DEAF EXPLORER DIRECTORS

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.

Rinkoo Barpaga

Deaf Explorer Director

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

Rinkoo Barpaga is a Deaf artist with range of practises. In 2012 he spent two weeks immersed in the American deaf story-telling and comedy scene, inspiring him to a new challenge; winning over deaf and hearing mixed audiences. In 2015 he received an Arts Council England Grant to take him back to America to seek his peers’ input on the new material. On returning to the UK, he created a story-telling performance, called,”Am I Funny”. In 2018, Rinkoo was part of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s artist development course, The Foundry and made his next production, Made In India/Britain during this residency. Funded by Unlimited and Arts Council (including a DYCP grant) Rinkoo is an exciting theatre maker emerging in the West Midlands.

Maral Mamaghanizadeh

Deaf Explorer Director

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 Director

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

Deaf Explorer Director

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. Already a big Michael Jackson fan, Billy started to learn all of his moves from YouTube videos, and became a self-taught MJ impersonator. Despite no formal training, Billy had utilised his self-taught skills to start down the path of becoming a dancer and an artist, forming his own Deaf dance crew and traveling the world meeting Deaf dancers. 

Billy is a fresh, exciting choreographer, and an inspiring teacher of dance. Funded by Arts Council England and Unlimited

Rachael Veazey

Deaf Explorer Director

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.