MAV announces the first round of recipients for the Shelter 2 commissions program

MAV is excited to announce the first round of recipients for the Shelter 2 commissions program.

Fifteen creatives of colour, residing in the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates affected by the July hard lockdown, will create new works that explore their lived experiences and reflections on this unprecedented event.

Creative works produced in Shelter 2 will span a range of artforms including film, visual arts, poetry, spoken word and music and will be presented online by MAV from November 2020 onwards.

Amongst successful recipients is Geskeva Komba, a creative of Comorian and Tanzanian heritage with 14 years experience in the arts, currently studying Masters of Producing at Victorian College of the Arts.

Geskeva has been awarded a $5000 Project Response Commission to create a short film that authentically represents self-determination and self-preservation, as well as the strength within family and community.

Community were the first on scene during the hard lockdown and it speaks volumes to create a work that reflects such strength.

I will be supporting the creative vision of a short film as the producer and the story will follow two friends who have opposing ideas on how to liberate their community through education and self-determination. The film will be shot on the Flemington Estates and aims to create a narrative that challenges overplayed stereotypes of people living on the premises.

I’m really excited to be working on the short film with other African creatives and being part of Shelter 2 has been able to support it, which I’m grateful and thankful for.” Geskeva says.

Another recipient is Ethiopian born contemporary jazz musician Zelalem Negatu who has been awarded a $2000 Collaborative New Work Commission to write and produce a new song, “Freedom Is Expensive”.

For Zelalem, who lives alone, the sudden lockdown was a difficult and confusing time and COVID-19 restrictions in general, have meant a major loss of income for him as he mostly depends on live performance to make a living.

The song I’m recording for Shelter 2 captures the emotions of this experience for me – a mix of sadness, loneliness, missing human contact, questioning the meaning of freedom and life, and praying for better days.” says Zelalem.

As well as professional artists, Shelter 2 has awarded commissions to several emerging artists and young people who will tell their stories through film, digital design, writing and visual arts.

MAV will present the final works online in stages from November 2020 onwards on the dedicated Shelter homepage.

The second round of Shelter 2 commissions is now open and will remain open until all funds are expended.
To find out more and submit an Expression of Interest click here.

Shelter 2 has been generously supported by VicHealthCreative Victoria and City of Melbourne to provide $54, 000 in quick response commissioning options and funding opportunities for diverse artists.

For media enquiries, please contact Sneha at

Supported by:
VicHealth, Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne