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Life Drawing Event at Afri-Co-Lab in collaboration with the

Refugee Buddy Project

Twelve hours

Eight sitters

One venue! 

The number of pictures produced?

Well, that’s up to you!

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Whether you're an artistic newbie, an old master, or a free spirit, come and draw your heart out in the comfort of your local creativity lab and support Refugee Week in our Life Drawathon event.


Join us in a 12- hour life drawing experiment to capture what really makes the human form. The laughter behind the lines, the wrinkles at the corner of an eye, and the work that shapes our hands.

At the end of your time with us, we would love for you to donate one of your pieces to create a community exhibition here at Afri-Co-Lab. 


  • What: 12-Hour life drawing marathon

  • When: Saturday 24th June from 12 noon to 12 midnight

  • Where: Afri-Co-Lab, 3 Marine Court, TN38 ODX

  • How: Book yourself an hourly slot or more, below

  • ££: Pay by donation


Extras: as well as great models, lots of stories and a cosy venue, we will also provide a selection of recycled paper for you to draw on and to keep your strength up; tea and light snacks will be served throughout the day.


They say a picture paints a thousand words! But have you ever wondered what a picture would choose to say if it could speak?

In our 12-hour life drawathon, each of our clothed models will share stories of themselves through music, conversation, food and their bodies.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the experiences they choose to share and see if you can capture the moment, that forged the twinkle in their eye, the work that has shaped their hands and the earth that has crumbled under their feet.

Book an hourly slot or a few, and see what stories you can recreate, capture and respond to through the artwork you create!

There is no set price take part, just pay what you can.


We have 8 hourly slots, for you to choose from.

Choose the time slots that work for you,  and bring your preferred drawing medium.

We recommend you bring a selection of colourful mediums as there will be lots to capture.

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Booking Short Cut

Dorcas Magbadelo is a local illustrator whose work focuses on centering and celebrating Black women in all their forms. Born in Nigeria, raised in London and recently transplanted to St Leonard's; the thread that our past weaves with our future, our ancestral connections and how that forms how we build community, is something that Dorcas is currently exploring in her work. Dorcas is excited to be part of this year's Life Drawathon and can't wait to work with the lovely Afri-Colab team & hear the varying migration stories of each sitter(s)


Khadija Khan is located in St.Leonards, East Sussex. Khadija has worked with a range of local community projects and charities, including the Refugee Buddy Project. Having no previous background in fine art, it was much as a surprise to Khadija as it was to others when she put paint to canvas. Khadija is known for her use of bold colours, especially her signature shades of mustard and cobalt blue. She uses a combination of oil paints with cold wax and gold leafing.


Lillian Babirye Co Founder and Co Director of Afri-Co-Lab is a creative artist with a focus on textiles, fashion, storytelling and interactive educational experiences. Lilly studied fine arts and then moved into Fashion, graduating from Westminster University. Through Lilly’s 17 years of public engagement, Lilly has devised, coordinated, and produced public engagement projects that bring communities together in creative and engaging events. Lilly has collaborated with Black Cultural Archives, Victoria & Albert Museum, Brighton Museum, De La Warr Pavilion and Hastings Contemporary to name a few.

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The Sitter And Their Stories is brought to you in collaboration with the Refugee Buddy Project.  It will  be facilitated by Afri-Co-Lab Teamiee Lillian Babirye with Hastings locals - Dorcas Magbadelo and Khadija Khan.

Dorcas, Khadija and Lilly will be on hand to help you get the most out of your session as well as supporting the models in sharing their stories.

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