Our Crew

Yonatan Tiruneh


Yonatan Tiruneh is an ETHIOPIAN born BIRMINGHAM raised visual artist. With a keen focus on Cinematography and telling authentic Pan-African stories

Janeel Brown

Facilitator & Co-Director

Janeel Shilo Brown is a freelance drama practitioner and facilitator, who primarily focuses on working collaboratively with young people. He currently is the Assistant Director of The Lightpost Academy, an all black male theatre based at the Birmingham REP, using drama as a catalyst to develop the resilience of, and promote positive wellbeing in young black men.

He also has previously worked with Open Theatre Company, focusing on working with young people with various learning disabilities and social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Janeel is especially passionate about making theatre accessible to the youth of marginalized and/or disadvantaged groups of people.

Iris Bertz

Executive Producer

Bertz is passionate about producing projects with diverse voices and working in a co-constructive approach.

A trained visual artist , she has embraced the moving image as an art form to be part of diversifying the voices who tell stories and control the narrative. In her personal practice she collaborates with poet Simone Word Smith on their project: Women between the Lines, celebrating Women’s History though poetry & guided walks.

Vanille Vardon

Podcast Producer & Editor

I’m Vanille, master student in World Heritage Studies. She joined Bertz Associates as part of an internship over the summer. The history of the Tower Ballroom really captured my attention from the start, even though she had never been to Birmingham before! She grew even more fond of this building and the Ladywood community as she joined in the projects around Sporting Tower Ballroom. Everyone I met at the events were wonderful and when Iris proposed to produce a podcast following up on the movies, she was more than happy to be a part of it! Producing this podcast has been an amazing experience and she couldn’t imagine a better team and guests. She would like to thank everyone who participated, and all who have and will listen to Amplifying Voices!

Mia Suganasingha


Mia is in her final year at the university of Birmingham studying music. She has just come back from a year abroad where she studied film and video game composition and has spent the summer working on the Sports Tower project. Her Composition Portfolio can be found at mvs-music.com.

Jessica Samba

Podcast Lead

Jessica Samba is the podcast lead and social media assistant at Bertz Associates. She has really enjoyed being part of the Amplifying voices podcast and adding ideas for the Sporting Tower project. Jessica is also a freelance content creator in her spare time.

Elilta Tiruneh

Podcast Lead

Elilta was part of the workshops that helped to Inspire the Sporting Tower short film. From that she was part of a follow on podcast where we interviewed and documented the social history of the Tower.

Alise Hobbs

Assistant Producer

Alise is in her second year at the University of Birmingham, studying a BA in English and Creative Writing. She joined Bertz Associates as a summer intern, and helped producing the Sporting Tower film project. Alise is inspired by Bertz Associates and what they do and hope to continue working with the team in the future!


Photography and Documentation

Also known as Didactic MK is a radio host in the West Midlands and multi-media producer in photography, videography, the production of her own music and sound engineering.

Chanphiphat Janthra


Chanphiphat is a photographer, mainly focuses on portrait, fashion, as well as conferences and event photography.

Chan was born and raised in Thailand before moving to the UK at the age of 11.

He is highly passionate about my creativity as I started doing fine art, mainly drawing and painting and I found my love for photography during 6th form, and he still loves it to this day.

One if Chan's proudest accomplishment with photography was his first magazine cover with Prosper Magazine, Black Country Chamber of Commerce."

Website: janthraphotography.com

Frankie Rhodes


Frankie has been an intern for Bertz while finishing her MA. Working on the Sports Tower project made Frankie even more passionate about local heritage and the need for young people to share in public spaces.

Emily Baldwin


Emily is a final year English and History Student, Charity Worker and Heritage enthusiast. Emily loves to rollerskate and discover new green spaces in Brum.