Meet the collective

As a collective Brush&Bow has members working throughout Europe and the MENA region, with a team consisting of artists, writers, journalists, musicians and academics. Together, we aim to contribute to the public debate on wide social issues by bringing information through an artistic and personal angle.


Editorial Team

Harriet Paintin
Harriet PaintinFounder, Co-Director and Creative Editor
Harriet is a musician and creative writer. Harriet has worked extensively in India, the Middle East and Europe using music as a way to create spaces of celebration with marginalised groups and collect stories. She studied Hindi and History at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and through her writing she aims to explore the personal stories which often remain unheard, unknown and unremembered. She is currently working in healthcare, researching barriers to accessing healthcare in asylum seeker and refugee communities
Hannah Kirmes-Daly
Hannah Kirmes-DalyFounder, Co-Director and Creative Editor
Hannah is a reportage illustrator. She specialises in using the arts to create spaces for conversations, group work and documentation through illustrations, murals and comic strips. Having studied ‘International Development and South Asian Studies’, at SOAS, she focuses on issues concerning migration, gender, development and refugees. She is currently completing her Masters at the University of Art Berlin (UdK) in ‘Art in Context’.
David Suber
David SuberCo-Director and Creative Editor
David is a journalist and researcher, interested in peace-building, migration and political change in West Asia. He currently works at the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Future Crime, doing a PhD
on human smuggling and the functioning of borders. He specialises in content editing for written, audio and video production.
Roshan De Stone
Roshan De StoneCo-Director and Creative Editor
Roshan is a journalist and illustrator. She has worked extensively in the Europe and the Middle East, where she has worked as a human rights monitor. She has also set up a number of community projects and spaces of cultural celebration, through radio, capoeira, DJing, exhibitions, music nights, art and mural workshops. Her studies at SOAS focused on the religion in the MENA region, before she did a masters in Human Rights Law. She is currently completing her legal training to become a lawyer.

Core Team

Hannah Mackintosh
Hannah MackintoshAdvisor for Accounts & Development
Hannah Mackintosh is the Brush&Bow’s Trustee, acting as an advisor for B&B’s accounts and development. She currently works as an accountant whilst studying towards the ACA chartered accountancy. Her aim is to understand how businesses run and handle money, so as to use these skills to help social enterprises and community interest companies enhance their impact. In her free time she can be found carrying out research on cocoa farming in Costa Rica, working with seed savers in Ecuador, and pushing to make food systems more sustainable.
Micol Suber
Micol SuberSocial Media Manager
Micol joins Brush and Bow with a background in the commercial gallery world, though she has
always had an interest in the non-profit side of the arts. Her most recent roles have been working
at Robilant + Voena gallery and Christie’s in the Post- War and Contemporary Art department. She
holds a BA in History of Art and Archeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Currently she is co-authoring a children’s book on Art History designed to empower children from
all backgrounds to engage with the arts.
Benedetta Gentileschi
Benedetta GentileschiSocial Media manager
Benedetta joins Brush&bow with a background in Economics and Arts Management. During her BA in Milan she started to develop a vivid interest for digital world and to understand the power of social media. Her recent work experience was in an art gallery in New York where she set up a group exhibition of women artists who together represent the multidimensional intricacies of female sexuality. She is currently writing her Master dissertation aimed to create an audience development strategy for a contemporary art museum in L’aquila, a city that has been severely damaged by a terrible earthquake in 2009 which has reported a widespread destruction of its cultural heritage.


Julie Bourdin
Julie BourdinFreelance Journalist
Julie Bourdin is a freelance multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker. Before turning to journalism, she joined several observation missions with NGOs in the Central Mediterranean, and lived for six months on the island of Lesvos, Greece. Her work now focuses mainly on migration, from documentary projects to investigations into human rights violations.
Neda Torabi
Neda TorabiPhotographer
Neda Torabi is from Afghanistan. She currently lives in Ritsona camp and has been in Greece for two years. She studied photography in Lesvos where she learnt to use images to speak about the situation of the refugees and women who had never had the chance to have their voices heard. She hopes that through her images, people will hear those voices.
Nazgol Golmuradi
Nazgol GolmuradiArtist
Nazgol Golmuradi is an artist from Iran who arrived to Greece when she was 17 with her father. After her father was deported back to Iran, she endured many hardships alone and found solace in painting. She expresses her feelings through her art. It is important that her artwork is based in reality, but sometimes she creates fantasy pictures to escape from the hardships of life as an immigrant in Greece without rights. She wishes to live somewhere in peace and to be able to express herself freely through her art.
Josh Middleton
Josh MiddletonMusician & Host of Wind That Shakes Podcast
Josh Middleton is an multi-instrumentalist, specialising in accordion folk styles. He has been performing music professionally since the age of 14, graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a first class degree in Ethnomusicology, and has worked with many Klezmer and Balkan music ensembles such as She’koyokh and The London Klezmer Quartet.Josh also works as a composer on the Puppet Theatre Barge, performing and writing music for puppet shows.
Ahmed Shukran Shirzad
Ahmed Shukran Shirzad Painter, Calligrapher and Activist
Ahmad Shukran Shirzad is a professional painter, calligrapher, singer and actor. He is from Afghanistan and taught painting in a school in Kabul. His wife, Lida Shirzad is a make up artist who also worked in Kabul. When there were security problems, they decided to start a journey to Europe. Along the way he has always done art, teaching at Wave of Hope school in Moria Camp in Greece. When there was a fire in the camp, he lost all his paintings. Now, he uses his art to show the real face of life in the camps.
Parwana Amiri
Parwana AmiriAuthor, Poet and Activist
Parwana Amiri is an author, poet and activist from Afghanistan who is living in Greece since September 2019. She started writing from a young age, but her work was first published in Europe. Her perspective about life for refugees in different angles is the main point of her writing and poems. She has published two books and wants that her next published phenomena is a poetry book.
Alexandra Nikolova (Ål Nik)
Alexandra Nikolova (Ål Nik)Illustrator
Alex is a visual practitioner and illustrator based in Europe. An ‘Art history’ and ‘Theory & methodology in art education’ graduate, she is passionate about art, visual narrative & communication and explores different ways to deliver message in a creative and responsible way. Being part of Nomadways, she takes care of their digital communication and designs educational projects and workshops. Her background is in digital marketing, content creation, visual communication, but also indie music curation and DJing.
Banan Abdelrahman
Banan AbdelrahmanResearcher and Visual Storyteller
Banan Abdelrahman is a researcher and visual storyteller based between the US and Cairo. She is beginning her Ph.D. studies at UC Berkeley’s Anthropology Department, where she will merge her interests in migration and visual creation.
Winnie Linet
Winnie LinetJournalist
Winnie Linet is an aspiring journalist. Born and raised in Western Kenya, she has grown to love writing and wishes to accomplish this dream. She has worked in Lebanon for five years where she experienced many issues that ignited the urge to speak out about what domestic workers feel and their pain in trying to make ends meet. Her experiences in life is what motivates her to write, from social political and economic issues to those that affect the normal life of citizens.
Kurda Yar
Kurda YarResearcher and Artist
Kurda Yar is a social worker, academic and self-taught artist. She has 20 years of experience working with displaced people in Northern Iraq, Denmark and the UK. She works with a charity supporting women from refugee backgrounds and is affiliated with the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol. She participated in the “Gender-based Violence and Displacement” international project organized by Bristol University and Sulemani University in Iraq (2016-2018). Her artwork has been exhibited at the final stages of this conference (2018), as well as at the Refugee Week Festival and St Werburgh’s Art Trail (2019).
Lorenzo D'Agostino
Lorenzo D'AgostinoJournalist
Lorenzo D’Agostino is a freelance journalist from Bari, in southern Italy. After living in Rio de Janeiro and London, he is currently based in Barcelona. Over the last few years his work has focused on migration as he joined several search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean. His stories have been published among others by CNN, Foreign Policy, El País and Open Democracy.
Ayman Saibourah
Ayman SaibourahEditor and Presenter for Radio Hakaya
Ayman Saibourah is the editor and presenter of Radio Hakaya, whilst also being a writer, translator, drawer, sound technician and electrician. A man of many talents, Ayman comes from Syria, although his family has Turkish origins. He works as a community organizer with refugee communities in Northern Lebanon and coordinates medical relief interventions with international medical associations.
Anne Merlin
Anne MerlinIllustrator & Writer: Female Role Models
Anne is a nomad designer. She creates and animates workshops for artists, educators & activists since 2008. Born in France, Anne studied art and interaction design at ENSAD in Paris. She lived in Greece, Brazil, Seychelles, Portugal, France and travels all year round, working from anywhere. She is an idea machine. Her curiosity led her to teach in the Himalayas, hitch-hike on boats along the Amazon and camp through the Sahara. That also gave her a chance to collect myriads of stories to share through images and words.
Frances Murphy
Frances MurphyIllustrator: Female Role Models
Frances Murphy has been working as a freelance illustrator since graduating from the Falmouth Illustration course in 2013. She has been fortunate enough to illustrate many wide ranging topics from climate change and migration, Indigenous culture, interior design and food illustration.
Isabel Couchoud Bataller
Isabel Couchoud BatallerIllustrator & Writer: Female Role Models
Isabel is a Spanish illustrator and artist based in cloudy London. She graduated from Fine Arts in Teruel and València in 2014 (Spain) and graduated from Camberwell College of Arts Illustration MA in 2017(Uk). Working as a freelance since 2017.
Joana Maria Neves
Joana Maria NevesIllustrator: Female Role Models
Joana, is an artist and activist from Lisbon, Portugal. She studied arts and multimedia, but soon became interested in non formal education and started to dedicate her time to expressing her ideas and values through her art and writing. She has a wicked sense of humour and a soul-singers voice.
Julie Saumagne
Julie SaumagneIllustrator & Writer: Female Role Models
Julie is a social issues advocate, artist, cartoonist and graphic designer. She feels strongly about the potential of artistic practices in affirming the urgency of progressive politics and offers her creative point of view to political campaigns. She studies Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick.
Will Paintin
Will PaintinEvents Coordinator: The Wind That Shakes
Will is an ethnomusicologist and events organiser who has spent the last few years promoting world music gigs and club nights across central and north London. As Brush & Bow begin to run regular events in London, Will’s expertise is proving a valuable asset in programming and promoting our new event series project: The Wind That Shakes.
Hawzhin Azeez
Hawzhin AzeezJournalist
Hawzhin Azeez is a Kurdish academic, activist, poet, and intersectional feminist from Southern Kurdistan (north Iraq). Since 2015 she has been working and living in Kobane, Northern Syria on the rebuilding of Kobane through the Kobane Reconstruction Board after it was liberated from ISIS. Later, Hawzhin became the co-founder the non-governmental organization Hevi (meaning hope in Kurdish) working in northern Syria and northern Iraq regions working with women, children and refugees.
Francesco Piobbichi
Francesco PiobbichiIllustrator
Francesco Piobbichi is a social illustrator and artist, using illustrations and drawings to support oral testimonies and storytelling. He has published many drawings on newspapers and curated three illustration books: ‘Disegni Dalla Frontiera’ (edt Claudiana); ‘Sulla dannata terra’ (ed Claudiana) and ‘Sul Mare Spinato’ (ed Confrinti). He works as a social worker for the Mediterranean Hope project since 2013.
Priyanka Raval
Priyanka RavalJournalist
Priyanka Raval is a freelance journalist, budding illustrator and videographer. Having specialised in development, human rights and global governance during her post-grad studies in London, Priyanka now uses her journalism to tell the human stories that lie behind political contexts. She has lived and travelled through India, finding herself odd jobs as a mural painter, before becoming a writer for India Today in Mumbai. Most recently, Priyanka was a correspondent at the Daily Star in Lebanon reporting on the local and MENA region stories.
Valeria Alice Colombo
Valeria Alice ColomboJournalist
Valeria is a physician, mostly working in paediatrics and neonatal intensive care. Since 2015 she has been actively involved in projects aimed to support refugees and migrants coming to Europe. In November 2018 she became a crew member on the rescue vessels in Central Mediterranean, where she is currently working on rescue missions.
Matteo Trevisan
Matteo TrevisanPhotographer
Matteo is a Rome-based freelance photojournalist and contributor for Zuma Press Agency. Since graduating from the Institute of Photography in Rome, Matteo’s work focuses on social issues, particularly related to refugees and migrants. His most recent project took him to Bosnia where he followed the new Balkan route. His investigative reportage exposing EU border police brutality was recently published in Vice. Matteo’s pictures has been published in Vouge, Tuoi, Giornalettismo, Ansa, Pantografo,, Inforadio, Trieste all news, Taloussanomat.