Deaf Explorer

Developing Deaf Artists, Participants and Audiences in the West Midlands and Beyond.

DEAF EXPLORER – About some of the people making it happen

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We are artists and creative producers with the know-how and lived experience to deliver genuine equality and inclusion; advancing the careers of underrepresented artists and freelancers.

Rinkoo Barpaga

Theatre and film maker, Stand-Up Comedian, Story-teller and Street Photographer

Rinkoo Barpaga is a creative, adept at street photography capturing portraits of hidden people on the street. He has a keen visual eye, his work is a conversation and in his stand up comedy you can see his confidence in the hearing world. Rinkoo inspires deaf people. Rinkoo made an award winning documentary “Double Discrimination”  he interviewed young people; using urban sign language to describe race discrimination. During “Black Live Matters” this pioneering work has received much attention. Rinkoo is brave, and willing to use his art practice, to tackle taboo subjects & confront audiences with difficult issues.

In summer 2021, he collaborated with Open Theatre’s, Richard Hayhow to make a new outdoor work for family audiences called Remote Control. Rinkoo is performing Made in India at the Edinburgh Fringe. Rinkoo says, I’m so grateful to the Generate Fund and receive massive support to perform at Edinburgh Fringe Festival – The barriers for a deaf solo theatre-maker are immense. I never expected to go to the Fringe with my own theatre show.

Maral Mamaghanizadeh

Community Involvement and Digital Content Producer

Visual Artist and Jewellery Maker

Maral Mamaghanizadeh graduated with an MA from the school of Jewellery and Silversmithing from Birmingham City University in 2017. During her time at BCU, she created work that drew on her experience as a Deaf Iranian woman with feminism, oppression and the forced wearing of the hijab [veil] in Iran. A member of STEAMhouse, artist and maker space in Birmingham. Maral has been awarded Arts Council Funding in 2018 and then DYCP funding in 2019. Maral is currently making contemporary jewellery and exploring sharing her practise through digital content via several micro-commissions awarded during lock down in 2020.

Alan McLean

Deaf Explorer

Senior Creative Producer, Project Management, Fund-raising

Alan McLean Project Manager and Producer, his expertise disability. He has experience of Arts Development in the Black Country between 2009 – 2016. He organises arts activities by consulting disabled people. He supported groups, Disabled People’s User Led Organisations, charities, care companies to design their own projects removing barriers to inclusion. His current cultural practice at Deaf Explorer originates from his work as an artist making radical collaborative live art (Published in LADA Access All Areas 2012), Fine art lecturer, and organizer of events, working for Sheffield Hallum University, Outside Centre, Full Circle Arts and West Midlands Disability Arts Forum.

Billy Read

Street dancer, Choreographer, Workshop Leader

Born in Walsall, Billy became Deaf at around the age of three. Growing up, he showed a keen interest in music and art. At age eleven Billy first tried out music, and played drums in the school band.

It wasn’t until the age of 21 that Billy discovered his talent for dance.

Billy is a fresh, exciting choreographer, and an inspiring teacher of dance. In the past five years, he has been supported by Arts Council England and Unlimited. He now has a network of schools across the UK, that was strengthened by regular online dance tutorials during lockdown. He was commissioned by Creative City Grants, facilitating communities to co-create for the Birmingham 2022 festival during the Commonwealth games. Using this grant, Billy Read reinvented Def Motion as a diverse dance company. Audiences in parks and outdoor festivals love the dance style.

Rachael Veazey

Deaf Explorer

Senior Creative Producer, Qualified British Sign Language Interpreter, Project Management

Rachael Veazey has worked as a youth theatre director, workshop facilitator and T.I.E performer for over 19 years, working with Deaf, disabled and non-disabled young people living in the inner city of Birmingham. She founded the first ever Deaf/hearing youth theatre in the UK. Founding director of Deaf Explorer CIC, managing and co-producing several ACE and Unlimited-funded projects. She is also a qualified BSL Interpreter.


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