Alessia Cargnelli, (PhD Researcher)


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Alessia Cargnelli’s (b. 1990, Trieste, Italy) is a visual artist and researcher based in Belfast.

Alessia is a former co-director of the artist-led initiative Catalyst Arts (2016-2018) and and currently a PhD researcher at the Belfast School of Art, with a combined theory and practice-based study on artists collectives and feminist-led collectives dedicated to social justice, civil action and activism in the island of Ireland.

She was 2020-21 Research Associate at the Centre for Contemporary Art of Derry~Londonderry. She completed a BFA (with Hons) in Visual and Performing Arts at IUAV University and MA (with Hons) in Contemporary Art History at Ca’Foscari University in Venice, Italy.

With a background visual arts and art history, subsequently informed by artist-led initiatives and collaborative productions, Alessia’s interests expand towards alternative forms of education, feminist methodologies, collective self-organisations and artists-run-models, activism, archive-informed art practices and artist moving image production and programming.

Along with artist Emily McFarland, she is co-founder of Soft Fiction Projects (2018-ongoing), an artist-run initiative focused on the exploration of underrepresented voices, oppositional histories, geopolitical narratives underpinned by intersectional feminist perspectives which challenge and reframe dominant hegemonic power structures - using printed and digital matter as a vehicle of dissemination.

Alessia is a member of Array Collective, a Belfast-based group who create collaborative actions and performances in response to the socio-political issues affecting the North of Ireland, including gender equality, reproductive rights and human rights. Array Collective is the winner of the 2021 Turner Prize.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Associate Fellowship AFHEA

Award Date: 3 Sept 2021

Master, Renaissance of analogue techniques in contemporary artist moving image practices, Ca'Foscari University

Award Date: 16 Feb 2015

Bachelor, Documentary Style Photography. A comparative study between USA and Italy, Università IUAV di Venezia

Award Date: 25 Nov 2012

External positions

Co-programmer and co-curator of 2021-22 Seminar Series, part of PhD-led self-organised programme, Belfast School of Art

15 Sept 202130 Jul 2022

Research Associate CCA Derry~Londonderry

15 Jan 202010 Dec 2021

Co-director, co-founder, Soft Fiction Projects

1 May 2018 → …

Administration & Project Manager Assistance, Bbeyond

15 Mar 2018 → …

Artist, Array Collective

15 Sept 2017 → …

Co-Director, Catalyst Arts

10 Jan 201630 Jan 2018


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  • Turner Prize 2021 Winner

    Cargnelli, Alessia (Recipient), O'Connor, Laura (Recipient), Campbell, Emma (Recipient), Millar, Stephen (Recipient), Conlon, Mitch (Recipient), Lavelle, Clodagh (Recipient), Bhreathnach Cashell, Sighle (Recipient), Bhreathnach Cashell, Sinead (Recipient), Butler, Jane (Recipient), McMurray, Grace (Recipient) & Wells, Thomas (Recipient), 1 Dec 2021