Darren Ferguson - CEO
I am a community activist, educator, disruptor, father, musician, producer and on occasions a poet. I have been involved with community work locally and internationally for over 30 years and love travelling, being around people and creative environments. I am committed to enabling people to reach their full potential to create a peaceful and equal society. Very passionate about sharing, accessing and protecting music & arts in all its diverse forms and enabling equity. I founded Beyond Skin as a response to the rise in sectarianism and racism and was inspired by the good work of Peter Gabriel, 1 Giant Leap and Nitin Sawhney of whom we took our name from his 4th Album. My other hats include trustee/volunteer for Migrant Minority Ethnic Council, Cre8 Theatre, Make Music Day UK and International Coordination For Afghan Musicians. Lastly, I am a rubbish cook but love to eat.
Kira Topalian - Project Manager
Hiya! I am a musician, actor, and artist who has been working with Beyond Skin since August 2020. I handle project management, workshop facilitation and any other odds and ends! I have been involved in the arts my whole life, and have been working in the non-profit sector since 2016. I recently graduated with an MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen's University Belfast, and am incredibly passionate about the intersection between arts and peacebuilding, and the defence of human rights. Originally from the US, I began living in Belfast in 2017 and feel so lucky to call this place my home!
Kerry Anderson - Operations Manager
Hello! My name is Kerry and I work on day-to-day tasks with Beyond Skin - project management, workshop facilitation, social media management and any other weird & wonderful enquiries that come my way! As a recent master's graduate of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen's University, I am passionate about overcoming conflict both locally and internationally using new creative methods. My personal research focuses on the representation of refugees as autonomous beings by small and large refugee charities located in Greece. Aside from that, I love yoga, cooking and meeting new wonderful people!
Arianna McBurney – Youth4Peace Ambassador and member of the European Youth Advocacy Team
Hi there, I am Arianna! I have worked with Beyond Skin for nearly two years now. This has included: acting as a translator (Spanish/English); leading online workshops; spearheading Facebook live events on current legal issues; and, liaising with other international organisations. I am currently in my final year at Queen’s University Belfast studying Common and Civil law with Hispanic Studies (LLB Hons). I am passionate about the protection of Human Rights generally, and allowing all voices to be heard and feel represented. I am a very outgoing person, and absolutely love talking to new creative people!
Chloe-Jayne McConville - UNOY Lead
Hi! My name is Chloe-Jayne and I have just joined the Beyond Skin team as the new UNOY Lead. Having just graduated from Ulster University I'm currently traveling across Austria as a photographer. I explore themes of identity and feminism through clothing and personal poetry in my work. In my photography and this role I will bring in a new perspective, creative new plans and new approaches. I have a lot of plans and I'm so excited to jump right in!
Board of Trustees