Can art change the world winner: Emma Morsi

In Spring 2016 we ran a competition to find 13-25 year olds who are creating art that aims to make a difference. Emma Blake Morsi, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of digital magazine Nocturnal was our winner.

Can art change the world winner: Emma Morsi

First of all, congratulations on your selection. Can you tell us a little about the project that you entered to this competition?

Nocturnal is a youth-led interactive magazine and showcase platform using the Arts as a medium to creatively address social and cultural issues. As a collection of digital stories, our biannual publication delivers Millennial insights and showcases upcoming work from young creatives. We raise awareness of poignant cultural issues relevant to our Millennial generation, whilst providing career development opportunities at a professional level. From biannual issues to varied showcases which reflect the multi-faceted creatives in our Nocturnal community – stay in the know!

Was the idea of 'changing the world' something you had considered before the competition?

As the founder, Nocturnal ironically started as part of my Gold Arts Award in early 2014. Each publication has been headstrong and dedicated to being a platform for young creatives to creatively address, document and discuss events both personal and socially which mattered to them. From this we are continuously using the arts as a way to make relatable content that works towards giving various communities a voice, which in effect means we are always striving to better the society and world we live in.

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Why do you think it's important that art attempts to bring about change?

The arts, whether people outrightly realise, is heavily influential on our day to day lives. Whether it's from admiring the cover art of the song currently playing through our headphones or subconsciously choosing to read a book by its cover. Through realising how creative processes heavily influenced my academic years, I became interested in the various ways creative practices can be used to tell a story, share insight and provide accessible learning. Through Nocturnal, an interactive magazine and showcase platform, we use the arts as a medium to address social and cultural issues creatively. This approach expands our showcase platform, where we spotlight young creatives, organisations and projects working towards doing amazing things.

Do you have a favourite piece of art — in any art form — that really changed the world for you?

From as long as I can remember reading has always been a big part of my life. From Saturday mornings spent at the library, to resisting the rise of ebooks to then welcoming their everyday convenience. The books I've read have evolved with me, as well as the characters which have made an impact on my life. The ability to weave together a whole other reality and existence through linguistics is incredibly powerful and every day I'm thankful that my job allows me to use words as a positive influence on someone else's life.

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When did you start making art?

Completely unaware I was dwelling in the realms of typography, in primary school I would experiment with different fonts and often found myself skimming through magazines for fashion inspiration, I would later than sketch my own take from them. I discovered that through a magazine where I use the arts for discourse I would be able to touch base with all my interests whilst providing a platform to support upcoming creatives and share personal stories. So, very selfishly I set up Nocturnal.

What else are you up to right now?

Whilst running Nocturnal, I am also currently juggling my post-student life as a digital marketing apprentice for Saffron Records, Bristol's first female youth record label, as well as taking on invaluable opportunities across Bristol within Young Arnolfini, Situations Rising, Watershed and Spike Island.

What would be your ideal project to work on?

My ideal project would see me travelling around the world taking part in and documenting destination-specific activities, which in turn would consist of spotlighting various international groups and organisations creatively making a change. If anyone would like to sponsor me to make this happen...hey!

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What can we expect from you in the next year or so? Do you have any plans for new projects?

Our Nocturnal publications are biannual, with the exciting Issue V open brief coming out soon for an Autumn 2016 release. We're also launching our Artist2Artist interview series soon, where two creatives interview each other. This forms an incredibly authentic and rich dialogue through their peer understanding and we're hoping to expand this to cover international artists in the coming year. So yes, we'll be travelling beyond the UK!


Behind the scenes video of lookbook photoshoot with Freedom Project's Fawohodie clothing brand: https://vimeo.com/nctrnlmag/issue-iv-lookbook-bts

Coverage of the Nocturnal Issue IV launch party: https://vimeo.com/nctrnlmag/nctrnl-live

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