Meet The Culture Trip team who has been bringing you the best of the world's culture! Get in touch with our Editors if you like what you read or are interested in becoming a regular contributor. We look forward to hearing from you!
Laurence Gardner is an Editor and Writer, who maintains a keen interest in Literature, Journalism and music. Born and raised in Leicestershire, Laurence moved to London to study English Literature with Creative Writing at London South Bank University. Shortly after moving to London, he helped found The Pig Faced Lady, a collective of like-minded Artists and Writers. Now at The Culture Trip, Laurence is responsible for the Africa and the Caribbean sections of the website. Email Laurence at laurence.gardner [at] theculturetrip.com.
Upon recognising a passion for art history and the Italian language, Ellen moved from her hometown of Menlo Park, California to spend her university years at John Cabot University in Rome. Several gallery internships during her studies led to an interest in contemporary art and to her decision to pursue a Masters in modern and contemporary art at Christie’s Education in London. Following her Masters Ellen spent time working at both the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Bonhams Auction House in London. She now oversees the North, Central and South America sections of The Culture Trip. Email Ellen at ellen.vonwiegand1 [at] theculturetrip.com.
An Editor and Writer with a particular interest in global literature and translation, Thomas Storey has played a central role in the development of The Culture Trip. Born in Wales but raised primarily in Hong Kong, Thomas came to London to study for a Masters in 20th Century Literature at Goldsmiths University where he specialised in Modernist literature and its relation to the post-industrial city.
Thomas wrote for a variety of websites before joining The Culture Trip, for which he has produced a variety of articles on literature and the arts, and assisted in the curation of a global catalogue of books and films, all with the aim of developing the site as a comprehensive travel and culture resource. The Culture Trip has offered a perfect forum for promoting literary and cultural exchange and discovering new, otherwise neglected, cultural icons from across the globe. Thomas is currently responsible for the Asia, Pacific and Middle East sections of the website. Email Thomas at thomas.storey [at] theculturetrip.com.
Involved in both Design and Editorial aspects at The Culture Trip, Stephanie has played an important strategic role in developing the website. Born in Texas to Chinese-Taiwanese parents, Stephanie completed a BA in Political Science at Wellesley College before moving to London to study for an MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute with a specialisation in 17th century Flemish and Dutch art.
Drawn to The Culture Trip for its unique aim of being a global platform for cultural exchange, focusing on underrepresented cultures from around the world, Stephanie is currently responsible for all design aspects of the company as well as overseeing the China, Taiwan, Tibet, Singapore and Hong Kong sections of the website. Email Stephanie at stephanie.chang [at] theculturetrip.com.
Andrew is a writer and editor with several years experience in print, web and live performance. Born in Scotland, he moved to Australia where he studied creative arts at the University of Wollongong and majored in creative writing. Being passionate about art, culture and travel, Andrew has lived and worked around the world including Sydney, Tokyo, Edinburgh, Barcelona and London. Through these travels, he has not only focused on writing about the arts, but also on pursuing his own creative projects. His plays have been performed in multiple theatres around the world, including at The Arts Theatre in London’s West End. Andrew is currently responsible for the Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica sections of the website. Email Andrew at andrew.kingsfordsmith [at] theculturetrip.com.
Please meet our Regular Contributors, hailing from across the world. The minimum requirement to become a Regular Contributor and be featured here is having published 3 articles at The Culture Trip. Regular Contributors may also interview people on behalf of The Culture Trip. We may also provide them with a press pass to attend and review suitable events and shows. If this sounds exciting and interesting to you, have a look at the writing guidance under Write Articles and get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!
Beryl Belsky was born in Dublin, and grew up in Australia where she studied East Asian Studies at the Australian National University. She spent a year in Japan working as a representative of the Australian government, and several years in England. Beryl has worked for some 30 years as an academic editor at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where she now lives.
Although her work is unrelated to the Asia arena, she has kept in touch by reading a wide variety of Asian literature and literature about Asia. In addition, in order to develop her writing skills beyond that of rewriting for others, she launched, in early 2011, The Asia Collection, which offers the Western reader glimpses into some lesser known aspects of Asia, as well as into subjects connected to the region that are of interest to Beryl personally. In early 2012, she set up the website The Writer’s Drawer, which is intended as an intercultural showcase for writers of all kinds and from all nations. Beryl also provides free editing support to non-native English speakers wishing to submit creative pieces to the site.
Born on the outskirts of London, Reece Choules is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. A creative writing graduate at LSBU, Reece recently quit his role as a sales assistant in a well-known DIY store, to embark on a six-month journey around Europe. Having recently been long listed for the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize his first published piece of fiction is set to appear online in Inkapture magazine. His biggest inspirations are the writings of Dostoyevsky and Cormac McCarthy, and the music of David Bowie, Scott Walker and Joy Division.
Marcus Clark was born and raised in the London Borough of Ealing, the home of the iconic Ealing Studios. After graduating from the University of Sheffield with a BA in History and Politics it was only logical that he should gravitate toward film and to date has written over 25 articles on European cinema for The Culture Trip.
His favourite directors include Martin Scorsese, Terrance Malick, Wes Anderson, Thomas McCarthy, Steve McQueen, Ben Wheatley, Paul Thomas Anderson, Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Hammer among many others. He has also worked at a number of film festivals throughout London, including the London Film Festival and continues to seek opportunities in both the production and exhibition side of the film world. He has travelled extensively, and once drove a clapped out Honda Win from Hanoi to Saigon.
Igor Daems lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. He is a blogger for www.spottedbylocals.com and for the city of Antwerp. He is working on his first novel, a story about pilgrimage, butter and love, to be published in 2013. HIs literary influences include Paul Auster, Jonathan Safran Foer and Jonathan Coe. From nine to five he is the content manager for Antwerp Tourism & Convention. Before and after work, he reads, bikes, runs and listens to music. He is dedicated to sharing his passion for Belgian music with the rest of the world.
Born in Istanbul, Deren developed a passion for the arts from an early age. She went to the Austrian High School in Istanbul where she took dance, drama and piano classes for 8 years. At university, she studied Sociology whilst also learning Argentine Tango and Salsa. London was her next stop; here, she completed an MA in film studies at UCL and worked at various art institutions for two years. She recently moved to Boston, MA, whilst continuing in her role as a film and book curator and contributor for The Culture Trip.
Besides her enthusiasm for Spanish and Iranian cinema, she can’t get enough of films by Tim Burton, Tom Tykwer, Emir Kusturica and Kim Ki-Duk. Big Fish, Hable con Ella and 3-Iron are amongst her favourites. She loves lomography! Her passion for Pina Bausch’s dance theater could not be overlooked either. Her dream is to organise an annual international dance film festival.
Born and raised in Kent, Claire has lived in London since 2007, where she began an eternal studentship at Kingston University. Having completed her BA (Hons) History and MA Early Modern History there, she decided to stay a little longer and has recently embarked on a History PhD. Her research has previously focused on deviant sexuality, mostly in the 18th century, and her current working thesis is exploring representations of same-sex sexuality in public history.
When not knee-deep in gender and queer theories, Claire spends her time going through the large pile of novels she has accumulated but never made time for, visiting museums, cooking feasts, wearing fancy dress and sitting in pubs that line the Thames. She sometimes tweets about all of the above @feralbother.
Anya Kordecki is a Nottingham born film enthusiast and avid traveller. She considers learning about cultures and different lives to be very important and believes that there is a lot more to be discovered in stories and films than is often realised.
Over the last few years, she has been working as a propmaker and runner on independent films. Since completing her degree in animation, she has assisted on three short films, taken multiple short courses and created sets for various amateur theatre groups. She hopes to continue working in film and aims to travel as often as she can.
Mélissa was born in London but raised on the tropical island of Mauritius. After studying different subjects in Europe and the US - including Cinema, Political Sciences and finally Media at the London School of Economics - she discovered her passion for the arts and took on writing for the Culture Trip.
Méissa is a keen photographer and traveller, although she admittedly prefers heavy suitcases to light backpacks. She spends her spare time cooking Indian vegetarian dishes, reading French literature and running in Hyde Park. Her favourite artists include Munch, Basquiat and the Mauritian painter Malcolm de Chazal, whose works she hopes she can collect in the future. She sometimes tweets about London & the art scene @leclezim.
Somewhere in the rural woods of New York a decade ago, if you parted the vines and looked through the leaves you might have spied a young boy pretending to be a wizard. Harry Potter had just come out, and being overly infatuated with it, Shelton resolved somewhere between using a branch as a wand and pretending that the deer where his patronus to move to the U.K. and 'live the dream'.
This is what ultimately led Shelton to flying the pond sans broom, grabbing the train and heading up into the wilds of Scotland where he went to school for four years at St. Andrews in a desperate attempt to cling to the vestiges of his youthful idealism.
Getting a degree in Film Theory in English language, Shelton now lives in London where he goes to Goldsmiths researching gender theory and identity creation for his MRES. He works as a script reader, video game script writer, and a teacher of crafts as an alternative form of therapy for women with breast cancer.
Sarah Mitchell is a freelance writer and artist based in London. From growing up in Kenya, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Nepal, and the USA, studying Anthropology for her BA and Publishing for her MA she developed a deep fascination for people, stories and cultures from around the world. Wishing to share the creative endeavors of others, Sarah’s pieces most often focus on the personal trajectories of artists and musicians – but also touch on film, performance and literature.
Born in La Habana, Cuba, Fernando emigrated from his homeland at the age of ten, leaving behind his culture and family only to find a new home in Brasília, Brazil. Although he left the country, Cuba never left him and he thus chose an academic career in Sociology and Cultural Studies focused on the study of the island’s history and politics, as well as on the experience of migration itself.
Totally inebriated by colonial history and post-colonial theory, Fernando is always keen to read, argue or write about race, history and politics - especially in Cuba and Latin America. He also thinks that Vargas Llosa’s The War of the End of the World is the best title ever.
Hiroe Nirei is originally from Fukushima, Japan. She started training in dance at the age of five and worked as a dancer performing a wide range of genres including Jazz/ Ballet/ Tap and Ballroom Dance.
Hiroe studied Sociology of Arts – the relationship between Art and Society and how they influence each other – at the Tokyo Gakugei University. She moved to London to train in Contemporary Dance at Middlesex University, where she has just completed a BA in Dance Performance. She often performs in various events and shows around London.
Lindsay Parnell recently completed her M.F.A. at Kingston University in London and is currently based in Virginia, USA.
Her fiction has appeared in 3:AM, Beat the Dust, Underground Voices and 4'33 Audio Magazine. As the proud owner of a collection of thirteen different editions of "The Bell Jar", she is currently in the market for the Greek translation. She sometimes remembers to tweet @LMParnell.
Rajesh Punj is a London based art critic, correspondent, collector and curator, with a specialist interest in India, Pakistan, China and the Middle East.
With an academic background in European and American art history and curating, he teaches art and architectural history and writes extensively on the emerging markets, for publications that include Deutsche Bank Art Mag, (Berlin), Flash Art International, (Milan), Asian Art newspaper, (London), and art&deal, (New Delhi), among others.
Writing and photography have been passions for Jessica Ransom from a young age. After intermittently studying digital photography at the International Center of Photography she realized that she could channel her interests in the broader study of art history. She recently received her M.A. in History of Art and the Art Market: Modern and Contemporary Art from Christie’s Education in New York and happily launched a freelance writing career focusing on modern and contemporary artists.
Federico Rosa was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he founded the X3 Projects, an independent artist’s space that showcases contemporary art by Honduran and international artists. In 2003 He received his B.A. in Painting from the City and Guilds of London Art School, and completed an M.A. in Sculpture from London's Slade School of Fine Arts in 2005.
He has lately divided his time between studios in Tegucigalpa and Frankfurt, Germany. Find out more from Federico's website here.
Pratiek is currently studying Law at NALSAR, Hyderabad, in India. He loves to write and has a passion for travel. In fact, he took on writing after his parents encouraged him from a young age to keep a record of his travel memories.
Pratiek’s favourite authors include Gerald Durrell, Bill Bryson, Nick Hornby, RK Narayan and Ruskin Bond. Almost all of them also happen to be brilliant travel-writers. In addition, Pratiek adores Hollywood films and particularly enjoys the works of Quentin Tarantino, Jason Reitman and Sam Mendes.For Pratiek, living in India is an absolute treasure trove: every city blends a variety of people, languages, terrains and notions. When he will be done covering his country, Pratiek wants to travel abroad and explore unchartered territories.
Born in upstate New York, Phillip Spradley grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. As a child, Phillip was inspired by free visits to the Smithsonian museums in D.C. to explore his interest in Architecture and Art. Returning to New York for university, Phillip studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and New York University.
Over the course of his career, Phillip has worked with artists, galleries, and art institutions in New York City and currently works at an art gallery in Chelsea. Phillip is interested in Impressionist to Modern Art; New York City’s Downtown culture during the 1970’s to early 1990’s; French New Wave Films; and German Expressionism. When Phillip is not working he is visiting galleries, checking out museums, cooking, reading, at a concert, or riding his bike around NYC.
Bansie Vasvani has an MA in Art History, and is an ABD (All but DIssertation) in English and American Literature. She takes an avid interest in writing, researching, and promoting art from South and Southeast Asia. She has traveled extensively to art fairs around the world, and resides in New York City.
Christopher Bryn Viner is a writer, and the editor of the London based quarterly literary magazineYou Stumble into a Room Full of Poets. He has a special interest in poetry, taking particular inspiration from the romantics, the moderns, and the beats.
When Christopher isn’t writing or editing, you might find him adventuring some place on a bike. This year he cycled from London to Rome. He also enjoys walking, getting lost, poetry readings, and listening to classical music.
Erdinch is a London born Turkish-Cypriot Literature graduate, writer and culture vulture. His personal interests include the works of Cormac McCarthy, modern American Fiction, Prince, criticism and The Third Man. He also loves European cinema and the films of David Lynch, Dario Argento and Joon-ho Bong.
Sarah Zakzouk works in the realm of academic publishing. In her spare time, she is a campaign volunteer at Books for London, a book swapping initiative.
Falling between two cultures, Sarah is an Egyptian/ English hybrid. Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, and later travelling the world with a backpack, she is accustomed to nomadic tendencies and thrives off exploration and the experience of different countries and their traditions.
In her writing, Sarah follows the Publishing world and the effects of technology on the industry; she also writes about the arts, culture and gender politics in the Middle East.
Ewa was born in a small town in the newly-born democratic Poland, but raised in a small town somewhere in England, and spent her adolescent summers with family in South East Asia. Eventually, she decided to read French and German at the University of Oxford and write a novel or two. Somehow, she then landed in Brussels and is now based in Berlin.
As a proud Pole, Ewa would like to encourage everyone to give Polish culture a try. She finds peace in reading the poetry of Rilke and Mallarme, any prose she might find captivating (German Romanticism or Expressionism, French Naturalism and Surrealism, and so on), and in walking around big cities only with Chopin as a companion.