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Dazed x Circa Class of 2021

Meet the Circa x Dazed Class of 2021 filmmakers

The 30 finalists will get free studio access at Dazed Space and have their work displayed on the iconic London screen, with one finalist selected by Marina Abramović to win the #CIRCAECONOMY £30k cash prize

In May, Dazed teamed up with digital arts platform Circa to launch the Class of 2021 – a brand new initiative which invited young video artists from around the world to submit a two-and-a-half minute short film in response to the theme ‘Communion’, as set by interdisciplinary artist Angel Rose.

One lucky finalist, chosen by performance artist Marina Abramović, will receive the #CIRCAECONOMY cash prize of £30k to help kick off their careers. Accordingly, the pot of money was generated through sales of CIRCA artists’ prints, including work by Patti Smith, Ai Weiwei, and David Hockney – with hopes of bringing the profits back to empower and support the winning finalist.

After receiving 2,000 applications, 700 submitted artworks, and over 30 hours of video footage, 30 emerging artists have been selected to make up the acclaimed Class of 2021.

The selected finalists are made up of Czech photographer and videographer Mojmir Bures; London-based Ben Cullen Williams, who works on understanding our changing relationship to the material world; British-Zambian Athena Vlachos, who is telling Zambian stories through film; Josh Spindler, who recently made the film Margaret Gallagher is Real (5g); Colombian filmmaker Nicolas Barrera, who explores contradictions of our capitalist society; Russian-based video artist, painter, and performance practitioner, Ksenia Ili; Ed Carr, artist and founder of Northern Sustainable Darkroom; Singaporean artist, Bart Seng Weng Long; experimental Polish documenting subjects over individuals, Ewelina Węgiel; and Korean performance and video artist, Seulgi Kang

The Class of 2021 also includes Rhea Storr, who explores representation of Black and mixed-race cultures; Zongbo Jiang, who created environmental film Dilemmas For Earthlings; Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, who documents the lives of Black Trans people; London-based artist duo, Michael and Chiyan Ho; Romanian architect and filmmaker, Flavian Berar; US-based circus-inspired artist, Brin Schoellkopf; Norwegian artist Hogan Schia, who worked on Framfortid (2021) and Ut av Naturen (2021); Brazilian digital artist, Gabriel Massan; French-Egyptian artist, musician, and analogue photographer, Susu Laroche; and New York-based performance artist and sculptor, Miles Greenberg

Additionally, it features Christina Anagnostou, who created the work “I looked at myself and myself stared back at me”; Diane Cescutti, who explores weaving through her art; Hoa Dung Clerget, who hosted exhibition “Grown Up” at London’s Holland Park Church; British filmmaker Lucy Loader; former animator Wes Viz, who explores how technology shapes our identities; Joseph Wilson, who created the documentary Drag Is My Ecstasy (2014); Mexican fashion designer and cultural historian, Carla Fernández; South London-based photographer and filmmaker, Alfie White; Ning Zhou, who made the film Addikted (2020); and Heliena Hagos, who explores global counter-cultures through her animations.

Celebrating the finalists best-in-class talent, the 30 filmmakers will join the Circa public art program, and each will see their work displayed on London’s Piccadilly Lights, Seoul’s Coex K-Pop Square, and at Tokyo’s Yunika Vision – taking over the screens for the 30 days of September. Besides, each winner will be granted access to the Dazed Space, a new multimedia studio complex in London. 

A jury featuring some of the world’s most important creative leaders across art, design, film, photography, music, fashion, and culture will deliberate – including Cauleen Smith, Jefferson Hack, Frank Lebon, Hugo Comte, Simone Rocha, Norman Rosenthal, Dexter Navy, Ib Kamara, Priya Ahluwalia, and Caleb Femi.

The winner will be chosen on October 14 during Frieze Art Fair in London, and will be presented with an award personally-crafted by artist Jermaine Gallacher

All films from the Dazed x Circa Class of 2021 will be available from September 1 via the Circa YouTube channel.

The CIRCA x Dazed Class of 2021 was co-created by CIRCA and Dazed to spotlight and support the next generation of artists working in moving-image. With public art spaces diminishing, investment in arts education being cut and artist communities at risk, the joint initiative aims to empower youth through creativity and platform new voices and points of view from local communities on a global level, giving them unrivalled media exposure and access to CIRCA and Dazed’s combined networks.

With special thanks to the CIRCA x Dazed Class of 2021 jury:

Ahmad Swaid, Head of Content at Dazed Media; Alexander Fury, Fashion Features Director, AnOther; Angel Rose, Visual Artist and Lecturer; Antonia Marsh, Director at Soft Opening Gallery; Bafic, Artist and Director; Caius Pawson, Founder Young, Director XL Recordings; Caleb Femi, Writer, Director; Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive of Creative Industries Federation; Cassie Beadle, Curator, Cob Gallery; Cauleen Smith, Filmmaker and Interdisciplinary Artist; Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director, Acute Art; Derek Manns, Commercial Media Director, Landsec; Dexter Navy, Filmmaker and Photographer; Ellie Grace Cumming, Fashion Director, AnOther; Ellie Pennick, Director and Founder, Guts Gallery; Ferdinando Verderi, Creative Director, Vogue Italia; Frank Lebon, Artist; Gareth Wrighton, Art Director, Dazed; Greg Hilty Curatorial Director, Lisson; Greta Hewison, Film London Jarman Award; Hannah Barry, Director, Bold Tendencies & Hannah Barry Gallery; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries; Holly Blakey, Choreographer; Hugo Comte, Image Maker; Ib Kamara, Editor-in-Chief, Dazed; Ivan Blackstock, Multidisciplinary Artist; Jefferson Hack, Co-Founder, Dazed; Jenn Nkiru, Artist and Director; Jess Kohl, Filmmaker; Jordan Hemingway, Photographer, Director and Cinematographer; Josef O'Connor, Founder, CIRCA,  Julia Peyton Jones, Senior Global Director: Special Projects, Thaddaeus Ropac; Julianknxx, Artist; Katie Metcalfe, Video Commissioner, Nowness; Katie Shillingford, Fashion Director, AnOther; Kay Pallister, Curator, Gagosian;  Lawrence Lek, Artist; Leonn Ward, Director; Lulu Kennedy, Founder and Director of Fashion East; Lynette Nylander, Executive Editorial Director; Marc Macdonald, Communications Executive, Dazed Media; Norman Rosenthal, Art Curator and Writer; Priya Ahluwalia, Designer; Rafael Pavarotti, Photographer and Director; Rhea Dillon, Artist; Ruth Waters, Studio & Editions Manager, CIRCA; Sabine Getty, Editor-at-Large, Tatler; Sean Bidder, Creative Director, The Vinyl Factory; Sharna Osborne, Photographer/Director; Simone Rocha, Fashion Designer; Sophie McElligott, Head of Communications, Dazed Media; Susannah Frankel, Editor-in-Chief, AnOther; Tony Tremlett, Digital Curator, CIRCA; and Yinka Ilori, Artist & Designer