Shortlisted Organisations

Arts Canteen

Aser is an arts curator, programmer and cultural entrepreneur. His career began in Spain where he studied Applied Arts. He worked in his native Palestine in the cultural sector for five years, directing the first ever international music festival in Gaza in 1995. Now based in London, he lost his soul for a while working in the City but found it again in 2010 when he established Arts Canteen. Since then he has developed Arts Canteen to become a leading platform for London’s diaspora arts scene, programming innovative work in music, visual arts, theatre and comedy, including the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) festival.

Comma Press

Founded on a passion for literary excellence, Comma Press is a not-for-profit publishing house that specialises in the short story. Our aim is to put the short story at the heart of contemporary narrative culture and to celebrate the power of the form to transcend boundaries, whether they be cultural, linguistic or disciplinary. Through innovative commissions, collaborations and digital initiatives, Comma has developed and championed cutting-edge (often marginalized) voices from around the world, and provided opportunities for writers to reach new audiences and to step outside their usual comfort zones.


Marsm was formally established in September 2015 by founder-director Khaled Ziada, who already had more than 10 years’ experience showcasing high quality musical productions from the Arab world to large British audiences. Over the past two years, Marsm has started to consolidate a broad network of audiences, artists, partners, and employees. Our partner venues include Barbican, Kings Place, Islington Assembly Hall, Cadogan Hall, Scala, O2 Academy, The Royal College of Music, Manchester and Corporation Sheffield to name but a few. We also work closely with Shubbuk Festival each year.

The Mosaic Rooms

The Mosaic Rooms are a non-profit art gallery and bookshop dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary Arab culture in London. They do this through our free contemporary art exhibitions, our events programme which includes film screenings, current affairs talks, supperclubs, book launches and more, and through artist residencies and our learning and engagement programme.

Qisetna Talking Syria

Qisetna: Talking Syria is a non-political social and cultural initiative founded in 2013 in response to the mainstream media coverage of the conflict in Syria. Our aim is to reach out and engage Syrians and people with a connection with the country to write their experiences and stories so that they could be disseminated, and shared on an online platform with a wider audience. We aim to inform the British and international public, through first-hand testimonies, and to humanise the audience perception of the Syrian culture and the Syrian refugees and newcomers.​