Fellows 2023 & 2024
Overcoming injustices: Our current Fellows
© William Andrew
In its Fellowship Program, Allianz Foundation supports inspiring risktakers addressing urgent challenges of our time in inventive and solution-oriented ways. Get to know our fellows here.
Fellows 2023 & 2024
© William Andrew
The Allianz Foundation Fellowship Program is aimed at people looking beyond the beaten path in the pursuit of new approaches to overcoming injustices. Whether in the context of their artistic work, their social engagement in civil society, their scholarly work – or at the intersection of these areas.
The Allianz Foundation usually funds the Fellows for a period of ten months. During their fellowship, they develop works of art, event formats, platforms, prototypes, new narratives and much more. The Fellows form a network across Europe that remains strong and grows beyond the support of individuals. Creative synergies emerge from the collaboration with other Allianz Foundation initiatives – like the Allianz Foundation Hubs.
The Fellows are partners with the Allianz Foundation in their efforts against nationalism and discrimination, for equal opportunities, open societies and an environment worth living in.
Ariam Tekle is an Eritrean-Italian producer and director born and raised in Milan. She is particularly concerned with social issues related to immigration, diaspora and transnationalism, as well as social integration. Ariam’s goals include reducing competition between marginalized groups, creating inclusive cultural events and emboldening networking spaces. As a producer of Blackcoffee_pdc and the Blackn[è]ss Fest, she is in active pursuit of these aims. Picture © Giulia Frigeri.
Arshak Makichyan, a climate and anti-war activist from Russia, born Armenian, has been an active co-organizer of Fridays for Future in Russia: ‘My current goal is to preserve the climate movement in Russia (…) a movement that can drive essential changes in environmental policy once Russia becomes free.’ When Arshak joined anti-war demonstrations in early 2022, the Russian government initiated proceedings against him and his family - resulting in his family’s citizenship being revoked and their deportation from the country in February 2023. Today, Arshak lives in exile in Germany and is also committed to the protection of the human rights of the indigenous people of Artsakh. Picture © Florian Koen.
Ashish Ghadiali, activist and author, has set out to promote sustainable coexistence and change systemic inequalities that hinder the potential of our world. He states that it is imperative that ‘we (…) learn now how to participate sustainably in the life of the earth.’ This knowledge and corresponding behavior must be urgently established and passed on to future generations. Ashish is currently working on various book projects, writes for The Guardian newspaper and is active as director of Radical Ecology – an organization that is working across art, research, and policy to advance environmental transformation in response to the planetary crises of our time. Picture © Steven Haywood.
“My ultimate vision is to create a world where justice isn't just a word but a reality for all.”Magid Magid
The closure of detention centers in Libya, a stop to EU funding for the Libyan coast guard, and compliance with the Genève Refugee convention – these are just three of the demands made by David Yambio, co-founder and spokesman for the self-organized movement ‘Refugees in Libya’. The movement was born out of a need to voice the grave concerns of a large heterogeneous group of people residing in Libya who are being subjected to violence. Yambio’s advocacy also demands a global commission of inquiry into the deaths and discrimination of migrants at land borders and at sea. Picture © Eu Left.
Dr. Magda Szarota
Magda Szarota is a passionate civil society strategist, human rights advocate, and photographer. She is regarded as one of the pioneers of the movement for disabled women in post-socialist Poland. In the spirit of this important work, she has been co-organizing evacuations of Ukrainians with disabilities since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine. Dr. Szarota’s goal is to create research-based frameworks for transformative as well as accessible art and advocacy. Picture © Magda Szarota.
Magid Magid is a Somali-British activist, author, former EU Parliament member and former Mayor of Sheffield. Magid’s work in the past few years has revolved around climate justice, refugee rights and social justice. To empower people from marginalised backgrounds, Magid will build a toolkit and training programme for leaders on how to develop and engage in courageous leadership that results in lasting change. In doing so, he hopes to dismantle systemic barriers which perpetuate inequality. Picture © Tolga Akmen.
“When we play, others want to join - play gives us the much needed feeling that ‘we got this.’”Yana Buhrer Tavanier about the concept of Playtivism as a tool for social change
Paola Palavidi is a Greek artist, an experienced farmer, brewer and beekeeper and a knowledgeable amateur botanist. Paola lives and works on Tinos island of the Cyclades, where she focuses on the relationship between nature and culture, industry and science. Her interdisciplinary collaborations and community engagement methods result in space activations, open celebrations, low and high tech merging sustainable design objects, creative waste management experiments, online platforms and digital archives, as well as family workshops and educational activities. Picture © Hypercomf.
Yana Buhrer Tavanier
As a creative activist focused on playtivism, Yana Buhrer Tavanier, explores human rights innovation at the intersection of activism, art, technology, and science: 'When we play, others want to join; play gives us the much needed feeling that ‘we got this.’ Playtivism aims to inspire the global human rights community to embrace creative play as a powerful tool for social change – play, across disciplines, sparks better ideas, and can also reduce negative psychological effects in activists. Picture © Yana Lozeva.
“We should use art to reach people currently disaffected by current social systems”Love Ssega
Flora Mammana is a cultural activist working in the field of social and emancipatory transformations. This means experimenting with a plurality of ways of being together: 'My long-term goal is to activate the common land (Usi Civici) in our valley in a feminist and non-extractive way to prevent illegal privatization, for example through the further expansion of vine monocultures.' The Forno Vagabondo, one of Flora's projects - a mobile ‘social’ oven where baking bread becomes the setting for nurturing relationships and questioning our ways of living, eating and producing - also serves as a tool for activating and exploring the commons. Picture © Matteo PraMio.
Love Ssega is a British-Ugandan musician, producer and performing artist. Ssega’s environmentally-focused artistic work was shown at United Nations COP26 and featured by The New York Times for Climate Forward. For Love Ssega, art practice contains the potential to change society for the better, because art can simultaneously be powerful, political, emotive and compassionate. Through his artistic work, he wants to call for nothing less than the collective salvation of the planet and the building of a just future. Picture © Andy Paradiese.
Verdiana Albano is a German-Angolan artist who currently lives and works in Frankfurt as well as Hamburg. She specializes in photography and sculpture. The projects and talks she organizes and participates in advocate for transparency, diversity and openness within the art scene. Her primary aim is to bridge cultures and disciplines, that is also what echoes in her artwork. Furthermore, she aims to establish an Afro-European Artist network, that serves both the exchange within the artists community and with society through art. It is meant to actively counteract discriminatory structures as well as to work for a common society across borders. Picture © Verdiana Albano.
You have questions about our current Fellows? Please contact Alban.
Together with Feray Halil, Alban Genty develops formats for the Allianz Foundation Fellows Program and is also responsible for the Risktakers Fellowship. He also works with funding projects in the field of European civil society dealing among others with issues of rule of law, independent journalism, and tech.
Alban Genty © Marcel Wogram