The British Council and the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University are seeking African Artists looking to gain further experience in digital arts during an exciting residency. The purpose of the residency is to create opportunities for collaboration between selected artists from countries in Africa as well as the UK, connecting them to industry partners and offering training and skills development courses.

The residency will support two artists in the use of emerging technology in their practice. This pilot programme will work with SODA’s neighbours in Manchester – the local communities of Hulme and Moss Side – to facilitate strategic engagement with local communities through an international Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) program.

Theme – Future Storytelling

SODA specialises in using emerging technologies for arts and research with an interest in forms of Future Storytelling. 

The residency seeks to explore how, through an action-research approach, we can unlock futures for those currently underrepresented in the Creative Digital Industries. The residents will be expected to work directly with communities, putting technology into people’s hands and discovering how these tools can be used to share imagination and shape futures through creative practice.


We are looking for 15 young people aged 18-35 from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe who have experience in the areas listed below:

  • User Experience Design
  • Future Media Production
  • Games Design
  • Games Art
  • Animation
  • Filmmaking
  • Sound Design
  • Photography
  • Immersive Arts

The young people will work together on the development of content for a public-facing demonstrator and event. The residency, broken into four stages, will see the fifteen participants collaborate remotely to develop media with young UK creatives over two months. Thereafter, two participants will be selected to be part of the in-situ residency.

The successful participants will be hosted by MMU and Niamos in Manchester during their stay, which will culminate in an event that demonstrates the outcome of the residency. 

All costs relating to this project will be covered by SODA.



Stage 1: Online workshops

  • May: Residency period with 15 selected participants to develop a prototype for the proposal begins

Stage 2: Residency period with selected Fellowships to develop a prototype for proposal

  • June: 2 creatives selected to begin remote development period

Stage 3: Remote development of media and programme (African and UK participants)

  • July – August: 2-month remote development of the programme 

Stage 4: Demonstration and publicity

  • September: In situ residency 4 weeks with 2 creatives from Africa
  • October: Demonstrator/Event in MMU spaces


Application process

  • Submit a two-page (maximum) expression of interest highlighting why you are interested in this opportunity and include your CV.
  • A portfolio of previous work with relevant links, with handles to social media pages. Please ensure your portfolio is shared as a PDF document and is no more than 5MB in size.
  • Submit Expression of Interest and portfolio to  by no later than Friday 8 April 2022, midnight, GMT.



Activity Date
Launch public call-out for Artists 15 March 2022
Close call 8 April 2022
Selection of artists by British Council and SODA 8 April – 29 April 2022
Selected artists notified by email Week of 5 May 2022
Artists have ONE week to confirm acceptance Ending 13 May 2022
Group briefing with artists by SODA (link and time to be provided) 16 May 2022
Online residency begins 23 May 2022
Selection of two in situ resident artists 27 June 2022
Residency at SODA to begin 22 September 2022
End of residency and final event End of October 2022



The School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University is an ambitious £35m initiative that will prepare graduates for creating new experiences by combining skills in a range of emerging and overlapping technologies.