Claiming your Space

Claiming Your Space is a project that amplifies the experiences of BAME students by creating a space for the community to showcase their throughts, ideas, and creativity. Throughout the year we will be collating BAME experiences through our exhibitions, as well as by running events and workshops to highlight key issues facing the community.

Newcastle University Students' Union

Arts Workshop with Precious
17th February 2022 (6-8pm)
Find out more here.

About the Art Competition


What is the competition?

The competition allows all BAME students (Black, Asian, & minority ethnicity students) to showcase their talent, and to be a part of a wider exhibition of student work to showcase experiences at University.  Once submissions close on 4 March 2022, university staff, students, and a panel of distinguished guests will decide the entrants that have best reflected the theme of ‘Claiming Your Space’. There will be cash prizes for winners and runners-up. For full details about your entry, please check our Terms & Conditions on this page. 

Key Dates

  • Submissions Open: 19 October 2021
  • Submissions Close: 4 March 2022
  • Winners Announcement: Mid-March 2022

What is the prize?

The 2 winners will receive £100 each, and the 2 runners-up will receive £50 each.  Why are there 2 winners and runners-up? Well, one winner/runner-up is voted on by our competition panel, and the others are voted for by students. For full details about your entry, please check our Terms & Conditions on this page. 

Entry Theme

The theme for entries into this competition is to encapsulate your University experience as a BAME student - it can be completely unique to you. For example, being in your specific degree, personal moments with friends, societies, memories, and many more. If you have any questions regarding whether your method of art is accepted, please contact us here. When submitting your artwork please submit a few short sentences explaining your art piece. For full details about your entry, please check our Terms & Conditions on this page. 

What art forms are allowed?

Photography, Painting, Drawing, Illustrations, and Poetry. If you have an art form that is not listed here please contact us here to see if it can also be accepted. For full details about your entry, please check our Terms & Conditions on this page. 

Who can enter?
The competition is open to all current BAME students studying at Newcastle University - both Undergraduate and Postgraduate. For full details about your entry, please check our Terms & Conditions on this page. 

Make a Submission


What do I need to submit?

  1. Your one art piece; If you are submitting Photography it needs to be full resolution jpeg or png just please don’t crop or compress the image post-production. It can be in colour, or in black and white.
  2. 100 words or less talking about your piece, which can include why you created it if it isn’t personal.
  3. Attach your consent form for us to use your art piece and words as part of the exhibition, and competition. 

Applications open 19 October, 8pm.

Submission Form

Terms & Conditions

  1. This competition is only open to current students at Newcastle University.
  2. Your work must be submitted via photo so it can be judged beforehand.
  3. You must obtain permission from anyone included in your photo before you send the image to us – this is your responsibility.
  4. You agree that your photo may be used in future web and print publications by NUSU (credited to you)
  5. The work must be made by you.
  6. You understand the work you submit will be shown at our exhibition and on our social media pages.
  7. The work must be created and owned by you. You also understand that if it is found that it does not belong to you and was not created by you, you will be disqualified and if a recipient of the prize money you will have to return the funds to the university.
  8. You will have to get permission from anyone included in your piece e.g. a photo or drawing etc and they must also submit a consent form.
  9. You are allowed to enter by yourself but also in pairs/groups
  10. You must fill out the consent form to be allowed to enter.

Upcoming Events

Key Contacts

If you have a question about the project, or competition:

Dami Fawehinmi
Student Project Lead

If you have a question about general student welfare & support:

Briana Gordhan
Welfare & Equality Officer

About the Project

Claiming Your Space is a project that amplifies the experiences of BAME students by creating a space where they can discuss and form a community. Throughout the year we will be collating BAME experiences through our Arts competition and exhibition, as well as running events and workshops to highlight key issues facing the community. Through the work of the project, it will not only allow us to showcase BAME talent but allow for the education and inspiration of all generations on the collective and individual experiences of students. 

To get involved would mean supporting and creating change where it is needed most. The project aims to be a platform for marginalised students to unapologetically exist. That is why we called it Claiming Your Space, as we want to BAME students to take up space, exist loudly and show the world the wonderful stories of their art in a variety of forms. We want to leave a legacy of spaces that inspire others to feel valued in their experiences and to go on and grow the spaces committed to showcasing this.  

The project is lead by Student Project Lead, Dami Fawehinmi and your Welfare & Equality Officer (as well as being supported by staff at Newcastle University Students' Union).

Background to the Project

Having a sense of belonging is essential to a fulfilling university experience. However, even today, the site of higher education can be stifling for students on account of not being adequately reflected by the predominantly heteropatriarchal environment. Arguably, in order to feel accepted, or at the very least, palatable to such spaces, the marginalised student develops a pernicious coping mechanism that involves the shrinking or remolding of themselves.

The antidote to this is very much the need of the hour. The medium of art can afford an opportunity for reflection and unbounded expression. Incidentally, much like higher education, institutions of art have long claimed to be champions of diverse representation but sadly the latest statistics show us that this rhetoric rings hollow, with Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic persons, encountering many gatekeepers in producing and publishing art.

Claiming Your Space is an initiative, that stemmed from the wider Decolonising NCL campaign last year. The aim is to collate the artistic expressions of our Black, Asian, & minority ethnic communities, which explore the varied and unapologetic (without having to explain or justify one’s self) ways in which the space of Higher Education is navigated.