We’re excited to share that Jasmin Bhanji, Niki Kohandel and Michael. are this year’s artists in residence at Arts and Media School Islington. The residencies form part of Reclaim Islington, Cubitt’s two-year programme which aims to transform the way we work with the communities of Islington by supporting groups with lived experience of exclusion to collectively explore their narratives, stories, and shared histories.


Niki Kohandel is an artist whose practice is concerned with translation as a tool for solidarity, care and radical change. Focusing on the daily acts of translation we perform for our families and communities, Kohandel seeks to shed light on their potential to shift current power dynamics and plant seeds for liberated futures. They have been working at the intersection of art, film and community organising to address these ideas: how can we collectively imagine different ways of translating, and therefore creating, that don't reproduce extractive systems? How can we grow aware of our own capacities to challenge what counts as a valid way to translate and create for each other?


Credit: Hydar Dewachi

Michael. is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice weaves together visual and sonic experimentations to foster community building and imagine alternative futures. His work explores the relationship between landscape, power, and diasporic spaces.


Artist and educator Jasmin Bhanji's research in art education explores the relationship between practical and theoretical modes of inquiry through performance, enactment and embodied learning. She is curious about the absences and omitted stories in the archives of art history. Considering herself a direct product of colonial and post-colonial history, she acts as a magpie, accumulating and arranging layered imagery, images of artists, artefacts, and art materials to interrogate the concept of ‘the studio’ as crafted in the persistent images of Western art history.

With a background in ceramics and in conjunction to her studio practice, Jasmin has maintained an education practice. She undertook a PGCE at UCL in 2001, an Art Psychotherapy Foundation at Goldsmiths and has worked in primary and secondary schools around London. In 2012 she moved to Nairobi, Kenya, set up a studio in her garden and worked as an Art Teacher in an international school. After moving back to London, Bhanji completed a Masters in Art and Design in Education and has since had a studio at Arts and Media School Islington.


Our residences are held at Block C, is a disused technology classroom repurposed as four artist studios in Arts and Media School Islington (AMSI), Finsbury Park. Initiated in 2018, resident artists use the opportunity to hold a studio within a formal education context to explore questions around learning, while contributing to the school community through commissioned projects.

Previous projects include 70 Conversations, organised with The Liliesleaf Trust UK, where AMSI students collaborated with artists Mai Omer and Lucy Steggals, and community members from Cubitt's Saturday Socials group to explore storytelling and social change, and co-devise a public event. In Remote Connections, AMSI students and artist Lydia CS were one of four community groups in Islington who explored what helps us to feel connected with each other and ourselves, with our surroundings, and across time, distance and generations.

We have also delivered lunchtime carnival workshops, a holiday photography club, an extended placement in the Modern Foreign Language department, a student-led investigation into archives, and one-to-one studio sessions with young people who are accessing Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services. 

Block C investigates how we might pool and share our resources at a time when the arts and education sectors are under intense pressure to deliver more for less. It is a direct response to the sidelining of art and other creative subjects in the curriculum – which led to the technology classroom falling out of use.

Banner image: Jasmin Bhanji