Cross Borders Mentoring runs annually by open call and is for artists and activists at any stage of their practice or career. Ten participants are paired with an established mentor practicing in their specialism or area of interest. Mentors can provide valuable guidance, support and encouragement for participants who may be needing re direction, new connections or perspectives. We consult with participants to identify the right mentor for them and their needs and interests. Read more about our 2023 – 24 mentee cohort here.

Participants benefit from –

  • Six one-to-one sessions with their mentor over the course of a year
  • One to one ongoing advice and support from the Cross Borders team at Scottish Refugee Council
  • A financial grant to support creative and professional development. (*Participants who do not have the right to work or any recourse to public funds receive the equivalent in the form of necessary equipment or courses.)
  • Travel and childcare support to attend meetings
  • Interpretation support from application stage through to sessions with mentors
  • Joining our associates network

How to apply?

We hope to open applications again in Summer 2024. We welcome applications from artists and activists at any stage of the asylum process or immigration system.

‘It became a really rich exchange in how personal stories and political struggle are communicated through work in different ways.’ Pio Abad, 2021-22 Mentor

‘Given the minimal support and consistent erasure of people from underrepresented backgrounds, this programme provides a significant opportunity for supporting critical creative work – vital in attending to systemic erasures. I consider mentorship, especially peer-led, to be an important method in sharing resources and knowledge. I think my mentee is an excellent artist – very thoughtful and critical. However I think that art institutions can ask too much of artists, particularly artists from marginalised backgrounds and my mentee often felt pressure to achieve too much to make institutions feel good for little compensation.’ Alberta Whittle, 2021-22 Mentor

‘Happy to have been given the opportunity to be part of the programme. It helped me immensely. Both professionally, but also personally.’ Najma Abukar, 2021 – 22 Mentee

‘It was a very helpful programme. I had not thought about creative writing seriously and did not have the confidence to talk about it, but after having sessions with Sara, I realised that I should continue my writing more seriously and even have thought of finding publishers. I find my writing and understanding of creative writing improved a lot after this programme.’ (Through the grant support), ‘I could stay in touch with some people in Afghanistan and listen to their stories, I purchased word and Grammarly that helped me with correcting my grammatical mistakes, word choice and spelling mistakes. Editing has become way easier for me.’ Zarah Saifey, 2022 – 23 Mentee