Meet the audience — get to know artist and filmmaker Courtney Nwakego, who is part of our online audience and community

a woman wearing sunglasses and a head scarf looks directly into the camera

Courtney Nwakego is an artist and filmmaker using satire in her video work to highlight her experiences of working in the arts and cultural sector as a Black woman. Her short film debut — UNBOXING VIDEO Emotional Toolkit for Black People Working in the Arts — is a lo-fi parody about the emotional tools Black people need to survive a career in the arts. You can also catch Courtney on Instagram.

 

10 minutes with Courtney…

How would you describe what you do in 5 words?

Creating alternative onscreen Black narratives.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Having a paid career in the arts. Money comes up a lot in regards to arts careers, I studied filmmaking at uni and was told I’d need to start as an unpaid runner if I wanted to work my way up the ladder. I couldn’t afford to do that and didn’t want to. Thankfully, I’ve managed to find jobs that pay and that I enjoy.

What’s your greatest aspiration for the creative and cultural sector?

My greatest aspiration is that the faces of decision makers and cultural gatekeepers begin to change and truly reflect the diverse nature of all the different types of people working in the sector.

What’s your greatest fear for the creative and cultural sector?

That we’ll still just be having the same tired conversation(s) about diversity and trying to figure out how to solve it.

What are three unexpected qualities you think a leader needs?

Diplomacy, foresight and an unshakeable belief in the future they’d like to create.

What’s your superpower?

Patience.

What motivates you each day?

My desire for change and my love of the arts.

What was the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

You’ve got to be your own cheerleader.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their journey?

If you’re looking for opportunities, go out and get them. Send emails, make phone calls. I’ve got a job in the past simply because I’ve emailed and asked.

What are you most looking forward to about Emerging Futures 2018?

Learning about the approaches others are taking with the challenges and obstacles they’re faced with.

If, like Courtney, you’re joining emerging Futures 2018 online, be sure to check out our article on 5 ways to Join, as well as join our growing Facebook community.