Jorge Lopes Ramos & Persis Jadé Maravala

ZU-UK is an award-winning not-for-profit independent company founded in 2001 and led by immigrant working-class artists Persis Jadé Maravala and Jorge Lopes Ramos. Persis Jadé is ethnically Persian, born in Yemen yet raised in East London. Jorge was born and raised within Borel (one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas) to a Polish and Romanian family. In a world where mainstream narratives normalise hate and fear, and where contemporary loneliness is a new epidemic, Persis Jadé and Jorge believe in the need for shared rituals, new narratives and experiences that empower those most vulnerable to have a voice and participate in culture.

ZU-UK regularly deliver high-quality interdisciplinary professional training, including creative technology and game design for professional artists, entrepreneurs, social enterprises, people with low levels of educational attainment and those from economically deprived backgrounds. Through this work ZU-UK create new pathways into creative lives for communities that don’t usually engage with arts and technology.

“Innovation means to 'alter established practices’. For ZU-UK, innovation means embracing discomfort, welcoming risk and resisting the temptation to keep doing things in the old ways.”

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