Broadcaster, writer and DJ Zakia Sewell ranges high and low, far and wide alongside artist and film-maker Andrew Kotting as they map an inclusive new Albion for our times
Zakia Sewell is a broadcaster, writer and DJ from London with a passion for music, arts, mental health and history. She regularly produces and presents radio documentaries and podcasts for platforms including BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Tate, and Boiler Room and has explored a wide range of topics, from Caribbean ancestral drumming, to schizophrenia and intergenerational trauma, to improvisation in the arts.
Alongside audio production, Zakia is an enthusiastic and respected collector and sharer of music. Having spent several years working behind the counter at Honest Jons Records in West London, Zakia landed a now-weekly and widely popular show on NTS Radio, called Questing w/ Zakia, where she interviews guests and plays cosmic music from across the globe. As a DJ, Zakia has performed at esteemed clubs and festivals in London and abroad, including the likes of Dekmantel, Dimensions, We Out Here, GALA, XOYO, Brilliant Corners, Gorilla, Jazz Cafe and Maiden Voyage.
Zakia regularly leads radio workshops offering advice and support to aspiring radio makers and has worked on creative research projects with archives and arts institutions such as Timespan, the Stuart Hall Library and the George Padmore institute.
When Zakia isn’t doing any of the above, you’ll find her singing, playing guitar, taking long walks in nature and reading esoteric books about pagans.
Andrew Kötting was born between the mountains and the sea in Elmstead Woods in 1959. After some early forays into market trading and scrap-metal dealing he travelled to Scandinavia to become a failed Lumberjack. He returned home in the 80’s to study for a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art and then graduated with a Masters Degree from The Slade, London.
He currently lives and works between St Leonards-on-Sea in England and Fougax-et-Barrineuf in the French Pyrenees where he continues to collaborate with his daughter Eden. He teaches part-time at the University for the Creative Arts where he is Professor of Time Based Media.
He has made numerous experimental short films, which were awarded prizes at international film festivals. Gallivant (1996), was his first feature film, a road/home movie about his four-month journey around the coast of Britain, with his grandmother Gladys and his daughter Eden. The film went on in 2011 to be voted number 49 as Best British Film of all time by the UK publication Time Out.
In 2001 he directed the first of his Earthworks Trilogy; This Filthy Earth, in 2009 Ivul, and in 2018 Lek And The Dogs. All three films were released theatrically throughout the UK and France. As well as exhibitions of his work in the UK he has presented retrospectives of his work in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and Australia. His collaborations with the writer Iain Sinclair have also produced the Journeyworks multi-media projects: Swandown, By Ourselves, Edith Walks and The Whalebone Box.
His thirty year oeuvre to date has moved from early live-art inflected, often absurdist pieces, through darkly comic shorts teasing out the melancholy surrealism at the heart of contemporary Englishness to eight resolutely independent feature films that take biography, landscape and journeys as springboards into the making of visually striking and structurally inventive enquiries into identity, belonging, history and notions of the folkloric.