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Activist in Residence

Research Collaboratory

Activist in Residence

The Activist-in-Residence (AiR) programme. The AiR programme aims to encourage mutual learning and collaboration between activists, students, and researchers, to enhance public oriented scholarship and community engagement around the consequences of racism and racialisation.

Ruby Phelan and Cheri Darbon are our first activists in residence with their project ‘New Realms of Fantasy’. New Realms of Fantasy will be a dynamic action research project using the cinematic medium to shift perspective, rewrite binary folkloric narratives, bring race and feminism to the forefront of storytelling and drive global transformation through artistic activism. 

The collaborators will create a powerful short film and author-illustrate an anthology of fantasy tales that deconstruct and peer at our narrative norms through a subverted gaze. 

Ruby Phelan

Ruby Phelan is a passionate Writer-Director and Feminist Activist who champions women’s liberation on screen, behind the camera and in wider storytelling. She is currently the Activist in Residence at The Feminist Centre for Racial Justice. 

Ruby began her artistic journey as a professional dancer and toured her own choreography throughout the UK and Europe. She attended The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Fontainebleau School of Acting in France and was granted a scholarship to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on the MA where she specialised in directing and writing for both stage and screen. 

Cheri Darbon

Cheri Darbon is a producer with a diverse background in commercials, television and independent film. During her career, Cheri has worked within major broadcasters as well as more recent projects alongside the likes of Netflix, BBC Film and the BFI. Luna Carmoon’s debut feature HOARD, saw Cheri take on an associate producer role, with the backing of BBC Film and BFI. Under Bird Flight Films she was a recipient of the Netflix Breakout fund, an opportunity that supports emerging talent pursuing genre focused feature films. In 2020, the same year she was selected for BFI’s Flare x BAFTA Crew, Cheri established June & Stella Productions, a space in which she continues to develop inspiring stories with a focus on internationally-appealing genre films and television.