Research Projects

Body Brain Bingo

A collaboration with UCL culture, Body Brain Bingo is an experimental programme that brings together artists, activists and researchers to share ways of making, knowing and disrupting. We are concerned with recent world urgencies that require unconventional and deviant forms of creativity to challenge the established understanding of collaboration and co-production. A performative conference House of Healing was held with artists, activists and academics exploring issues related to mental health and wellbeing. ZU-UK are currently working with Clare Qualmann on facilitating partnerships between artists and non-artists in the development of new work as a method of practice research. The final pieces will be shown in November 2017.

House of healing House of healing House of healing House of healing House of healing House of healing

Decalogy of Loneliness

A 10 part digital theatre experience inspired by the last 10 hours of a man’s sanity. The project’s point of departure is the real life case of a soldier who killed his wife and baby in 19th century Germany after discovering her infidelity. His trial is famous for being the first recorded instance of a legal defence mounted on the grounds of mental health. Each part will employ different models of interactivity, immersion and participation to offer a wide range of experiences for audience members over the course of a day. The parts we have developed so far include Binaural Dinner Date and Goodnight, Sleep Tight, which previewed at Theatre Royal Stratford East in July 2017.

Blind Dinner Date Blind Dinner Date Blind Dinner Date Blind Dinner Date Sleep Tight Sleep Tight

Elevate Labs

This project investigates the different lab models organisations are using to support early career artists and to foster cross disciplinary collaborations. The Economics of Experience conference in 2016 explored how labs address a need to create new ways of engaging with subjects and the potential of technology to expand existing models of art-making. Over the next two years ZU-UK will be hosting a series of labs across the UK to experiment with new forms of learning and knowledge exchange . ZU-UK have run the first Year of the Elevate Labs with Mark Wright (FACT Liverpool) and Colombian based researcher Luciana Fleishman.

Economics of Experience Economics of Experience Economics of Experience Economics of Experience

Binaural Dinner Date

Part interactive performance, part dating agency, Binaural Dinner Date invites genuine applications from people looking for love, or couples who simply want a very different dating experience. The couples are hosted by a live waiter/DJ and by a binaural audio feed. Over the course of the evening the participants are invited to engage with each other, share secrets, observe other dramas unfold, and play games that push social expectations and ‘acceptable’ table talk topics.


Phones started to ring as visitors walked past. Visitors could pick up the phones to interact with one of three fictional Brazilian artists.

Humble Market

An interactive exhibition that combines art, performance and technology in three installations.

Hotel Medea

Hotel Medea is an act of resistance. It stands in direct opposition and in defiance of the aggressive mechanism of commodification of each and every human experience.


ZU-UK want to make art for people who don’t think it’s for them in spaces art does not usually inhabit

Jorge Lopes Ramos, Executive Director

Formerly known as Zecora Ura and Para-Active, ZU-UK have been making live art works since 2001. We have an international reputation for creating high quality, critically acclaimed socially engaged performances and digital artworks that put the audience at the centre of the experience.

ZU-UK believes that when individuals are not underestimated, the strength of the collective experience builds thoughtful, playful and engaged communities. The more fractured the world becomes, the more out of touch we are with the rituals that unite us with our sense of self, and the essential desire to connect meaningfully. Therefore, ZU-UK seek to design secular contemporary rituals as an invitation to ease loneliness and make communities out of our audiences.

Art must not remain confined to traditional venues if it is to reach as diverse an audience as possible

Persis Jadé Maravala, Artistic Director

We work with whatever is at the company’s disposal to create extraordinary experiences for our audiences. ZU-UK don’t limit ourselves to particular artistic disciplines as we believe the form should suit the idea, and not the other way round. Therefore the form our work takes will change depending on each new artistic proposition.

Our six hour, overnight performance Hotel Medea (2009-2012) is considered a pioneer of what is today referred to as ‘immersive theatre’. ZU-UK’s work on the Dramaturgy of Participation has been widely written about and forms the basis for the company’s approach to audience experience.

We believe artists should champion their practice as a vital contributor to political discourse and cultural debate. ZU-UK have a rich history of cross-disciplinary collaboration which enables us to constantly questions our assumptions about art and art-making. This approach also allows us to constantly experiment with new methods of producing live art works and of finding different ways of articulating our practice to new communities.

Selected Recent Press

Photodiary: A week with Artistic Directors Jorge Lopes Ramos and Persis Jade Maravala

ZU-UK’s Director’s on Artistic Leadership Post-Brexit

Towards a Dramaturgy of Participation

ZU-UK launches new MA Programme

DRIFT International Residency


Economies of Experience

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