Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme

Announcing recipients of the final Ellie Maxwell Travel Bursary

“For social change to occur,” Ellie wrote, “people’s networks of friends, acquaintances and colleagues must cross the boundaries of race, nationality or language, along which they are often based.”

This item was last updated on
15 May 2015

The Ellie Maxwell Travel Bursary has been offered to Clore Fellows annually in memory of 2004-5 Fellow Ellie Maxwell and in recognition of her life's work addressing social division through the arts. In 2010, the award was given to Mike Benson for his trips to Northern Ireland. The 2011 award went to Kate Scanlan and Nicola Triscott for visits to Rwanda, the 2012-13 award to May Redfern for her visit to Detroit and the 2014 award to Katch Holmes for her trip to the Sahawari refugee camps in Algeria.

In this final year, the panel are proud to award the bursary to Anwar Akhtar and Lois Stenock for two ambitious and brave projects.  They are each awarded £3500 to cover the costs of their travel, research and the dissemination of their findings.

Anwar will travel to Karachi, Pakistan to help with the programming and delivery of the first Pakistan Calling Film festival to be held in May and June 2015. Time will be spent visiting human rights and arts organisations, building links between them and the student filmmakers producing films for the festival. These organisations, which include Human Rights Commission Pakistan and The Azad Street Children welfare organisation, will be key partners in the delivery of the Festival and films on these organisations will be screened in the festival. Anwar, as director of The Samosa, has worked with Karachi University and the RSA to launch Pakistan Calling, an online film project. Working with film makers from Karachi, Lahore, London and Manchester, they produced and curated over 60 films looking at identity, education, equality, culture, conflict resolution, women and minority rights issues in Pakistan and UK. 

Lois will be travelling to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to develop research with artists and artist educators who have been displaced from Syria, asking how we can bring their techniques, art works and stories back to the UK to open up debate and discussion around radicalism. By understanding the role of individuals and communities in these news-grabbing stories she aims to counter the rise of radicalism within young people in the UK by including them in conversations with those experiencing the effects of war in their own countries.

Virginia Maxwell, panel member and Ellie’s mother said “Both these projects are based on the premise that if people are informed they can use that information for social change. That is one way of combating radicalisation. They confirm one of the basic precepts of the Clore Fellowship and Ellie's Bursary which is using arts to effect social change.”

Anwar said “The Ellie Maxwell Travel Bursary will contribute towards The Samosa media project participating in a film festival in Karachi, Pakistan that will cover subjects across human rights, the arts and peace building. Exactly the type of work that Ellie was so committed to and inspiring as a person, in her work at Firefly, for those of us that were lucky enough to meet and spend time with her.

Lois said “I am delighted to receive the bursary. With tight border regulations it is hard for Syrian artists to gain access to the UK so this bursary will enable me to travel to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to meet artists and educators displaced by the conflict. I hope by engaging in open conversations with Syrian artists and art organisations, we can learn methods and lessons to inform the discussion around extremism in the UK.”

If you would like to know more about Firefly International, the charity Ellie founded, please visit


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