Our Team

Woman wearing a polka dot dress

Dr Giuliana Fenech is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Malta, specialising in work involving children and young adult literature and citizenship, agency, creative protest, and activism. She combines research with cultural and artistic community projects involving stories, multimedia, cultural heritage, and youth. 

Among these projects, as part of an Erasmus K2 project on Creative SDGs led by Esplora Interactive Science Centre in Malta, Giuliana directed a team of researchers and storytellers researching the representation of girls in science stories for children. In May 2022, Giuliana convened the circuit conference The Child and the Book, themed, ‘The Role of the Child as Citizen: Constructing Childhood through Agency and Activism’ in Malta. She is the editor of two forthcoming volumes; ‘The Role of the Child as Citizen (2023)’ and ‘Geopolitics, Activism, and Citizenship in Children’s and Young Adult Literature’ (2024).

Additionally, Giuliana runs a storytelling organisation, Lignin Stories, which has worked with diverse groups of children and youths in Malta and various other European countries, including Italy and Scotland.

Principal Investigator

University of Malta, Malta

JUSTYNA

Dr Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak is Associate Professor of Literature at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław.

She has published on children’s culture, new materialism, and posthumanism. Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film (2021), which Justyna co-edited with Zoe Jacques, received the 2023 Edited Book Award from the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. She also co-edited (with Irena Barbara Kalla) Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind (2021) and Rulers of Literary Playgrounds: Politics of Intergenerational Play in Children’s Literature (2021), and (with Macarena García-González) Children’s Cultures after Childhood (2023).

In 2017-2021, Justyna served on the IRSCL executive board. In 2018-2024, she was the University of Wrocław coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus International Master: Children’s Literature, Media and Culture. Justyna is also a Fulbright, Kosciuszko, and Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow and a grantee of the Polish Foundation for Science and the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.

Lead Investigator

University of Wrocław, Poland

Farriba Schulz

Dr Farriba Schulz is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Education at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Universität Potsdam. She was the Visiting Professor of Primary Education in the Department of German at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, and worked as a guest lecturer at Freie Universität Berlin.

Her main research interest centres on construction of childhoods, (visual) literacy and inclusion, working collaboratively together with schools, libraries, museums, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) and artists.

She’s worked in the past on several projects that explore issues of ‘diversity’ and inclusivity working with children’s literature, including an international research project with Maureen Maisha Auma and Melanie Ramdarshan Bold.

She is a jury member of the GEW literature award “Lesepeter”, a member of the advisory board of the circuit conference, The Child and the Book, and co-editor of the book Political Changes and Transformations in Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Children’s Literature (2023).

Lead Investigator

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Mateusz Świetlicki

Mateusz Świetlicki is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław’s Institute of English Studies (Poland),Director of the Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture, and Deputy Dean for Student Affairs at the Faculty of Letters.

His most-recent book, Next-Generation Memory and Ukrainian Canadian Children’s Historical Fiction: The Seeds of Memory (Routledge, 2023), examines the transnational entanglements of Canada and Ukraine. He has recently co-edited Navigating Children’s Literature through Controversy: Global and Transnational Perspectives (Brill, 2023 – with Elżbieta Jamróz-Stolarska and Agata Zarzycka) and a special issue of Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature titled War and Displacement in Children’s Literature (2023 – with Chrysogonus Siddha Malilang).

Dr. Świetlicki was a Research Scholar at the University of Florida’s Department of English (Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship), a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2018), and a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto (2022). 

Co-Investigator

Poland

Petra

Prof. Petra Anders heads the German teaching and didactics department at primary level in the Institute of Educational Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. She studied German, History and Philosophy in Göttingen and Vienna and was trained as a teacher in Berlin. Since 2003, she has been part of the spoken word poetry scene in Berlin as an organiser and researcher. Her first book on youth poetry slam was published in 2004, followed by a dissertation and numerous relevant publications on the subject. She was a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2011 and did research on film education at FERA (Film and Education Research Academy) in New York City. 

Previously also a spokeswoman for AG Medien in the German Didactics Symposium, she is now a member of the jury for the Berlin Seal of Excellence for Digital Schools and a member of the Advisory Board of Vision Kino. 

Co-Investigator

Germany

Nicky Parker

Nicky Parker is a specialist in children’s literature and human rights, who has worked with Amnesty International for over 20 years. She has developed many books and literary projects using a human rights lens, including We Are All Born Free: the UDHR in Pictures (2008), published in 35 languages. With Cheltenham Festivals, she co-created ‘Words That Burn’ (2016), a spoken word resource for school students to explore and express human rights through poetry.

She established the Amnesty CILIP Honour (2016-18), a human rights commendation for books on the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist. She was lead writer of Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth (2021), with Angelina Jolie and Professor Geraldine Van Bueren QC and is the author of These Rights Are Your Rights: An empowering guide for children everywhere (2024). From 2016-22 she was Chair of Trustees of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and is on the steering group of Reflecting Realities, a change-making annual survey of ethnic representation in British children’s books. She is a trustee of English PEN.

Lead Consultant

Amnesty International, Poland

Bartosz Borys

Dr. Bartosz Borys, Human Rights Education and Activism Manager at Amnesty International, Poland, is a historian and educator.

His expertise is in post-war migration in Poland, Jewish Warsaw before World War II, Warsaw Ghetto and Oneg Shabbat Archive and Jewish sport in Warsaw during the interwar period.

Project Manager & Human Rights Educator

Poland

Giuliana Barbaro-Sant

Giuliana Barbaro-Sant holds a Masters in English and the Media from the Department of English at the University of Malta. In her role as Research Support Officer for the Seen and Heard project, she manages the creative department.

She is involved in the creation, marketing, management and development of cultural and artistic projects, that ranges from community projects at grassroots level, managing the internationalisation initiatives for Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture, up to the management of Creative Europe and Erasmus+ projects.

Currently, Giuliana is the lead responsible for the development of projects and initiatives at the National Agency for the Performing Arts (Malta). Giuliana was a member of the organising team of a number of conferences hosted by the Department of English, with the most recent one being The Child and The Book Conference 2022. 

Research Support Officer

Malta

Sandy

Sandy Calleja Portelli is a Research Support Officer with the Department of English at the University of Malta. She has a Diploma in Social Studies (Gender & Development), a BA (Hons) in English and a MA in English, Culture and the Media.

Sandy has experience in working with schools to coordinate storytelling as part of the Culture Pass programme organised by the Malta Arts Council. She was previously involved as a researcher in an Erasmus K2 project led by Esplora Interactive Science Centre in Malta, researching the representation of girls in science in children’s literature. Sandy was a member of the organising team of The Child and The Book Conference 2022. 

Research Support Officer

Malta

Charlie Cauchi

Charlie Cauchi is a British-Maltese interdisciplinary artist, published researcher and filmmaker.

She combines documentary, research and fiction to create hybrid forms of expression. Charlie holds a BA and a MA in Film Studies from Queen Mary University of London.

She has worked in the production department of several foreign productions. However, in 2017, she founded Sajjetta, an independent audiovisual production company. She was selected as part of the CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator Lab 2019 and is currently working on a feature-length documentary, Taurodont, supported by Arts Council Malta.

Charlie is also the co-founder and curator of Rosa Kwir, Malta’s first LGBTQI+ gallery and archive, working with artist Romeo Roxman Gatt. Her video work forms part of Malta’s national collection. Charlie’s solo shows include Backlot (Spazju Kreattiv, 2023. Malta), Scheherazade (Valletta Contemporary, 2019. Malta), and Latitude 36 (Blitz, 2018. Malta). Her work has formed part of group shows in Malta, Vienna and Berlin. 

Audiovisual Director & Filmmaker
Uli

Uli Decker was born and raised in Bavaria, South Germany. After a year abroad in Brazil’s Amazon region, she studied Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Literature, Theater and Film Studies at King’s College London, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Universidad Complutense, Madrid. Master’s degree in Creative Documentary Film at Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Since 2009 own short films, TV reports, documentaries as director and cinematographer. Her most recent movie “ANIMA – My Father’s Dresses”, a hybrid documentary about love, family secrets and gender roles, received many national and international awards, among them Max Ophüls Audience and Jury Award, Bavarian Film Award 2022, Best International Documentary at FIDBA, Buenos Aires, Best Documentary at Bend Film Festival US and many others. Uli Decker lives in Berlin, works as a film director and author and teaches film at schools and universities.

Filmmaker
Ed Dingli

Ed Dingli is an illustrator & designer whose work is driven by socio-political, cultural and environmental subjects. He feels driven to respond to worldly injustices with vibrant visuals that aim to connect with, support or inspire viewers.

His style is continually developing as he is actively experimenting with form and technique, using different methods of printmaking and exploring both analogue and digital processes. Following graduation from Malta’s Institute of Art & Design, Ed moved to the UK to continue his studies in graphic communication at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), where he culminated his studies with a thesis on social responsibility & ethics in design. Following this, Ed worked for London based creative studio Nice and Serious, where he worked on creative campaigns for the United Nations Development Programme, WWF and Refugee Action among others.

More recently, Ed moved to Portugal where he works as an independent artist and freelance illustrator with a focus on creating impactful visuals for causes including human rights, climate action and environmental regeneration. 

Art Director
Chris Riddell - Author Photo - Colour - Macmillan Children's Books Credit - 2017

A multi-award winning artist and one of the UK’s top contemporary illustrators and cartoonists, Chris Riddell is often celebrated for his inclusion of themes of ‘otherness’ and tolerance in books for young audiences without ever becoming didactic or pedantic. His own books include the highly-acclaimed Ottoline titles and the 2013 Costa Children’s Book Award-winning Goth Girl. He was appointed the UK Children’s Laureate in 2015 in recognition of his outstanding achievements in children’s literature.

Credit: Macmillan Children’s Books (2017)

Illustrator
Sita Brahmachari

An internationally award-winning British author of children’s and young adult novels, novellas, short stories, poetry and plays, Sita has been Book Trust Writer in Residence and an Amnesty International UK Ambassador. She is Associate Lecturer in Children’s and YA Literature at Goldsmiths University and is Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. She is also a Royal Literary Fellow, a Fellow of The Society of Authors and an Honorary Member of the Youth Libraries Group.

Sita’s books have won and been shortlisted for many awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Award,  Carnegie and UKLA awards. In 2018 she was honoured by The International Board of Books for Young People. In 2023 she was shortlisted for the Ruth Rendell Literacy Award. She has an MA in Arts Education and has worked widely in diverse communities to mentor new writing. Her workshops with refugee children contributed to the story of the globally award-winning animation Footsteps on The Wind (2020). She runs many creative workshops and speaks regularly at national and international festivals and in schools.

Author
Andres

A skilled professional in audiovisual media, specialising in motion graphics and video editing, Andres sees animation and film as magical tools that infuse everyday life with enchantment, connecting human stories and broadening our perspectives. His journey began at Politecnico Grancolombiano University, where he cultivated his skills and creativity, later venturing into diverse collaborations with social and cultural institutions in Colombia, particularly in ecological and musical spheres.

In 2017, Andres relocated to Malta to immerse himself in its dynamic film industry, as a versatile editor, motion graphic designer and digital image technician, contributing to both commercial and independent films across fiction and non-fiction genres. His talents have been showcased at prolific events such as the Valletta Film Festival, Kinemastik Short Film Festival, and Valletta Pageant of the Seas. Beyond his professional pursuits, Andres revels in cultural exploration, forging personal connections across continents through his multicultural marriage and immersive experiences at Latin American and European film festivals.

Audiovisual Assistant
Evi Hellebaut

Evi Hellebaut is an architect and freelance designer whose creative journey is fueled by a deep commitment to socio-environmental causes. Her diverse work spans from digital design to transforming physical spaces.

Collaborating with young entrepreneurs, visionaries, activists, and fellow architects, Evi aims to translate their narratives into visually captivating stories that resonate with a broad audience. After obtaining her Masters in Architecture, she became a proud member of the Baladi collective —a creative studio in the service of nature. Evi co-founded Greening the Camps, an organisation dedicated to designing and building community-based urban farms in Jordan, actively contributing to sustainable solutions for communities.

Using web design, architectural interventions, and illustrations as her tools, Evi aims to inspire and showcase the beautiful synergy between people, spaces, and the Earth.

Web Designer & Developer
logo-variations

Watch this space to meet the educators and young people who will be joining our team over the coming months!

Yellow pencil

Newsletter

Expressly delivered, straight to your inbox.