Jules Olsen – Festival Director

Jules runs the day to day operations of the CIC and is one of the founding Directors. Her background is in events and project management and she has been managing refugee week events since 2010.  she has been a key driver in the expansion of Festival activities and partnerships and leading the strategic vision of the organisation. She is also a singer and voice coach.  

Danny Vincent – Refugee Engagement Officer 

Danny coordinates BRF’s engagement with refugees and asylum seekers and is one of the founding Directors. He has been involved with refugee agencies for over ten years and is currently the coordinator of the Lorraine Ayensu Refugee Arts fund. He is also a professional musician, teaching and performing piano and accordion.

Vandna Mehta – Community Engagement Officer

Vandna’s role is to establish and strengthen relationships with local communities and organisations in order to create positive and meaningful opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers to take part throughout the year, as well as the Festival. Vandna is Co-founder of Vocalise magazine and Diverse Artists Network and is a keen vegan.

Sam O’Sullivan – Administrator and Events Coordinator

Sam supports the team’s community engagement work in an admin capacity, and plays a key role in the planning and coordination of the annual festival. She is a passionate human rights advocate, and an active member of her community on social justice issues. Her interests include walking, riding her bike, cooking and pottery.

Deasy Bamford – Non-executive Director and Chair

Deasy has worked across cultures and landscape for over 30 years, bringing peoples together through cultural sharing, music and the freedom to explore . She has established intercultural music festivals, youth and family projects that connect through nature and space. She is a roamer and lover of the British Iles, mandala maker, photographer, spoken word and land artist. She believes passionately in promoting understanding, sharing platforms of communication and change making and supporting people to make the best lives they can . Bristol Refugee Festival is one of those platforms and opportunities closest to her heart. 

Fatuma Mohamud – Non-executive Director

Fatuma Mohamud is undergraduate studying Politics and International Relation at the University of Exeter. She is the Co-chair of the BIPOC staff and Student network Cornwall and recently co-authored a Departmental Review on Decolonising the Curriculum. Alongside her studies, Fatuma also holds Trustee positions at Raleigh International and Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union. Fatuma is passionate about development, refugees, diversity, inclusion and centring young people’s voices. Her interest is driven by a fascination with the International environment, deep concern for the future of our planet, and insatiable desire to make a difference.

Liz Counsell – Non-executive Director

Liz is a Creative Producer and Arts Consultant with over 10 years experience working across multiple artforms. She has worked in both strategetic and delivery roles with Trinity Bristol, MAYK, Tongue Fu, Roundhouse, BBC Arts and Radio 1/1Xtra and is the Co-Director of Disability Arts Festival I’m Here, Where Are You? Her work centres around artist development, community engagement, social prescribing and creating accessible experiences that share lived experiences with a wide range of audiences.

Polly Davis – Non-executive Director

Polly is Senior Producer of Ad Infinitum, a Bristol-based arts organisation which creates theatre with diverse communities and tours internationally. Polly studied History of African and Asian Art & Architecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London before beginning her career in the arts at Talawa Theatre Company in London. Since then she has worked as a producer and project manager for a range of diverse-led organisations in London, Bristol and the South West across dance, music, community arts, festivals and theatre.  Polly completed an MSc in Social and Cultural Theory at the University of Bristol and currently sits of on the board of Trustees at Knowle West Media Centre, is a Governor at Barton Hill Academy and a Director of Bristol Refugee Festival.