“I remember when I was 11 my father bought my postcards from his trip to the UK. Ever since then I really wanted to go. He told me he would take me but never managed to bring me in the next five years.
Even without visiting I knew I wanted to come here, and at the age of 16, pretty much the first opportunity I got, I made the move. The first time I moved in was also the first time I visited here. I had my bags and found a place in Brighton, where I could afford to start off by myself, and that’s it, I went from there. I didn’t have much more of a plan than that I just know what I wanted to do.
No matter what’s expected for you, if you have drive then just go for it. Otherwise you’ll never know what will happen. That’s what I did.
I moved 9 houses in the last 5 years, and my life changes massively every time. You have no idea. I’ve met so many awesome people along the way, honestly!
You get to understand different people and situations, how to adapt to them and mature. For me, exploring is key – if you have the energy and power, explore in every way possible.
London is busy place, it has productive environment. I need it. I’m a laid back person generally , so being in a city where everything is always on the move is what makes me get things done, otherwise I’d happily sit back and relax the whole time , and I wouldn’t have any of what I have to show now.”
“I remember seeing Nichole for the first time four months ago. And I thought she was horrible, she just stared at me in a nasty way I dunno what it was. But one day when a bunch of friends were hanging out, we didn’t spend too much time together during the day, but then she asked if I wanted to come home and I was thinking ‘um ok what’s happening here’. So I went, she introduced me to her flatmates and other friends, and since then I have been hanging out with her every day. It’s weird – but we just keep getting closer and finding out new stuff about each other.I don’t think you can get tired of a person unless you want to get tired.
I moved here 2 years ago from Romania. So I’ve studied everything, I did 18 subjects. And I was really good with Science but I realised one day I just can’t do this all my life. And I moved away because people there didn’t appreciate Art as much.
Since I was 11 I realised I wanted to direct. I remember helping direct a play for school and thought ‘I can tell people what to do and it’s art?… OMG I so want to do this’. As I read more books, I realised it was definitely for me and I told myself I got to move away if I’m gonna do this properly. So when I was 16 I spoke to my dad:
‘I’m moving to England’
‘What? No you’re not’
‘Yeh yeh I am, watch me’
‘OK then, maybe then, maybe don’t run away from home, do you need help with a place to stay?’
So here I am.
I tell Nichole every day – “you know in 10 years, Louis Vuitton will be our pocket money. Then we will be there on the red carpet and you will be there with me”… and then she will say two words and it will be quote of the year. She doesn’t talk that much and then when she says something, it’s the kind of the true spoken words.
“It’s funny you ask how we know each other, because we all just met today. They are from Holland, and I came over from France. But we’ve all come here to work for Jason Mabana.
It’s with the Condoco Dance Company. We’ve been chosen to work on a dance project, which we had to audition for back home. So it really was a big moment when I found out I had been chosen.
The project will be about Aleppo. Not in a sad, tragic way – but more to tell the story of it, in a creative style. And there are plans, I hope, that we will travel to refugee camps to do the performance, which will be so nice; but we are not sure yet when this will happen. For now, it is already confirmed that we will be at the Sadler’s Wells theatre, which should be great. We have one month here to work on this, and then again in end of April before performing.
The dance centre is not far from here, but I made a big mistake – we were told that it was in Edgware, and I when I looked at the map I thought it was Edgware Road! So I am staying quite far from here right now!
I was born in Hawaii, and moved to LA for my undergraduate. I spent a year abroad in London, and absolutely fell in love with the city, especially the shear diversity of the people here! I’ve met people from all over and I feel there’s no where else in the world where you’ll have the same opportunity. So I’m living in East London now, but I’ve pretty much lived all over. I love the amenities where I live now: different types of food, coffee shops, boutiques, you name it! My sister visited recently, and she found the area a bit ‘edgy’ with the graffiti and what not. We walked around Notting Hill and Kensington recently, and she much preferred West London, just like Nayab.
My reasons for coming here are slightly different, I mean it is really diverse but that wasn’t really my main one. For me, it was the freedom; being able to go abroad and have my own space. And I always had my mind set on London.
We both really love London, it’s amazing that you can find neighbourhoods that cater to people’s different preferences, all in the same city! It’s just one of the many things I love about London, its my favourite city in the world for sure. I would love to stay.
It’s so sad we only have a month left here.
We’ve both been looking for jobs here… we’ll need visas to stay. We have one month left to succeed!
Kiana & Nayab
More on the 2 girls:
Nayab and Kiana are both recent graduates from the LSE. Kiana completed her MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies and Nayab completed her MSc in City Design and Social Science. They met this summer while on a lunch break outside of the LSE Library, while writing their dissertations. They immediately hit it off, after sharing some much needed laughs during such a stressful time. They both are enthusiastic urbanists and plan on being life-long friends.
We met in Maths class back in school. I remember walking in and seeing that he looked cool, like different to the rest of the people in the class – everyone else just blended into one. So we spoke to each other, just about whatever, and yeh, we’ve been mates ever since.
He’s an illustrator, and I’m, well… I’m kinda just messing around with a few things, but I’m tryna find what I want to do. I do some modelling too but that’s not really what I wanna be doing – I don’t really like it that much. But I’m working on figuring it out, and when I do I’m gonna be so damn good at it.
Network and portfolio are such a good asset to have here. If you’re arty, then having a portfolio is ideal. These can really help you get noticed and be successful in London. I don’t feel like I wanna take the route of going through university and then half way through end up thinking that’s not what I wanna do, nah, I want to find my own way and start on it as early as I can.
That’s where London is different to other places. In Spain, having a portfolio won’t help you break out onto the creative scene, it’s just not there. Here, you have so many possibilities. And I got my friend here so there’s nothing I won’t be able to do.