Collider Conversations 2016/17

Since 2011, Threshold’s Collider event programme has been a chance for artists, creatives and enthusiasts to connect via low-cost labs, conversations and collisions.  Past events include DIY synth building, debates around the role of technology in engaging dance audiences, and performances using Victorian medical equipment made electric. We’ve brought international artists to the back rooms of pubs, and had battles of words in coffee shops. 

Collider Conversation Programme 2016/17

Moving Diversity Forward

Co-curated with Boseda Olawoye, Freelance Engagement Curator.  


 We invite you to imagine a future in which diversity in arts and culture has been forgotten. Where the conversations have stopped, the debates long dormant. 

What do we lose without the contributions and perspectives of diverse groups? What happens when our arts ecology only represents a narrow spectrum of society – and what the might the impacts be on quality and innovation in the arts and media landscape in the UK and beyond? 

What role does technology play in bringing authentic voices to the fore, and how is the digital revolution helping communities to redefine themselves? 

Through open conversations with experts, trailblazers and vigilantes, we’ll be discussing where we are now and what we can learn, as well as highlighting the positive work happening across the creative sector. 

Join us to explore how we can move diversity forward. 

Taking the lead: Do arts and culture need a digital suffragette movement?

23 November  2016

Rough Trade, Nottingham UK 


Exploring the roles of women in arts, culture and the creative industries. We discussed how women are taking ownership and responding to lack of opportunity, supporting each other creatively both online and offline, and asking what a ‘digital suffragette’ movement might look like. 

Chaired by Tobi Oredein, journalist, editor and founder of?Black Ballad, with speakers Rachel Anderson, creative producer and founder of Idle Women, Kaylea Mitchem, founder of Fan Club Nottingham, and Kajal Nisha Patel, award-winning photographer and filmmaker working across the UK and India. 

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We are all neurodiverse: new perspectives, new definitions

17 January  2017

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester  UK


We were joined by a panel of creatives trailblazing a new path of visibility and representation for artists who experience the world differently – through Autism, Dyslexia and ADHD. 

 During the event we discussed the unique contributions and perspectives that neurodivergent artists bring to arts experiences, what role technology has to play, as well as exploring ways to raise the profile and support neurodivergent artists. 

Chaired by Susan Jones, published writer and researcher, with Jon Adams, artist and National Autistic Society Cultural Ambassador and Mike Layward, Artistic Director at DASH, a disability-led visual arts organisation. 

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Race and Representation: Beyond the Box Ticking 

17 February 2017

Birmingham Open Media (BOM), Birmingham UK


As the first UK degree programme in Black Studies begins in September 2017 at Birmingham City University we discussed how to challenge the lack of diversity and race representation within the arts as well as higher education. 

Chaired by Dr. Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor in Sociology, Birmingham City University and Chair of the Organisation of Black Unity in the UK  with Saziso Phiri, founder of The Anti Gallery, Nottingham, visual artist Karen Mirza and SuAndi OBE writer and poet (Freelance Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance) Manchester. 

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A Divided Nation: Class and social mobility in arts and media 

16 March 2017 

Syson Gallery, Nottingham UK 


In the final event we discussed what happens when the arts and media lose working class voices. 

How can we counter the increasing obstacles to higher education for talented individuals from working class and disadvantaged backgrounds, their effective exclusion from arts and media careers? How can we exhibit working class voices without drawing audiences into the debate or pandering to working class stereotypes or class tokenism? 

Chaired by Lisa Mckenzie, sociologist, research fellow at the London School of Economics and author of Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain with speakers Karla Marie Sweet from Arts Emergency, enabling artistic opportunities for current and future students who are least able to pay for education; artist educator Sian Watson Taylor and lens-based artist Ben Harriott. 

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Supported by

BOM logo
Arts Council England logo
Attenborough Arts Centre logo
Threshold logo