My ONCA Story by Umber Ghauri

Make-up Workshop Facilitator

The first time I ran a workshop at O N C A, I found the kind of community space I had been looking for, or trying to create elsewhere.


The team were genuinely excited to experience my work and to contribute to it. I was able to have an intimate space including trans and queer people of colour, where we could really dig into not just creativity with makeup but discussions on where our ideas of beauty come from and why beauty matters. ONCA were so supportive of this approach as a team who focus on the social impact of art.

ONCA’s approach to the arts is so multifaceted and involved, which I’ve found refreshing in an industry that can often focus only on visuals. As an artist my visuals are representative of a multitude of experiences, histories and cultures, and ONCA never tried to flatten that, but to expand it even further. In the past, I’ve experienced the opposite, where people want to see only an end result, not the theory and grit behind the image.

Working with ONCA has been such a good fit for me that I have returned with new workshops year after year. Since doing these workshops, I have had requests from all over the UK to hold similar events, I’ve had beauty brands offer contributions and collaborations and, most importantly, I’ve had dozens of attendees walk away feeling empowered to create.

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