Project Description

Make/Shift began as a programme of movement and film research responding to a growing desire amongst the artistic community to engage with the international refugee situation in ways that support and promotes cross-cultural understanding and community cohesion. The research is not attempting to reflect the refugee experience but to examine the broader role of movement research and film making to contribute to social change and social justice issues.

Our Developing Practice

 In the context and safety of contemporary choreographic practice and improvisation we are creatively nourished through encounters with displacement, uncertainty, and the loss of the familiar. While we acknowledge that this is a totally different encounter within the refugee context, we wonder if an exploration of these conditions through improvised practice can offer any insights or shift our understandings of  strategies and narratives for living with change?


Moving beyond the studio

As the project unfolds Make/Shift is becoming a platform and forum for different voices including artists, asylum seekers, school children, educators, academics, refugee support agencies and local government officers.


Make/Shift Collaborators

Claire Pencak            choreographer

As a contemporary dancer I have been intrinsically shaped through working with Francoise and Dominique Dupuy (France) and Russell Dumas (Australia).

As a choreographer my interest is in developing choreographic practice as an investigative discipline that can contribute to research by suggesting different approaches, questions, and vocabularies.

I place my practice in the wider world by developing projects in tandem with others that have relevance to where I am living. Since 2011 this has been the Scottish Borders and current themes relate to river catchments, land use and rural development.


Tim Rubidge             choreographer

Since 1975 Tim Rubidge has explored and devised many new dance works, presenting solo and small ensemble choreographies and performances nationally and internationally in cities and communities in the UK, Europe, USA and South Africa. In parallel he developed and directed ground-breaking community participatory projects.

In recent years he has conceived, collaborated and directed a series of site-specific performances that have developed and drawn on imaginative, physical and sensory experience.

He was Visiting Fellow in Performing Arts at Northumbria University 2008 – 2011 and has been the recipient of many grants and awards.


Christo Wallers        film maker

Christo Wallers is an artist and cultural activist exploring the ethics and aesthetics of artist moving image in relation to both the subject and the spectator.  He co-founded the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne, and is starting a PhD through the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership in ’emancipating contexts for film culture’.