Youthful Cities Digital Storytelling Lab 2021 for  Artists in the UK and Kenya

Youthful Cities Digital Storytelling Lab 2021 for Artists in the UK and Kenya

Deadline: July 12, 2021

Are you an artist aged 18-25 living in Coventry or Nairobi, who would be interested in creating bold, thought provoking or playfully disruptive digital stories using immersive audio, interactive video or 360 video? Would you like to develop work using tools from BBC R&D and work internationally with other artists to create and showcase new work? Apply for the Youthful Cities Digital Storytelling Lab 2021.

Through a unique partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust, British Council, The Space and BBC R&D they are launching an Open Call for Artists in Coventry (UK) and Nairobi (Kenya) to collaborate with one another and create digital, interactive and immersive storytelling that responds to some of the themes identified in the Youthful Cities Index.

The Digital Storytelling Lab program is part of Youthful Cities, a series of four international cultural and creative exchanges between artists in Coventry and Nairobi (digital storytelling). Working with data from the Index, exploring what it means to be young in the world today and what life is like in cities across the world including Coventry and Nairobi, the cohort will develop bold, new digital stories to reveal how a new generation of storytellers, activists and imagineers can inspire change within their cities.


  • Selected artists will receive an artists fee of £3,400 (inclusive of VAT) or approximately 520,000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling) and a production budget of up to £4,000 or approximately 612,000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling) to make and complete their projects in teams of four.


  • You must be aged 18-25 at the time of application and resident either in Coventry UK or Nairobi, Kenya. Proof of identity, age and place of residence may be requested.
  • You must be able to have consistent access to a computer/laptop and stable internet connection for the duration of the Program.
  • Employees of The Space, Coventry City of Culture Trust and the British Council are not eligible to apply.

Selected artists will take part in:

  • Cultural Exchange: July 30 & August 6, 2021: exploring what it is like to be young in a different society and culture and finding out more about the Youthful Cities Index.
  • Masterclasses & Labs: September 7 – 9, 2021: a virtual series of Masterclasses from trailblazers in the field of digital storytelling and intensive workshops from BBC R&D introducing the cohort to a range of existing, cutting-edge storytelling techniques, tools, and platforms across immersive audio, interactive and 360 video. This will result in the development of initial project ideas in international teams.
  • Prototyping Phase: September 21 – 23, 2021: working remotely and with additional tech support in each location, the cohort will work in teams to develop a “cardboard” or working prototype of their project.
  • Global Youth Summit: November 11 – 13, 2021: the Digital Storytelling Lab cohort will join the cohorts of artists taking part in the other three Youthful Cities exchange programs between Coventry and Detroit, Bogota and Beirut, to share their experiences and work, and to discuss the role of art and culture in the future of their respective cities with international speakers and changemakers.
  • Production Phase: November 2021 – January 2022: collaborating with international peers, through the Production Labs, in teams of 4 (2 artists from Coventry and 2 artists from Nairobi per team), 3 final projects will be taken forward to be scaled up into production
  • Publication and Distribution: February – March 2022: publishing, distributing and showcasing their projects as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture year in March 2022.


The deadline for applications is Monday 12 July 2021, 5pm BST (UK), 7pm EAT (Kenya). They are not responsible for applications that are lost, incomplete or late due to computer, network or telecommunications failure.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Digital Storytelling Lab.