Artist commission opportunity for a Muslim woman artist to work on AHRC funded project ‘Imagining Better Futures of Health and Social Care with and for People with Energy Limiting Chronic Illnesses’

There is an opportunity for a UK-based Muslim woman artist with experience of facilitating creative workshops for disabled or chronically ill people to join the team working on an AHRC funded project exploring the future of health and social care with and for people with energy limiting conditions/chronic illness (ELC). The project includes collaborations with Chronic Illness Inclusion, The Lantern Initiative, and Healing Justice London.

An illustration which explains energy impairment by comparing a person on the left with ELC and a person on the right without ELC. Each person is depicted as a battery plugged in for charging. The person with ELC remains at low charge even when plugged in, while the person without ELC is fully recharged.

ELCs are conditions that involve energy impairment or debilitating fatigue, such as neurological, musculoskeletal and autoimmune conditions, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and Long Covid.

In particular, we’re looking for an artist based in the UK who is a Muslim woman and ideally has lived experience of chronic illness or disability.

A picture of a woman in a red headscarf

The commission will involve working with the project team, in particular Dr Aaliyah Shaikh, to develop and run a series of workshops for Muslim women with energy limiting conditions to explore their ideas about the future of health and social care. This would include facilitating 2-4 online creative workshops, at least one of which will be asynchronous (with participants responding to prompts in their own time) and curating/producing creative outputs using or inspired by artwork from the workshops.


The budget (including commission fee and any costs for materials) for this commission is a maximum of £3,000 (including VAT if applicable). The project runs until April 2024, and the aim is for the workshops to take place before the end of January 2024.

To apply

Please send:

  • a max. two-page expression of interest, including an artist statement, your interest in the project, and your ideas for the workshops and creative outputs;
  • a CV and examples of previous work.

Closing date for applications is 4pm on Monday 18th September. Please send to by that date/time. The selection panel will include Dr Bethan Evans, Dr Aaliyah Shaikh and Dr Morag Rose.

If you have any questions about the project, please email or

Further information about the project

The project aims to use arts and creative facilitation to explore suggestions for the improvement of health and social care for people with Energy Limiting Conditions who experience marginalisation. These are conditions in which energy impairment is a key symptom, e.g. neurological, musculoskeletal, auto-immune diseases, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and Long Covid. The project includes collaborations with Chronic Illness Inclusion, The Lantern Initiative, and Healing Justice London.

This project builds on the team’s previous research with Chronic Illness Inclusion which shows that people with ELCI often report feeling ignored, dismissed, or not listened to in health and social care. Building from that research documenting current and past experiences, this project turns to the future, working with artists to facilitate creative workshops that invite people to imagine better futures of health and social care for people with ELCI in two ways: (1) future improvements for people who will be diagnosed with ELCI in the future; and (2) hopes for future health and social care for themselves as they age with ELCI.

Many ELCIs are more common in women, and gender-based discrimination in medicine exacerbates the disbelief and dismissal many people with ELCI experience. Histories of racist discrimination in medical care also lead to inequalities, and institutionalised Islamophobia means Muslim people are more likely to be dismissed by medical professionals. People from these groups who have ELCI may therefore be marginalised in multiple ways. One of the main aims of the project is therefore to explore these experiences, through dedicated workshops for Muslim women as part of the wider project. The current commission is to develop the work with Muslim women.

There are 3 other artists involved in the wider project, working with other community groups, who are planning on using a range of creative methods to facilitate the imagination of speculative scenarios, including drawing, creative writing, zine making, photography, audio recordings and comic creation for their communities. In addition to online, synchronous workshops, there will be asynchronous options, allowing people to respond to creative prompts at their own pace and in their own time. This is important for people with ELCI who may need to pace their involvement.

Creative outputs will include: zines collated from the work produced in zine making workshops; an audio narrative in podcast form based on pieces from creative writing workshops; a website showcasing photographs, writing and drawings from the workshops; and a comic book illustrating possibilities for future health and social care. A pedagogical toolkit to allow the creative outputs to be used in education for current and future health care professionals will also be developed.

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