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International Women’s Day 2022 at KWMC

Knowle West Media Centre is a women-founded (and led) Bristol organisation. We have worked with many inspirational women to champion, celebrate and support the role of women in creative practice, business and community.

Aside from the events we are hosting on the 9th of March for #InternationalWomensDay2022, we wanted to take some time to look at a few, more recent, members of the KWMC family who identify as women.

We began our Knowle West journey 25 years ago and wanted to show that after all that time, women are still a driving force in the things we are accomplishing in the Knowle West area and beyond.

First, a word from our CEO and co-founder, Carolyn…

“I remember buying a professional camera in my younger days and the salesperson directing all technical info to my totally bemused male friend, and deferring to him to make the decision about which model I might buy…

This was an experience often repeated in meetings, on panels and at events at every level. 

So, as I look back over the many years of my work at Knowle West Media I feel hope that things are changing for the better, because I see younger confident women able to express themselves, who will call out discrimination, injustice, and any attempt to undermine them because of their gender. 

The world needs confident, inspiring young women more than ever”

– Carolyn Hassan

The story of KWMC originated from Carolyn’s journey as a photographer, where she was in residence with a local community organisation, looking at the relationship between arts and wellbeing, and the role that media arts can play in communities.

We would like to use the opportunity of International Women’s Day to shed light on some recent starters who are already playing a vital role at KWMC and in the community…

Ties Benguedda: Creative Project Manager at KWMC The Factory

Ties is relatively new to the KWMC. She is an internationally experienced multicultural and multilingual project manager with a passion for creativity, adventure and business. For the last fourteen years, she has been freelance – setting up a collective of small enterprises. From there she moved on to training and coaching hundreds of students on Employability & Enterprise skills for the University of Exeter before joining KWMC to help encourage creatives turn their ideas into a business.

“The fact that KWMC is a women-led and women founded organisations leaves me feeling empowered and inspired”

– Ties

Reflecting on her time here so far, she feels she has learned so much already in a very short amount of time and that every day is a different experience.

Claire Innes: Design and Engagement Assistant for We Can Make

After finishing her undergrad in Architecture, Claire pitched for a role at the WeCanMake project in October 2020. Since then, Claire’s job has evolved greatly and has covered a whole range of responsibilities relation to housing production and community engagement.

There’s no one way for a woman to be and I feel like that’s really advocated for here in the way that our differences are accommodated for and accepted.

– Claire

Claire has been playing a huge part in the constructions that are seeing local residents Bill and Toni get the housing they need, as well as communicating directly with members of the community, especially in regards to the housing of local people.

Megan Ballin: Project Coordinator for Jump Studios

Coming from a background in photography, videography and youth work, Megan has recently becoming the project coordinator for the young people’s programme Jump Studios team at KWMC. Her role directly involves supporting young women to express imaginative ideas, learn new skills sand build self-confidence.

Megan has recently been working on the Future Legacy Project, an exciting creative programme supporting young women to make a difference in the world by creating their own digital social action project. She has been running specific sessions on mental health and photography to “encourage young women to feel confident around self-awareness and to explore different perspectives in the complex world we live in.”

“Working at KWMC is unbelievably empowering. [Knowle West Media] allows me to focus on my own authentic passions and translate them to young people with integrity and care to empower women in younger generations.”

– Megan

We look forward to welcoming more women to KWMC in many more years to come and playing a part in a #WomenSupportingWomen movement.

If you are interested in attending any of the events being run by KWMC The Factory on the 9th of March, please head over to the event page to find out more about the online inspire talk and the open day.

Change Creators in Barcelona

The Change Creators spent some time in Barcelona from 10th – 13th April, with two full days of workshops in the Barcelona Fab Lab, which is part of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

On Monday the group received a talk from Guillem Camporodon on the development of computers. He took the Change Creators through their history and how the demand for them has increased so rapidly, sharing a 1958 quote from Thomas John Watson: “I think there is a world market for about five computers”. Guillem also explained the development of 3D printers and how they are being used all around the world. The group had a full tour of the building and an up close and personal look at 3D printers.

The Change Creators then spoke to Mara Balestrini, Director of Research for Ideas for Change, who has been collaborating with KWMC to develop The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing (which the Change Creators are part of). Mara spoke to the group about connecting people with sensor technology, the challenges involved and what to think about when encouraging citizens to use sensors. She gave examples of projects that had failed and flourished, giving a detailed explanation as to why.

The afternoon was spent exploring Arduinos with Guillem Camporodon and he also introduced the Change Creators to the ‘smart citizen’ kits. In pairs the group set up the kits around the Fab Lab, both inside and outside, ready to collect data for them to visualise the next day.

The next morning the group sat down with Guillem and Mara to present their ideas for using sensor technology within their campaigns: reducing food waste and diversifying mental health support services for young people. Mara and Guillem challenged some of the ideas, encouraging the Change Creators to reflect further, and offered their expertise, gained through similar projects and experience.

In the afternoon the group were ready to input the data, collected the previous night, into Adobe Illustrator and visualise it using a laser cutter. They decided what they wanted to visualise, with Chelsea and Yelena focusing on comparing the CO2 levels in Santiago and Barcelona. Through this exercise, the Change Creators got a first-hand experience of how sensors can enable you to be creative with the data they gather.

The two days were successful in helping the Change Creators understand sensors and data visualisation:

“I didn’t know it could be so creative” – Chelsea
“I’ve learned so much in a great, fun engaging way”- Charlie
“I’ve learned so much, I’ve got so many ideas about what I can do for my project” – Yelena
“It’s been really hands-on. We’ve been talking about these concepts for so long and seeing them in action has been really valuable” – Andrea


Meet a Change Creator: Mason

Name: Mason Scott Robinson
Campaign: Food Waste

change creators_everyone7What made you apply to be a Change Creator? I applied to the change creator programme to build my leadership skills. I felt as though I had begun to identify a need to challenge myself in order to progress.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators? I work as a volunteer coordinator in the contemporary art gallery Arnolfini. I have a background in theatre and digital art. My main passion is writing for screen and I am currently working towards applying for a masters in screenplay writing/directing.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about? The thing that excites me most about the programme is the support in developing my leadership skills, working both with a large group as well as improving my ability to effectively manage my own time and to work on self lead projects.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme? By the end of the programme I would like to be much more effective at working autonomously as well as feeling more confident in my ability to complete my own projects, leading a team of people from conceptions through to execution.

Meet a Change Creator: Ella

Name: Gabriella Harriet Neal
Age: 19
Campaign: Mental HealthELLA

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
I have so much passion when it comes to injustice within social and political issues. I wanted to use my creative thinking and express that through working with new technology and creating social change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I have recently left formal education and have been on a path of discovering my own voice since moving to Bristol. I work as a radio presenter for Ujima radio on a youth show. We discuss the current trials and tribulations of our generation. I also made a zine with ten other young creatives on the ‘Human Experience’ which opened up many doors to me expressing my opinion. I am a huge advocate for creating! I work on personal projects of my own artwork (mainly painting, drawing and poetry) and I also just love to learn, which explains my obsession with documentaries and books.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
Every moment of it, each week there is a different challenge which has improved my skills as a person. To work with such inspiring, creative, interesting people and to also be taught and learn from such a huge range of aspirational human beings – I honestly have never felt so motivated to make a change in my whole life. The whole experience is just getting better.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
I want to continue making a change with social issues, working on campaigns as an activist. My dream is to make my own documentaries about current affairs of corruption! I want to change the world and keep dreaming big!

Twitter  @GabriellaNll

Meet a Change Creator: Chelsea

Name :Chelsea
Campaign: Mental Health

What made you apply to become a Change Creator?
I don’t believe one person can change the world but I think you can always get others to help you make a change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I draw and paint a lot. I try to help others through my art. I also help young people and talk to them about issues they may have.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about?
I am really excited about getting to meet contacts abroad and to find out what they can offer that could help our campaign.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the campaign?
At the end of the programme I’d like to be able to open my own art shop where individuals or groups of people can come and be creative and have someone to talk to if they have issues and where people can be themselves.

Twitter @Chels_cormack

Meet a Change Creator: Charlie

Name: Charlie SkinnerCHARLIE
Age: 21
Campaign: Food Waste

What made you apply to be a Change Creator ?
I have a passion to make a positive change through creativity. I want to learn the skills to develop a career in film and also be able to make a positive impact.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
In my spare time I’m a filmmaker and I write music. I also spend time campaigning with the National Union of Students Wales on issues that affect students.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
My favourite part of Change Creators so far is getting to work in a team to develop project ideas. I’m passionate about making change and being able to work on developing ideas has been great.

What do you want to achieve through your campaign?
The Food Waste campaign is a very interesting campaign and I’m excited for the fun and innovative ways we are going to help Bristol households reduce their food waste. Hopefully our campaign can help people save money, but will also have a positive impact on the environment.

Twitter @CharlieWooooo

Change Creators: Week Six

On Monday 4th April the Change Creators made their way to Bristol Robotics Laboratory to meet with Ali and Sam from Altitude Tech and present their ideas about the kind of sensor technology they’d like to use in their campaigns. As both groups have moved further in their planning, some of their ideas have recently changed. Monday’s meeting was a chance for the Change Creators to speak to Ali and Sam, who have been sharing their expertise with the groups over the past few weeks, and make some decisions about how they will use sensors as part of their campaigns.

Andreea, Chelsea and Yelena, from the mental health group, proposed three ideas for using sensors to collect data about how alternative therapies might help young people, in comparison to the current, most used methods. They also revealed the name of their mental health campaign, ‘itsok;’ to the rest of the group.

The food waste group, Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason, want to collect data from homes about how much food waste is created and why. They have some ideas about how they would like to do this but haven’t come to a decision about which method would work best.

After initial feedback from Sam and Ali both groups worked together to develop new ideas. The meeting was a great success as both groups now have a better idea of what’s possible. Over the next few weeks they’ll be conducting more research in order to come to a final decision on what sensor technology they will create to use within their social change campaigns.



Meet a Change Creator: Emma

Name: Emma Nicol
Age: 22
Campaign: Food Waste


What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
I applied to be a Change Creator because I wanted to work with a group of people who have the same passion to create social change as I do. I’m particularly passionate about the environment and wanted to learn about how we can use sensor technology to inspire people to change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I’m currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Illustration at Bristol UWE which takes up most of my time. I love to make work about environmental issues or scientific facts as I feel that art is a great way to communicate the information to a wide audience. I volunteer with Arnolfini and have a part time job. When I have free time I like to travel, see live music and go to art galleries or museums.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
My favourite part has been meeting people who are doing things already to try and create social change, it’s inspiring to see what other people are doing. It’s been great to work in a team of people in my age group who are passionate about social change.

What do you want to achieve through your campaign?
It would be great to see our campaign have an impact firstly in Bristol and then maybe further afield. Food waste is something that we can all help reduce.

Check out Emma’s blog to see her work.

Twitter @emmasnicol


Meet a Change Creator: Yelena

Name: Yelena Gregg Weekes
Age: 19
Campaign: Mental Health                                      YELENA

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
Change Creators is a golden opportunity. I felt it would give me a confidence boost in my self and my creative work. It’s a chance to meet like minded people who are committed and passionate about social and environmental change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I am a part-time nanny, and I love working with kids. I volunteer at BCFM Radio on the Bristol Music Show every Monday. I film music sessions, gigs and events freelance. I write articles for online magazines. I work at Glastonbury and other festivals, I play the guitar and I adore music, film and travelling.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about?
I’m excited to gain better skills and understanding in leadership, sensor technology and working collaboratively with a bunch of young creative people on a project I feel so passionately about.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
I see myself having consolidated the skills I would have gained over the programme and found new friends and contacts. I will have contributed to the campaign to the best of my ability and will be looking forward to the future with confidence and achievement!

Twitter @Yelena_Eve

Change Creators: Week Four

The Change Creators met up at Arnolfini on Monday 21st March for a workshop on Practical Project Management, lead by Mena Fombo, KWMC’S Young People’s Programme Manager. Mena introduced different ways to manage time, budget and job roles productively, which the Change Creators could put into practice in delivering their social change campaigns. The evening was also another opportunity for the groups to get together and continue their project planning.

Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason, who are focusing on food waste, are rethinking their current ideas. They questioned some of their existing ideas about using sensors and are changing their approach. There is still more research and discussion to be had but the group have a plan in place and now have a better idea of what needs to happen next.

Andreea and Ella, who are campaigning to diversify the services that are offered to young people experiencing mental health issues, came up with a range of ideas to help raise awareness of the campaign. They also came up with some creative ways of conducting research that they can then use as part of the campaign. They now have a set plan that they can work from and share with the rest of their group.

Mena Fombo commented “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Practical Project Management is key and I think the team now know that too”

With so much discussion and planning taking place, the evening was really successful for both groups and they are both moving forward with their campaign development.


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Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
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+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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