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SXSW 2019


Date/Time: Saturday 9th March – 12:30 pm

Location: Austin Convention Centre, Ballroom F

Panelists: Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University), Akala (Writer/Performer), Tea Uglow (Google Creative Lab) and Erin Roberts (Zombies Run)


This panel of writers, publishers and future-thinkers will examine ways in which books are attempting to compete, re-imagine and revitalise storytelling in the digital age.

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Kate Pullinger's most recent fiction, a ghost story for smartphones, Breathe, is a collaboration with Editions at Play and the Ambient Literature Research Project. Breathe was shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize 2018. Her novel, The Mistress of Nothing, won Canada's Governor General's Award for Fiction.


In 2014, Pullinger collaborated with Neil Bartlett to create the digital war memorial, Letter to an Unknown Soldier. Pullinger is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University, where she is Director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.


Erin Roberts writes speculative fiction in a variety of forms. She is a staff writer for the long-form audio narrative game Zombies, Run!, is currently writing a choice-based novel-length game with Choice of Games, and has published short fiction in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, The Dark, PodCastle, and interactive market Sub-Q Magazine. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Workshop and Stonecoast MFA program and winner of the 2017 Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Worlds and Diverse Writers grants.


Tea Uglow has worked at Google for over 12 years, starting Google’s Creative Lab in Europe and, since 2012, building a Creative Lab for the Asia Pacific region in Sydney, Australia.  She works with cultural organisations and practitioners to enable artists, writers and performers to look at new ways in which we can use digital technology to augment traditional art, theatre and music.

Uglow believes that by experimenting with digital tools at the creative core of culture we can transform existing cultural practice without losing the tradition, values and intangible qualities that make the arts so valuable. Previous projects include Editions at Play, which won a 2018 Peabody award for digital storytelling, Belongings with SBS, Oracles with Punchdrunk, Amaravati with the British Museum,  Hangouts in History (education),  Dream40 with the RSC, (LEGO), Web Lab with London's Science Museum,  Life in a Day a YT film with Ridley Scott and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (with the LSO), she is proud of her early involvement in the Art Project (now Google's Cultural Institute) .


Tea speaks on innovation and digital futures around the world. (Her 2015 talk for TEDx Sydney has had over 1.5 million views).  In 2018 she was D&AD’s Digital Jury President, and sat on the Cannes Glass Lion jury. She is a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique International), the ABC Arts Advisory Panel, and the Science Gallery Leonardo Group. She has sat on the board of directors for the Biennale of Sydney; D&AD; and AWARD.


Tea studied Fine Art at the Ruskin in Oxford, before completing two further degrees in Book Arts and Design Management at UAL. She spent 6 years in arts publishing and design management for charities as well as in various digital start-ups joining Google in 2006. Prior to Google, Tea worked for the Royal Academy of Arts, the Wellcome Trust, Random House and Christian Aid.  

Tea is also a very active and proud parent of two small boys. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and historian AKALA is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce lyrical storytelling. Inspired by the likes of Saul Williams and Gil Scot-Heron, over the years Akala has developed a stellar live show with his renowned drummer/award-winning music producer Cassell ‘TheBeatmaker’ (Plan B/The Streets/Keziah Jones) headlining 8 UK tours as well as touring with the likes of Jay-Z, Nas & Damian Marley, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera to Siouxsie Sue, Damon Albarn’s (‘Blur’/Gorillaz’) ‘Africa Express’ and Richard Ashcroft, appearing at numerous UK / European and US festivals (Glastonbury, Big Chill, Wireless, V, Hove and

SXSW) as well as taking part in British Council arts education/music projects across several countries in South-east Asia, Africa, The Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. Akala is more recently known for his compelling lectures/seminars and journalism (The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent), TV presenting and script-writing – over last few years he has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and literate talents in the UK. Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes and fronted documentaries across Channel 4, ITV2,

MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music, poetry as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music, youth engagement, British / African-Caribbean culture and the arts as a whole. In 2009, Akala launched the ‘The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company’, a music theatre production company which has sparked worldwide media interest since its inception. Previous clients/collaborators include: BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, London 2012, British actor; Sir Ian McKellen together with artist’s; Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite, Lady Leshurr and many more.

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