WE-Hope, Juliet Russell and Zach Walker



WE-Hope is inspired by the first-hand histories of those experiencing, living and navigating migration and separation. It celebrates their resilience through visuals, sound and voice.  WE-Hope finds humanity in stories of survival, repeated through the ages on a global scale.

The ancient art form of Cantastoria used pictures and songs to tell stories in the public spaces where we all live, work and play.  For WE-Hope cantastoria, award-winning artist collective  Make Amplify (Zach Walker) and musician, vocalist and composer Juliet Russell, were commissioned to update this ancient art form and amplify these stories and individuals through installation and performance.

Watch the premiere of WE-Hope cantastoria on 28 October 2021 at Frequency Festival, Lincoln, UK (produced by Threshold Studios) with a performance by artists Juliet Russell and Zach Walker, together with singers from local choirs, Birchwood Sings and Nettleham Community Choir.

On 15th September 2022, an iteration of the piece was performed at Cnam, Paris as part of the WE-Hope project’s final event with a conference and artistic performance.

A digital version of the piece can also be seen below.



WE-Hope (2019-22) is a partnership project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, that addresses the challenges of social cohesion across Europe.

The motivation of WE-Hope is to promote multiculturalism through sharing experiences of surviving crises across generations, thus bringing ‘old’ Europe and ‘new’ Europe closer together in a common framework of hope for the future.

WE-Hope project arose from stories collected by University of Lincoln, Centre for Culture and Creativity and Heritage Dot, for the International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive. Through the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union funding, partnerships were formed with institutions from around Europe to connect stories of the war in Europe with stories of more recent conflicts and the arrival of refugees in Europe.

“Engagement with public audiences is a key mechanism of the insight, lived experience, and stories that live within the WE-Hope project. Considering approaches to commissioning and presentation that stems from what we know about human behavior in spaces, allows us new frameworks for creating commissioning opportunities and creating cultural artefact and programmes that can have a meaningful impact.

Digital technologies afford opportunities to test and refine with audiences. To involve those that experience the project in a methodology of co-design that means that future presentation of work can involve new audiences, new creators both within the project mechanisms and with the externally facing experience.”


Samantha Lindley, Creative Director of Threshold Studios, talks about the approaches to public spaces and artistic programming that utilises digital technologies that underpinned the development of the WE-Hope commission and its premiere at Frequency Festival 2021. Also, how digital technologies and data can help us to build user led design approaches to culture for social change through the context of festivals and public engagement.

Read the article by Samantha Lindley and listen to the podcast here.



Juliet Russell is a composer, musical director and founder of Vocal Explosion. Her voice has been described as ‘Brilliantly haunting’ by Stage Magazine, and her compositions as ‘blissed out acapella’ by The Independent. Juliet’s music has been performed by choirs, brass and bhangra bands in cathedrals, castles, beaches, Mayan temple sites and football stadiums around the world.

Zach Walker is Artistic Director of the Make Amplify, an award winning artist collective that creates spectacular outdoor immersive events that connect people and transform public spaces into the extraordinary. Zach is also a multi-disciplinary artist whose collection of visual and audio work has been commissioned for galleries, museums, festivals, large-scale corporate events and bespoke private clients, all over the world.



WE-Hope project partnership consists of two higher education institutions, the University of Lincoln (UK) and the National Technical University of Athens (Greece), and cultural associations, Memoro (Italy), Greek Bank of Memories (Greece), Michael Culture AISBL (Belguim) and Threshold Studios (UK)