Dancer | Choreographer
Riccardo Meneghini was born in Italy, he has a background in competitive judo, graduated from I.S.E.F. (University of Verona) Diploma in Physical Education and attended a professional courses at “Accademia Isola Danza” in Venice, artistic director Carolyn Carlson. In the academic year 2001/2002 he joined “Transitions”at Laban Centre London achieving diploma in performance with special mention. He moved his base from London to Scotland to end up in having Leeds as his base for nine years. He has worked with such choreographers as Russell Maliphant, Carolyn Carlson, Janet Smith, Malou Airaudo, Rui Horta, Didi Veldman, Kim Brandstrup, Arthur Rosenfeld and companies including Scottish Dance Theatre, DV8 Physical Theatre in a research project, Company Chameleon, CCN Robuaix and Balletto Teatro Torino, Arearea, performing in prestigious theaters such as: Bolshoi Theater (moscow), Sadlers Wells (London), national Theater de Chaillot (Paris); while developing his own choreography vision, working as a freelance performer, teacher and choreographer. Through his lifetime of training and performing as a professional dancer, he has developed a great love and understanding of the human body in all of its wonder and intricacies and of the heart and spirit needed to be a dance artist. His work has been supported by Arts Council England and Provincia Autonoma di Trento several times in the past. His creations often contains original music, Riccardo has been regularly collaborating in the years with composers Demetris Zavros, Jered Daniel Sorkin e Marco Melia. Riccardo Riccardo teaches internationally in different platforms. He has been teaching technique classes, creative movements classes, improvisation classes and composition workshop extensively in these past 20 years. These are aimed at professional dancers, amateurs, adults, children, GCSE, a level dance students and dance and disability programme. Riccardo was appointed lecturer in contemporary dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in the year 2006/2007 and now guest teacher. During the years he tought in places such as Rotterdam Dance Academie (Codarts), Millennium2000 (London), Fondazione Bartolomei (Roma), Daf Dance Arts Faculty (Roma), CID Rovereto (Italy), Accademia Nico Pepe (Udine), and festival like: Frieburg Contact Improvisation festival, Trentino Danza Estate , Contact Festival Dartington (UK) , Thailand Contact Festival, and teaching to professional company like of Skanes Dansteatre , Balbir Singh Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Carolyn Carlson Company with which he has been collaborating with in these past 11 years. At the moment they are waiting to be able to return to theaters with “The Tree”, the new creation completed January 2021; with "Crossroads to Synchronicity" (2017) and with "The Seventh Man", the latter is a solo creation (2019) for Riccardo Meneghini by Carolyn Carlson.
Karin F Giusti
Artist | Sculptor | Public Art Innovator
Karin F Giusti currently lives and works in Upstate New York and Popoli Italy. Giusti holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University School of Art in New Haven, CT and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. For the past twenty years she has been a professor at City University of New York at Brooklyn College. Giusti has exhibited her artwork locally, nationally, and internationally in museums, galleries, and public spaces. She has also lectured on the subject of site-specific sculpture widely, including at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Her awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture Installation from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures from the New York Foundation for the Arts; Individual Artist Grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the academic award of Bernard H. Stern Professor in Humor; Individual Artist Fellowship for Sculpture from the State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts, as well as many more.
Her work can be viewed at www.karingiusti.com
Elina Lenga is an aspiring artist. Singing is her talent... more so gospel music... Born and raised in Kenya along the Kenyan coast, given the opportunity to perform, Elina says she becomes unstoppable to inspire and comfort people in the community and the world at large... at the same time she is looking to use her talent to meet her daily life needs.
Journalist | Author
Melissa Hekkers is a freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus.
Her most recent publication (2020) Amir’s Blue Elephant, is her first attempt at creative non-fiction and is based on her experiences as a volunteer working with refugees on the island of Lesvos, Greece.
In 2018 she published My Cape Greco Mandala, which is the third in a series, is a colouring book inspired by the wildlife of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus and was preceded by My Akamas Mandala which focuses on a variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Natural Reserve. In 2016, she published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia.
Since 2015, Melissa has been teaching creative writing to children and adults. Melissa also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: she writes about migrants, both as a reporter and author; profiles them and teaches them creative and scriptwriting skills through European funded programmes.
In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, she published her first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, she launched her second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which she was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award.
Her third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014 and was adapted as a theatre play in 2019. In between her last two books, she published her first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth.
Ina Nico & Francesco di Loreto
Dead Frogs is a project by Ina Nico and Francesco di Loreto and one of the coolest new experimental music duo ensembles in town!
Ina definitely picked the right profession, speaking 5 languages. She manages the international press and digital communications at TOD'S Group in Milan. Her calm attitude and her true professionalism make her stand above the fashion drama which could well be lurking around every corner in Milan. She also knows one or two things about art, music and books and is deeply rooted in the south of Italy, where she comes from originally.
Francesco di Loreto
Photographer and director, in the fields of advertising and publishing. In 1995 he participated in a film course at the Akademie Der Kunst in Berlin, held by Wim Wenders, and in 2006 he received a special mention from the jury at the Turin Film Festival for his short film "Le Roi du Silence". Founding member of the photographic studio F38F together with Paolo Mazzo and Mimo Visconti. As well as having produced photographic images for a number of national and international brands, he has also directed films and documentaries of various kinds.
Sam J Grudgings is a poet perpetually on the edge of collapse. Shortlisted for the Outspoken Poetry Prize in the performance category in 2020 he is renowned for his frenetic delivery and whirlwind stage presence. His work combines visceral metaphors with frank gutter honesty and dark gallows humour. He yells stories about loss, 50 ft monsters, fighting god and haunted people because it's cheaper than therapy and less physically taxing than porno. If he invites you to join a cult, it’s because he sees more than just a sacrifice in you.
He has toured the country delivering his weird explorations into addiction and the complicity of privilege in explosions of flailing arms and off brand hypnotism and cheap magic tricks. A frequent collaborator with artists of all mediums, he has appeared on pop punk albums, alongside dancers, in art galleries, haunted churches and on most wanted lists, somehow dating three hundred years in the future. Pushing the boundaries of performance and inviting people along for the wild ride Sam has fought for and earned, the respect of poets and the ire of Gods.
His debut collection “The Bible II” is due out with Verve Poetry Press in 2021, in the meantime, his work can be found in Riggwelter Press, Nine Arches, Cipher Press and scrawled in blood, alongside prophecies predicting the fall of man in the deepest caves as yet undiscovered amongst others.
Sam runs workshops on performance as well as campaigning for the recognition of lived experience in professional & academic circles. He endeavours to bring poetry to everyone, by collaboration efforts with musicians, dancers, artists & initiatives in local communities.
Teresa Albor is a multidisciplinary artist, with a studio practice, based in London. Her work is research-based and often involves broad collaboration. It can involve video/moving image, performance, installation, publication, community-based workshops, and forms of artist-led curation.
Teresa has worked with highly stigmatised groups, most recently refugees, but previously with offenders, including a year working on the issue of women in prison in the USA. This latter boy of work resulted in a 10,000 word piece published in the US magazine The Nation, which can be read here.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with recent projects including the performance Solidarity not charity, The things we leave behind presented in Peckham, London in March 2017, a performative presentation at the Sacred Places Conference in Liverpool in April 2017, and in June 2017, NO MORE MISS AMERICA at the Golden Key, Prague, performed with the Rude and Unruly Women collective.
More information about Teresa’s work can be found on her website.
Novelist | Editor
Mellisa Felix served as the Executive Curator at [sm]art Festivals & Residencies curating the sessions across disciplines with focus on Literature. In 2021 Mell chaired the [sm]art compositions, a distinguished international Committee of curators composed of artists, academics, and cultural leaders across disciplines with focus on Visual Art, Literature, Poetry, Performance Art, Public Art, Photography, and Dance.
Mell has enjoyed a distinguished career teaching in academia as associate professor of writing at the University of Maryland, (Global Campus), based in the UK.
She is a novelist in the process of querying her Young Adult Fiction novel, The Code of Them All.
Mellisa has placed in the top three in international writing contests, such as Gotham Writer’s Group/Serendipity Literary Agency YA Novel Discovery, and she has worked on her novels at writing residencies abroad, to include the Palazzo Rinaldi artists residency in Italy.
Writer | Tour Guide | Yoga Teacher
Rachel is primarily a storyteller and a lover of humans. Professionally she is a tour guide, a writer, and a yoga teacher. Most importantly, she lives full time in Rome, a city that has beguiled, delighted and enchanted her since the first day she arrived. In the last decade she has worked in many sectors of tourism: from tour guide to trip planner to PR director for a well-respected tour company. In 2018, she pursued a lifelong dream and became certified as a yoga and meditation teacher in Bali. Since then she has come to recognize that travel and wellness are inextricably linked, especially in Italy. Her dream is to share the joy of slow living and slow travel allowing Italy to serve as a backdrop for people to get in deeper touch with themselves.
In late 2019, she decided to take a leap of faith and began to coordinate yoga retreats in Italy with respected international yoga teachers. By the first weeks of 2020 she had already organized five retreats for the upcoming year, two of which were completely sold-out. Then the pandemic hit. Tourism came to a screeching halt and life in Rome changed in a matter of weeks. Retreats were postponed, tourists who had booked her services cancelled and she began to reinvent and redefine her own life and career.
She spent last year writing and teaching yoga and exploring every aspect of her beloved Rome. Her piece “Italianizzata” was published by Open Doors Review in January 2021. It describes her personal evolution with a global pandemic as the backdrop. Her adoration of the Eternal City radiates in every aspect of her life. She currently divides her time between writing, teaching yoga, leading workshops (online and in-person) and planning wellness retreats for 2021 and beyond.
Adi Atassi was born in Homs, Syria in 1962. Growing up in beautiful landscapes, where the colors of nature alternate dramatically under the glaring light and where history and religion coexist, it was natural for his love of art to surface. At the age of 18, he entered the University of Damascus, where he studied Fine Arts.
Like a sea gull flying to different lands building its nests, Adi’s fate brought him to Cyprus, which has provided him with his new home since 1987. His status as a foreigner, has given him the loneliness an artist needs, but at the same time, the familiarity of the climate and the history of place, has given him the love and warmth necessary for his creativity to thrive.
He has held a variety of exhibitions in the annual show of the Space Studios in Nicosia, in the Open Studios within the walls of Nicosia and in various exhibitions hosted by the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts, and he has participated in many group shows in Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Romania, Germany, and Spain. In 2006, he won first prize in the art-competition for the design and creation of a work of art for the new Supreme Court building in Nicosia.
Storyteller | Peace Activist
I am an Australian, married to a Syrian, and living in Cyprus. My passion for human rights has taken me to the refugee camps of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. I feel privileged hearing the stories of the people I meet. They are intimate and give perspective to what we hear in the news. I also enjoy telling those stories. Generally, I tell them through how they affected me. After all, the original story isn't mine to tell, only the impact it had on me is.
One of my poems (The Burden of Choice) was published online in the inaugural edition of The Journal for Human Advancement through The Goodis Centre in Feb 2010. I wrote the poem for a friend in Palestine.
The internet, and travel, has allowed me to form friendships across the globe. Many friendships were found via mutual interests in poetry, jewelry making, and human rights issues. Life itself set me on a convoluted course that has brought me to this point. The stories I've heard and lived can no longer be expressed in poetic form alone, I feel. There doesn't seem to be enough space to tell what needs to be told. We all have stories. They deserve to be shared in a way that conveys not only the happenings but the emotions too. This is what I want to learn from you. There are important stories to tell that can form or change public opinion on a myriad of issues.
I am very grateful for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to having this safe space to share with everyone and to learn the art of writing.
Writer | Editor
I write essays, fiction, reviews, profiles, and sometimes uncategorizable things. I've published in The New York Times, Jack White's new Third Man print magazine Maggot Brain, Salon, Longreads, Details, The Weeklings, The American in Italia, and many other places. My profile subjects for magazine pieces have included such widely varying personalities as Steve Martin, Barry White, Martin Amis, and Dennis Hopper. I've also written web content, artist bios, and liner notes for albums.
My career on the editorial side started right out of college at Esquire magazine in New York, where I worked with writers including Denis Johnson, Mary Gaitskill, and Norman Mailer. I went on to freelance at magazines including Rolling Stone, New York, and Harper's. I was the Books Editor at Time Out New York and the Literary Editor at Details, jobs that required me to tackle piles of galleys and spot new literary talent.
More recently, I have been editing books on a freelance basis, helping writers shape, refine, and go more deeply into their novels, memoirs, nonfiction, and hybrid works. My clients have included acclaimed authors Dale Kushner, Wayétu Moore, David Lida, and Carmen Gentile.
I am currently working on my own novel, and have received writing fellowships from The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. Most recently I was awarded the Stone Residency at The Museum of Loss and Renewal in Molise, Italy. I also work as a co-curator of the Murmrr Lit reading series at Murmrr Theatre in Brooklyn, where I have hosted and introduced authors including George Saunders, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Maggie Nelson, and Chris Kraus. At Johns Hopkins University, I studied fiction writing with John Barth, Edna O'Brien, Madison Smartt Bell, and Stephen Dixon.
I grew up in Pittsburgh and now live north of New York City in the Catskill mountains. I love being around creative people, read widely, listen to music obsessively, and frequently pull over to write things down when I drive.
Rosie McGurran was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and received her degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 1992. She has exhib-ited nationally and internationally and was a member of Queen Street Studios, Belfast in the 1990s. In 1997 she was awarded The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellowship to The British School at Rome and The Victor Treacy Award of painting.
In 2000, she re-located to the small village of Roundstone on the west coast of Ireland to research the art history of the village and the island of Inishlacken. She established a gallery and annual island residency, The Inishlacken Project, in 2001 while exhibiting and developing her own work. She has curated many exhibitions in Ireland and abroad while receiving awards and bursaries for her own work. Her work has taken her as far as Australia, Norway, Italy and the U.S. She is an elected member of the Royal Ulster Academy in Belfast.
Photographer | Photo Journalist
Niaz Maleknia was born in Iran in 1969 and left at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1979 at a time when photographs in Iran were banned. Escaping in the middle of the night, Niaz left with her family to come to London.
After completing her schooling at the International school, Niaz went on to study English Literature and got her BA from London University and worked as a fashion buyer for a number of years, before deciding to go back to university to become a teacher. Both Montessori trained, and in Secondary English, Niaz brings the Montessori approach into secondary teaching and has taught in Scotland, Brazil, Holland and Italy.
"Photography has always interested me, particularly the works of Eggleston, Klein and Friedlander. I enjoy reading about photography theory, and I bring theory and practical photography into the workshops at Young Photographers London (YPL). Making young photographers think about the images they are taking and to discuss and critic them is my aim."
Niaz recently completed her MA in photo documentary and photo journalism at London College of Communication.
Margarita Gokun Silver
Artist | Writer | Novelist
Margarita Gokun Silver is a freelance writer and a novelist.
Margarita's writing has appeared in The New York Times, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Forward, The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, Smithsonian, Vox, The Writer's Digest, Haaretz, The Tablet, Saveur, Hakai Magazine, The Jewish Journal, Ozy, Quartz, The Billfold, ExtraCrispy, and Hemispheres among others.
When she isn't writing, Margarita paints and her paintings have been published in many literary and art journals.
Juliette Geissler is a 21 year old artist from Paris and Berlin currently studying Fine Arts. She works with colours, words, lines and emotions throughout many different mediums although mainly through painting and drawing. Her main themes are her relationship to herself as well as to others, the search for a space between two people in which they can share safely and ultimately connect with one another, as well as rewriting and rearranging past narratives.
Author | Therapist
Tasha is an Air Force veteran, mental health therapist, and host of the podcast When We Speak set to debut Spring March 2021. She is the author of her memoir, "What Children Remember" and it is available on Amazon.
Her private practice, Ascension Growth Center, specializes in the treatment of childhood trauma-related PTSD, depression and anxiety. She works to eradicate the stigma of mental health by speaking to others at workshops and seminars about trauma and related mental health topics. Driven and well informed by personal experience, her mission is to spread awareness about complex trauma and to give survivors a safe space to heal.
In 2021 Tasha is launching a new podcast When we Speak, starting with a series of interviews enabling people to share their stories to inspire others.
Author | Public Speaker | Sales Coach
Aen has over 30 years experience in Financial Services, IT Enterprise Software Solutions and Management Consulting and developing and managing individual client relationships and contracts of £1million+.
After helping one organisation win their first £1million+ project with a client they had been doing smaller business with for over seven years, she went on to win a contract of £1.2m for an organisation whose average sale was £37,000 and then another for £1.6m. She then moved on to win £3.2m contract for an organisation who’s total sales were £7.8m.
Aen has a highly strategic and very simple and straightforward approach to developing high-value business relationships and is now coaching professional individuals and organisations who are serious about stepping up their game into developing individual client relationships and contracts of £1million+
Makeup Artist | Founder Planted
Having always suffered from very dry skin, prone to eczema, psoriasis and chronic itching, I grew up obsessed with moisturising - on most days I would apply commercial products 3 times or more! I avoided the steroid-laden creams that the doctors prescribed, but was unaware of the toxicity I was absorbing from mass produced skincare. Unsurprisingly my skin worsened and, out of sheer desperation, I tried olive oil. Finally long lasting moisturisation and comfort. This marked the beginning of my love affair with plant oils.
Alongside this, being exposed to many products in my career as a Makeup Artist and Beauty Consultant only intensified my strong disapproval of the fraudulent nature of the Beauty industry. Misinformation is rife, and the more I learned about cosmetic ingredients, the more I realised the extent to which harmful chemicals are found in our everyday products - whether high end or mainstream brands, even including baby products! Only a very small number of 100% natural products are available, some of which still include toxic ingredients posing as naturally-derived ones (such as grapefruit seed extract).
After years of research and practice blending oils, I have not only learned about the specific benefits of each oil, but also mastered which combinations work best. Over time, my blending of oils evolved into the formulation of water-based facial skincare products. The results were so significant that I just couldn't keep it a secret, and with a loyal following from family and friends, I eventually decided to bring my products to market. After a year of refining my formulas, Planted was born in my kitchen in Wokingham, Berkshire, in 2016.
Gero Cacciatore. (Torino 1974). Fotografo. Lavora a progetti indipendenti di lungo termine tra fotografia d’arte e documentaria con una speciale attenzione alle tematiche sociali dei paesi dell’Africa subsahariana e del Medio Oriente. I suoi reportage di viaggio in motocicletta “da Milano alla Lapponia e l’Islanda” e “da Torino a Teheran attraverso il Kurdistan” sono stati pubblicati in Italia (Riders, In Moto) in Germania (The Weekender) e in Gran Bretagna (Overland Magazine). Le foto realizzate durante questi viaggi insieme a quelle di vita quotidiana sono parte di un progetto a lungo termine chiamato “Recordings”: una ricerca sul processo fotografico e la memoria. E’ stato commissionato da StMicroelectronics per documentare i processi di produzione in diversi siti in Europa, Nord Africa, India, Far East e Usa. In Noida (New Delhi) e Singapore ha collaborato con la ST Foundation realizzando un reportage sulle possibilità delle classi non privilegiate di accedere all’educazione pubblica. Come fotografo di still-life ha collaborato con numerosi giornali tra cui Velvet (La Repubblica), Io Donna (Corriere della Sera), Panorama e Elle Italia, e scattato immagini per campagne pubblicitarie e cataloghi per brands di moda come Tod’s, Hogan, Borsalino, Stone-Island, Fay, e dell’ hi-tech come STMicroelectronics e Alcatel. Vive a Berlino.
Gero Cacciatore (b.1974 Torino), is an italian photographer who works on a long term photographic project called "Recordings” about he city of Berlin. As a still-life photographer he has collaborated with a variety of fashion magazines such as Velvet (la Repubblica), Io Donna (Corriere della Sera), First (Panorama) and Elle Italia among others. He has captured photographic images for catalogues and advertising campaigns for fashion brands and for hi-tech companies. Pictures of his project “Cinema du Sahel” about cinema fascination in Burkina Faso, shooted in collaboration with Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development and Un Agency for Migration were published by “De Standaard” in Belgium. Gero is a passionate biker and traveller. His last solo motorbike travel reportage from Italy to Iran has been published in Italy (Riders, In Moto), Germany (The Weekender) and England (Overland Magazine). The photographs taken during his journeys as well as ordinary life in the cities are part of a long term on going project called “Do not remove the dust”. Gero lives and works in Berlin.
Ingrid Taro is a photographer specializing in architectural design, graduated in Genova and completed her studies in NYC, with one year of general studies in photography at the International Center of Photography.
In 2004, she started her career working in various environments, such as: photographer and architect, she has worked as a freelance designer for different magazines and private brands, living between New York and Europe.
Beatrice Rehema Katite
Beatrice Rehema Mlaa Katite is an upcoming author who is in the process of writing her debut book "Tony and his Big Fish". She is also the founder of Bernd with Rehema Foundation, aiming to provide affordable schooling and healthcare in Kenya.
Born and raised in Kenya along the Kenyan Coast, she holds a Diploma in Business Management (Graduate), and is also an Associate Member of the Association of Business Executives (AMABE), UK.
Beatrice Rehema has been working as a legal PA with Kamoti Omollo and Company Advocates for more than ten years. Being in the legal sector her desire is always to see justice delivered to the people she is serving. She always believes in Equity, for he who comes to Equity must come with clean hands.
Having had to fight for her late husband’s wish to Rest In Peace in Kenya, Rehema discovered writing as a way of healing the wound which she was nursing.
Sandy is a multi-faceted Creative, a Sensitive and an Energy Alchemist with nearly 40 years of experience in weaving her innate Creativity with the Ancient Healing Arts in different ways to awaken, heal and open hearts.
Her journey has taken her through 20 years as a Couture Wedding Dress Designer in the 80’s and 90’s creating unique and beautiful clothing for clients. Her work seen on many catwalks in stunning locations, in exhibitions and featured in major publications… To turning to her attention to Interior Design in 2000 and the concept of healing space and the home being a Sacred Sanctuary for the Soul. For this work she was a finalist in Design Awards in London in 2003.
Sandy’s fascination with spaces continued with the exploration of a deeper understand of the psychology of home. This took her to hundreds of client consultations throughout Europe, UK and into East Coast USA as a House Whisperer, reading spaces energetically and clearing and healing the past stories to reveal the true heart of home for her clients. Sandy was involved in a tv pilot for this work and also appeared on Chanel 5 tv.
2010 saw another opening in her journey as she walked through the Rose gardens at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain with her favourite camera. The Roses called her with whispered messages and from there the Rose Alchemy and the Rose Oracle for the Heart was birthed. The 1st edition was published in 2014 and launch with a presentation at the UN in New York on the Rose and the path of Peace. The expanded 2nd edition was published 2019. Each of the Roses carries a frequency and a channelled message of Love and the Rose Oracle has now gone around the world touching and healing hearts.
Her life’s work weaves the stories of Women, the Feminine and Ancient Wisdom through the past into present time… to find self-love, a true voice and sense of authentic empowerment.
Currently Sandy is immersed in another creative adventure, birthing a book that speaks to this Rose Heart journey and the transformational energies of this time. I am based in the New Forest, Hampshire, England.
As a working-class lad from South Yorkshire, England, how could I ever have imagined that one day I would own a house in Italy. I knew the distinctive shape of Italy from primary school, a rhyme became etched into my brain: Big boot Italy kicked poor Sicily right into the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Italy was a distant place, the land where the Romans came from.
My childhood of black and white television presented images of the Colosseum in Rome, with police car chases and strange sounding sirens. Then, in colour, the film Ben-Hur, its climax being the chariot race and the blood covered body of the hero’s enemy. The spaghetti harvest hoax, at the time believed by many in the UK. From Roman Holiday to the Italian Job, Italy was an adventure. A land of pleasure, sunshine, song, blue sea and romance. Not forgetting the darker, mysterious face of Italy – the Mafia.
And now I have a house in this Mediterranean country. Me, a house in Italy. A house purchased with nothing more than phrasebook Italian. The more time you spend in Italy, the more it becomes a passionate love affair. It’s enticing, a gorgeously complex creature that won’t let you walk away. At times it frustrates you, even infuriates you, yet you still want more. This is Italy – ITALIA!
After a professional life in education, Graham now lives as a Brexit refugee in the rolling hills of Umbria.
Artist | Writer
Ingrid Christensen is a serial chameleon who believes life is a fluid experience. Our paths are not set in stone, they are changeable like seasons or as water finds its own course through time. Dreams do not define us but allow us to change course, to grow, to develop internally and externally. Ingrid defies the constructs of societal norms by listening to her intuition.
As a result, Ingrid has worked in manufacturing, logistics, corporate and luxury enterprises following what makes her happy, evolving through distinct experiences and knowledge. Currently joining us from Italy, Ingrid has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Canterbury. Working in factories, rehabilitation, counselling, government consulting and as a chef for high-net-worth families on private yachts her experience and understanding of people is truly diverse.
Her experience is reflected in her ability to relate easily to others, their experiences and helping others to work towards their dreams. She also has the ability to communicate across cultures having worked across the globe. The Live Your DreamLife Today Interview Series began on the 10th June 2020 in response to a growing desire in our communities to become independent from traditional income streams.
With more people desiring a greater balance in their lives and more control over their futures, Ingrid saw a gap in the knowledge field as to how to make it happen. Fast forward to today, she is inspired to help you become your best self. To live the life you love, to live your very own dreamlifetoday.
Moctar Datt is a SUFI healer with a deep passion for sharing the most up to date tools that promote balance in the mind, body and spirit. He was born and raised in Senegal (West Africa) from a multi-generation family of Sufi healers and came to the US to pursue his graduate studies in Mathematics. Upon completing a Master’s in Applied Mathematics at Long Beach, he was accepted to begin a doctoral program in Biostatistics at UCLA. While working on his PHD dissertation on the Data Science of Gene expression, he began to experience awakening symptoms and decided to take a leave of absence from his doctoral studies at UCLA and move to Chicago to work as a Data Science consultant at SPSS (IBM). While living in Chicago, he embarked on a Sufi path for self-realization and underwent a spiritual awakening. His awakening led him to learn the cultivation of energy flow and to investigate various herbal regiments along with the importance of a balanced nutrition to support his spiritual practice.
He learned to observe that his presence around the sick promoted a sudden decrease in their symptoms, and that while speaking to people who were experiencing discomfort and stress, they began to experience a sudden surge in their energy levels and a drastic reduction of their pains. In 2016 he founded R’monie wellness and began to manufacture potent herbal and nutritional supplements to assist his clients. The supplements have successfully assisted clients with chronic illness ranging from diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, nerve pain, insomnia, depression, to name a few.
Today Moctar’s healing gift has made it possible for him to provide relief to patients who have suffered with chronic pains for years and have lost faith in modern medicine. A recent client with Brain tumor who is undergoing chemotherapy and another one with blood cancer, reported significant improvements in their chemo related side effects. He channels energy to clients all over the world and most clients report experiencing quick relief and a sense of calming effect in their mind and body.
Aside from channeling healing energies, Moctar is looking to leverage his gift to contribute to universal consciousness leveraging his deep technology consulting background and Data science. One of his goals is to help co-develop apps that will measure spiritual awareness and heart intelligence, and how it affects health, vitality and overall well-being. Moctar has also developed “Energy flow” solutions that are designed to provide employees tools for an increased mental and heart resilience for higher performance.
Today Moctar is partnering with Cancer Specialists in Senegal to offer palliative care to their patients. He also assists cancer patients and their families by offering holistic approaches to soothe their pain and suffering_ Moctar has also initiated a research protocol aimed at using machine learning to provide
scientific validations of his healing approach. The research is supervised by a team of doctors at the department of research and innovation in Senegal.
Author | Founder Rhetorik
I live in Cardiff, Wales. The city is diverse, well balanced and exciting. I love it here. My debut novel is based in Cardiff. Impeccable is an offbeat crime thriller that merges Cardiff student life with a dark and exciting crime narrative.
My writing is fast paced and vivid. Thought provoking and socio-political. Expect excitement and intrigue and an original voice. If you’re looking for commercial genre fiction, my writing is probably not for you. If you want real life issues intricately woven into fiction in a way that makes you fall in love with the words and every now and then a twist that hits you hard on the chin . . .
My writing is enriched by MA Creative Writing and BA in English Literature & Philosophy. I studied at Cardiff University.
Jimmi is Founder of Rhetorik, an ethical street-ware art clothing brand which uses sustainable farming and production techniques to help save both people and the planet, as well as helping them look awesome.
Dr Max Blumberg loves helping people to achieve their full potential. He started his career as a professional musician and quickly learned that his real talent was spotting it in others to which end he helped to launch the careers of many talented individuals.
Today as a Chartered Psychologist, academic and entrepreneur, Max continues this work but now looks for art beyond its traditional venues including sport, business and even politics.
He is delighted to be part of (sm)art festival 21 and looks forward to interacting with as many artists as possible.
in smart association with