Water dances through Bristol.

The city was built on the confluence of rivers – where the Avon and the Frome meet and begin their rush towards the sea. Smaller streams flow through each neighbourhood, often unseen in channels hidden by concrete.

Bristol is a place of change, with new ideas washing in and through – often very fast.

In a city that is constantly evolving, how do we find a moment to pause and reflect on this place? How do we make a little space for listening, for dreaming? What are the stories we can tell each other of what it’s like to live here, or to have lived here, or to imagine living here in the future?

Confluence (Part 1)

For the first phase of Confluence in late 2023 saw four exceptional artists – Asmaa Jama, Verity Standen, Travis Alabanza and Ryan Convery-Moroney – navigate the evolving currents of Bristol and develop new ideas that reflect on this fascinating city.

At the beginning of December 2023, we shared what emerged from these explorations. Myth-making met romance met counter-culture met shopping. Combining film, performance, photography and installation, this weekend event invited audience to delve into the personal experiences of people who call Bristol home, and to leave their mark on a collective vision for our city’s future.

Confluence (Part 1) was a production by MAYK, commissioned by Ginkgo Projects for The Glassworks with the support of Fresh.

Confluence (Part 2)

Bringing together brilliant artists and thinkers into a programme of work that will unfold over the next twelve months, this next phase of Confluence will see us continuing to explore the unheard and unseen in our changing city. Confluence will invite you to engage in person and online as we open up the project at key moments throughout the year.

And it all starts at Mayfest 2024, where children run wild in urban forests, an arch made of ice helps us think about the systems we imagine, build, and come to rely on, and where we open up a conversation about how art can help us navigate a changing c0ity.

Confluence (Part 1) was a production by MAYK, commissioned by Ginkgo Projects for Redcliffe Quarter with the support of Grainger Plc.


A Song for the Slippages

I am thinking about converging tales in the city. I am exploring slippages, and glitches in the built environment. Rooting this tale in Stapleton Road, in a soundscape and performance, I am exploring the idea of a hidden or parallel world and the stories communities have carried with them. Using the magic realism of urban myths, this tale will reveal how porous our worlds are.

Asmaa is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and filmmaker based in Bristol. Their solo exhibition Except this time nothing returns from the ashes, made in collaboration with Gouled Ahmed, was presented at Spike Island, Bristol in 2023.

Jama's first film work Before We Disappear (2021), was an interactive moving image piece commissioned by BBC Arts, followed by The Season of Burning Things (2021), also made in collaboration with Ahmed, was commissioned by  the Bristol Old Vic (2021).

Their work has also been presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in collaboration with the Goethe Institute and Theatre Neumarkt’s 100 Ways to Say We Programme (2021), and was the official selection at Blackstar Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival and Sharjah Film Platform 5 (2022).

Jama’s writing has been commissioned by Jerwood Arts, Hayward Gallery, Arnolfini and Ifa Gallery, Berlin. Their written works have been published in places like The Poetry Review, Nataal and Magma. In theatre, they have written for, and are performing in, Dorothee Munyaneza’s Mailles, and have written for Radouan Mrziga’s Akal. They were a Film London FLAMIN fellow (2022); a resident artist at Somerset House Studios and a Barbican Young Poet.


Since We Last Kissed.

I grew up in Bristol. Hillfields to be exact. A forgotten estate on the outskirts of the city. I discovered so many new parts of Bristol at the same time as discovering my queerness. New partners, serious ones or serious one-night-stands, would lead me to new alley ways, or clubs or parks. When I recently moved back to Bristol, it felt like everything had changed, and also had stayed the same. It felt so familiar yet distant. So, I reached out to some people I have kissed, and we recreated that kiss at a spot of Bristol we cared about, and I asked them: “how has Bristol changed since we last kissed?”

Travis is an award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker. Born in Bristol and recently relocating back to the city, Alabanza is fascinated by how the city is changing and about the things that will never change. Whether creating theatre, live art, or poetry, the performer’s work shows those with marginalised identities deserve to be both seen and heard.

Alabanza’s writing has appeared in the BBC, Guardian, Vice, Gal-Dem, in numerous anthologies including Black and Gay In the UK, and previously had a fortnightly column in the Metro. After being the youngest recipient of the artist in residence programme at Tate Galleries, Alabanza’s debut show Burgerz toured internationally to venues including The Southbank Centre, London, UK; Mostra Internacional de Teatro de São Paulo, Brazil; HAU Berlin, Germany; and the Edinburgh Fringe where the show won the Total Theatre award (2019).

In 2020, their theatre show Overflow debuted at the Bush Theatre to widespread acclaim and later streamed online in over 22 countries, and most recently their new show Sound of the Underground was staged by the Royal Court in London (2022). Their work surrounding gender, trans identity and race has been noted internationally, including talks given at the University of Oxford; Harvard University; and the University of Bristol. Noted for their distinct voice, in 2019 the Evening Standard listed them as one of “the 25 most influential under 25-year-olds”; as well as being listed in the Dazed100; The Guardian asking if ‘they are the future of theatre’, and recently listed in the Forbes “30 Under 30” List.