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Art27 Scotland’s first engagement project is the Southside Collective. We define the Southside as the area of Edinburgh within fifteen minutes’ walking distance of our partner organisation the Southside Community Centre, an area made home by a vibrant international community. Art27 Scotland is working with the Management Committee and the Edinburgh City Council to reopen, encourage in new users and develop facilities to support current users.

The ongoing wars in the Middle East and the recent pandemic has heightened racism, with East and Southeast Asian communities often blamed and abused. During the lockdown, local Black Lives Matter posters were defaced and destroyed. The Southside Collective is our response to this heightened racism, bringing together artists and their communities in a bold practical declaration of “nae place for racism here”. Art27 Scotland’s role is to empower and encourage artists and their communities into a Collective, and for it to become a vibrant, democratic, local social movement that opposes racism by celebrating the many cultures of the Southside, enhancing the lives of all Southsiders.

Our Artists

Laleh Sherkat

Laleh Sherkat is an acclaimed Iranian photographer and former photo journalist.  She is renowned for being one of the first woman to document the Iran-Iraq war and the first to photograph female prisoners in Iran. She is a founding member of the Iranian Photography Society and has juried and curated many photography exhibitions and competitions in Iran and Scotland.

Find out more about Laleh's work

Shatha Altowai

Shatha has been creating art since 2014. She has presented at several art galleries in Yemen and beyond, and has won multiple awards for her art, including the John Byrne Award in April 2021. Much of Shatha’s work reflects aspects of life in her society, and the suffering caused by the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Through her figurative, cubist, and abstract paintings, Shatha seeks to shed light on issues such as Internally Displaced Persons.

Explore more of Shatha Altowai's work

Saber Bamatraf

Saber Bamatraf is a Yemeni pianist and music composer. He has been awarded an IIE-Artist Protection Fund (APF) Fellowship 2020-21 and is in residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities within the University of Edinburgh.

Explore more of Saber's work

Zaki El-Salahi

Zaki El-Salahi is a British-Sudanese lyricist, performance poet & community educator. Zaki’s work is rooted in Rap & Dub poetry, and the role of MC culture in Black British consciousness.

Find out more about Zaki and his latest project 'Tasgot Bas? Reflections of Revolution'

Ghazi Hussein

Ghazi is a poet and a teacher who has taught Arabic poetry and calligraphy for many years. He studied philosophy and Arabic grammar and went on to teach a range of different age groups and abilities in schools and universities.

Find out more about Ghazi Hussein's poetry

Robert Rae

Robert Rae is the project’s embedded artist.

As the embedded artist Robert is not creating his own work but utilising his skills as a socially engaged theatre practitioner, film director and writer to devise an exploratory route to unpick and rethink what cultural rights mean in Scotland.

Find out more about Robert and his work

The Campaign Against Arms Trade

Art27Scotland and The Edinburgh South Collective support The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

CAAT is a UK-based organisation working to end the international arms trade.

Find out how you can take action!

Art27 Scotland

Art27 Scotland is a not-for-profit cultural organisation based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our focus is to create art that takes its inspiration from and highlights our shared human rights.

Visit our website

The Fribourg Declaration

Cultural Rights are indivisible from Human Rights.

The Fribourg Declaration seeks to lay out what the term ‘Cultural Rights’ means.

The Fribourg Declaration is supported by more than fifty human rights high profiles, as well as a platform of NGOs.

Learn more about the Declaration

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