had a passion for all things arts, community co-creation and social justice.
Michael is now CEO of arts venue and community/social justice charity Union Chapel; prior to this, as Acting CEO & Director of Social Change for Cardboard Citizens, he led a programme of TO projects and campaigning across the UK.
Michael is in the process of launching ASC Agency, which aims to support, champion and evidence both the impact of arts for social & systemic change, and examples of community cocreation within arts & culture.

Michael is incredibly privileged to join and to support the wonderful people of AWE from the outset and excited to see how it develops.

Dan Tsu

Look Out [UK]

He/ Him
Dan Tsu is a creative director, event producer, educator and founder of underground movement Lyrix Organix (est. 2009). A multi-disciplinary facilitator (British Council), Lead Lecturer (BIMM London) & Senior Programme Manager (Roundhouse), Dan is perhaps best known as co-founder of Glastonbury Festival's legendary Rum Shack. He has worked from Ukraine to Cuba, Ethiopia to Mexico, and has worked closely with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Akala and Kae Tempest.

I am excited to share expertise with AWE around events, programme design, youth engagement, the creative industries, grassroots social movements and marketing/promotion. With experience of both TCC and BC, I believe I can bring insight into the evolution of your brilliant models of practice and experimentation.

Rosanna Lewis

Look Out [BELGIUM]

She/ Her

I’m Rosanna, I’m passionate about people and cultures, and how together they can enrich and transform lives. I love to lend a helping hand, provide a listening ear, and be part of solutions. I’m also a singer and performer, as well as a life partner, sister, auntie, daughter, and friend to many around the world.
Thanks to my time at the British Council, I bring a wealth of experience of socio-cultural projects and networks worldwide, as well as a strong understanding of institutional strategies and opportunities. I will be looking out for how AWE takes a holistic approach to their work through systems thinking i.e. how the elbow is connected to the shoulders (responsibility), the backbone (courage), all the way down to the ankle (vulnerability).

Rosanna is currently Senior Relationship Manager, Culture Responds to Global Challenges at British Council.