Nine months after losing four members of her family in the Grenfell Tragedy in 2017, Feruza took part in a silent walk organised monthly by Grenfell United. Surrounded by the Grenfell community, she describes this moment as the first time seeing “community in action”. She realised how this community was powerful – able to look after and trust in each other after so much was lost. The experience sparked the beginnings of Gold & Ashes – a visual series – where Feruza photographed, filmed and documented the stories of those who lived and loved in Grenfell. More than a series of images, the process was healing, where she was able to see the loss and beauty of her community, to demand justice and to reclaim the narrative around Grenfell. Feruza is in conversation with Errol Donald, a therapeutic wellbeing practitioner and founder and director of Mindspray. Feruza is an Eritrean-British creative storyteller, mental health advocate and founder of Gold & Ashes. Gold & Ashes is a visual series sharing the stories of, and by, the Grenfell community, as a way to honour the lives of lost loved ones. The visual series includes a published photobook, film and exhibition. Feruza is in conversation with Errol Donald. Errol is an artist, therapeutic wellbeing practitioner and director of Mindspray. Mindspray is a creative platform that tells the stories of communities, where creative talent is overlooked and under-represented – inspired by Errol’s own experience as a pioneer and central figure within UK graffiti art. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Feruza Afewerki

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