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May I June
Hello everybody and welcome to the latest edition of Arts Bulletin - issue 10 to be precise. As you can see we have changed the title slightly, concluding that Arts Bulletin is cooler and easier to pronounce than the rather laborious, Arts and Creative Economy Bulletin.
As we progress into the summer months there has already been plenty during 2010 for British Council arts to be proud of. Notably, the Hay Festival partnership, London Book .Fair (ash cloud notwithstanding), the British Council exhibition Fall Out, music extravaganza Shifting Sands, dance production Outspoken and many others. Below you will find news about all manner of activities and how you can help promote them.
In Britain it seems as though the new coalition government is very keen on supporting organisations that forge and maintain special international relationships within the arts so, as far as we're concerned, it's business as usual (within all the new marketing rules). Until next time, if you have any comments, or you would like to bring something up in the next edition, please contact me by gently striking my name below.
Your loyal editor,
Large Scale Projects
New Work, New Audiences - Shifting Sands
The British Council recently brought its new Middle EastfUK regional music project, Shifting Sands, to London's Southbank Centre. Hundreds of people danced, chanted and joined in with frenzied Middle Eastern hand-clapping, as they witnessed 'work in progress' performances at MeltdoWl festival's opening night.
Invitations from WOMAD UK, Glasgow's Celtic Connections and Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival are currently being considered, while there may be a return visit to the Southbank Centre early next year. Read a full review in The National.
The ongoing collaboration involves members of award-winning folk band Bellowhead, Southbank Centre's artists in residence and musicians from Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.
It is a project that explores musical roots in both the UK and Middle East, with a focus on 'songs of the sea'. The experimental set includes contemporary arrangements of English sea shanties, alongside complex rhythms associated with Arabian pearl diving and fishing songs.
Musical Director Andy Mellon has embraced the challenge: "At the core of this group isa team of incredibly talented
musicians, playing traditional music, and they are not afraid to take creative risks and learn from each other, in order to produce something truly unique."
• For the latest messages relating to New Work, New Audiences, including information on the British Council charter, reaching new global audiences and maintaining our status as a UK cultural relations leader, please read The Main Line.
Creative Coalitions - Cultural and Development meeting in Girona - we need your ideas!
Several agencies, including the British Council, convened in the Spanish city of Girona to establish their commitment to developing cultural allegiances, links and collaborations across Africa. All the organisations agreed to:-
• Map the cultural industries and provide essential data to policy-makers on all aspects of the creative sector in Africa.
• Explore the impact of fusion festivals as a platform for intercultural dialogue between north and south, while creating space for greater exchange between European and African artists and their audiences.
• Develop new training models to encourage knowledge-sharing between African institutions.
• Focus on policy development as a means of ensuring the long-term sustainability of cultural institutions in Africa.
Follow up discussions will take place between the British Council and our cultural counterparts in Africa, with support from the EU. In the meantime if you have any examples of excellent practice in your team, which could be used as a performance model in Africa, please contact our representatives Caroline Grant or Teresa Hall with the details. Remember, your ideas can make a real difference.
Selector - new global audiences
Thousands more overseas music fans are tuning into the Selector after we started broadcasting in Sarajevo, Bosnia on eFM Radio. It's a tremendous cultural leap and something that simply wouldn't have been possible 15 years ago. The music team has also provided technical broadcasting expertise to help build a community radio station in Srebenica, in Bosnia, and it will broadcast Selector from September. China will also produce its own version from mid-July.
No matter where you are in the world, if you want to get involved in the Selector revolution. or even set up your own station, go to selector-radio. com, facebook. com/selectorradio or twitter. com/selector_radio
Cultural and Creative Economy and the importance of copyright In an era when copyright has never been more open to abuse, especially across the arts, the recent Copyright Anniversary Forum in London underlined its vital role in the modern age.
The London event, which was delivered by the British Council and NESTA, featured guests John Howkins, Chair of the Copyright 1710-2010 Forum, and Jeremy Silver,
CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition. They discussed the future challenges faced by copyright, while also celebrating its illustrious past. It is 300 years since the concept of owning rights to original material surfaced and the anniversary of that landmark will again be commemorated in China, East Asia, Latin America and other regions later in the year. The focus will be on practical responses to the challenges to copyright in 2010, looking at the role of emerging entrepreneurs and business models which exploit intellectual property in new, innovative ways. The debate is being hosted online by Counterpoint, leading to a final publication addressing the state of copyright and the creative economy around the world. Go to Counterpoint.
To learn more about copyright go to our dedicated webpage or watch video highlights from the London conference.
Over 100 young people from secondary schools in the UK and China captivated the Royal Albert Hall audience during the premiere of Svvanning Around.
They were trained by professional dancers, from English National
Ballet and National Ballet of China, and their stunning performance was the culmination of many months of practicing newly choreographed dances, inspired by Soon Lake.
While leaming the complex routines, students have been using online technology to communicate with each other, find out about each others' cultures and build links between their schools. Using a platform provided by WebPlay, and funded by our Connecting Classrooms programme, the students have created web pages, researched Soon Lake, uploaded digital videos of their rehearsals and chatted virtually with professional dancers.
Ten of the UK students are now preparing to perform alongside their Chinese peers in Shanghai this September. The performance will also be part of the UK's National Day ceremony at Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Soonning Around is a collaborative project between Royal Albert Hall Leaming and Participation, English National Ballet and WebPlay. It is supported by the British Council's Connecting Classrooms programme. Find out more here.
London Book Fair - Every ash cloud has a silver lining
The untimely ash cloud presented a real challenge for the British Council's South Africa Market Focus Cultural Programme at the London Book Fair, with only 12 of the expected 47 writers managing to travel.
A revised programme included events at the Book Fair, Foyles, Southbank Centre and School of Oriental and African Studies, with further activities in Birmingham and Wales.
Reduced numbers were made up for by boundless enthusiasm and stimulating exchanges. In Cape Town the writers and publishers that were unable to be in London held an ironic Not the London Book Fair event and filmed messages of support, which were screened at the fair. The British Council is working with partners to create new opportunities for South African writers at Hay Festival, Edinburgh Festival and World Festival at Writers' Centre Notvect), over the coming months.
As the title suggests, our collaboration with a group of young Arabic performers was a contemporary, bold and flamboyant project. During the dance production's popular tour Arts Bulletin caught up with two of its rising stars, Omar Rajeh, from Lebanon and Taoufiq Izzidiou, from Morocco. Not exactly 'outspoken', but fascinating nevertheless ...
How dld you get involved with Outspoken? Taoufiq .... During 2009 I partiCipated in the Arab Dance Platform, hosted by Beirut Intemational Festival for Contemporary Dance. A UK delegation was attending and, after seeing my performance, they got in touch and things developed from that moment.
What can audiences expect from Outspoken? Omar .... 1 would like to leave them with a greater knowledge of Arabic dance and a realisation that Outspoken artists are extremely diverse. Ultimately, my dream is for people to attend my performances because of my reputation as a ground-breaking artist. The general label 'Arabic dance' is something that we should go beyond, and this means a lot of hard work ahead.
What's been the most rewarding aspect of working on the project? Taoufiq .... Presenting my work in the UK is vital, but its also incredibly rewarding to witness my peers from the Arab world perform. Outspoken gives us the chance to meet with fellow artists and study each other's work. We wouldn't normally see these acts, especially as some of us are based in European countries.
Will you be staying in touch with the British Council? Omar .... 1 have been invited by the British Council to attend British Dance Edition 2010, and that will bea great opportunity to have a close look at what's happening on the UK dance scene, check out new trends and study cutting-edge ways of performing.
New Silk Road - Basso & Brooke
Following their New Silk Road trip to Uzbekistan, dynamic design duo Basso & Brooke ha\oe launched a new exhibition at London's Design Museum. The pair used their appreciation of textiles and experiences on the tour - including some time at Yodgorlik Silk Mill where they produced ikat fabrics for the display - to create unique and flamboyant designs. These have been printed on the exquisite dresses, using Basso & Brooke's trademark digital method, to form an inspirational collection.
This fusion of traditional methods and modern ideas is a fine example of the New Silk Road ethos of forging links between talented practitioners in the UK and Asia. All the fabrics, plus a short film of their journey, can be seen from 16 June - 24 August at the Design Museum's 'Tank', just outside the main building, and in the foyer. Admission is free.
Venice Siennale - Villa Frankenstein
muf architecture/art Lip has been appointed as artistic director for the British Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition. muf will build layers of ideas that explore the knowledge between Venice and Britain.
The title Villa Frankenstein is inspired by John Ruskin's regret at the influence of his book, The Stones of Venice, on the builders of pastiche 'Frankenstein' villas and pubs in England. Like Ruskin, through careful observation of Venice, muf will look at the connection between detail and strategy.
A number of Venetian collaborators are contributing to the content of the pavilion which will be open to partners, visitors and local groups for a series of education and arts events, throughout the course of the biennale. With this in mind please publicise the event to your contacts and encourage them to attend.
For more information go to our Venice Biennale website.
Shanghai World Expo 2010
Two of Scotland's leading contemporary choreographers, Janis Claxton and Alan Grieg, will be travelling to China to represent Scotland at this year's Shanghai World Expo 2010, culminating in a special performance during Scotland's First Minister visit in
The pair will showcase the best of Scottish contemporary choreography at the UK Pavilion, as part of the Dance Links China project for Scottish and Chinese choreographers. Performances are funded by the Scottish Government, British Council Scotland and Scottish Arts Council.
Alan will perform a collage of athletic, prosocative and entertaining pieces adapted from his solo show Into the Ught, first performed at the 2009 Shanghai Dance Festival, while Janis will perform her show, Human Animal Shanghai. She will be joined by six Scottish-based and two Chinese performers for this unique installation work.
The performances are part of a wider programme of UK events during the six months of Expo, in\()lving over 200 performers and 10,000 performance hours. Look out for further activities here.
Film - The Best of British Animation Awards
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The British Council has obtained rights for non-theatrical screenings of films featured at The Best of British Animation Avvanis. This means you can screen the DVDs at BC offices, universities and British film weeks, but not commercially or online. There is also no charge for rights when screening at the mentioned premises, and initial copies of the DVD will be free.
Additionally, a new volume of the very popular The Best of British Animation A venis book is now available following the latest ceremony. The awards cover all aspects of the diverse UK animation scene, including student work, commercials, children's entertainment, short and experimental art films, music videos, new technologies, scriptwriting and craftsmanship. The awards thernselses are unique artworks, created specially for the occasion by a range of leading international and UK animation artists.
We can provide you with stills for all the films, and scripts from many of them, to assist with publicity for screenings and making subtitles. All enquiries and requests should be sent to Julian Pye. Please include details of dates and ...enues.
British Council Collection
The British Council Collection continues to gain new audiences on its blue-boxed magical mystery tour around the globe. The following exhibitions have either started or will be taking place very soon. If any of them are in your part of the world, be sure to generate interest by urging your colleagues, collaborators and contacts to attend. Next week there will be a further article on how you can improve audience development.
On the Edge of the World
Gateway Gallery, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 15 May - 18 July 2010
This exhibition features contemporary art from the British Council Collection inspired by personal responses to nature, the modern concern for planet earth's future and Charles Darwin's anthropological quest for knowledge. Featured artists include Dalziel & Scullion, Kate Atkin, Tania Kovats and Michael Landy. There are also items from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's rich archive, including documents and specimens from Darwin's actual explorations. From late 2011 On the Edge of the World will embark on tour of Latin America and will also include works by local artists.
Sueflos Compartidos I Shared Dreams Various venues across Spain
Using sport, the exhibition explores the identities of different groups of young people, living in Spain and the UK. Photographers Gabriela Sancisi and Juan Valbuena, worked in London and Madrid respectively, studying the personal stories of their protagonists, who they are and what sport means to them. It formed part of the PHotoEspana Festival that took place in venues across Madrid and Cuenca in June 2010. The British Council will now take the exhibition to venues around Spain throughout 201 o and 2011.
OUT OF CHAOS British Art 1945-1968 Fundacia Joan Mira, Barcelona
25 November 2010 - 20 February 2011
This exhibition looks at the way art changed in Britain from the immediate aftermath of war, to the 'swinging' sixties. It includes memorable works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Bridget Riley, Sir. Anthony Caro and David Hockney. There are also sections devoted to the painters of St. lves - notably Peter Lanyon and Victor Pasmore - and to Francis Bacon, and the renewal of figurative painting. Two of the exhibition's major figures are Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, who initiated the Pop Art movement in Britain. The exhibition will include a large number of loans from the British Council Collection, the Arts Council, Tate and many other public museums and private collections.
Seeing in Colour: Contemporary British Art Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine
While colour is not the first theme that springs to mind when thinking about British art, it remains a central, if inconspicuous, concem for many artists. This exhibition of works from the British Council Collection looks at the relation of colour to form, its use in performance and contentious relation to black and white. The show includes works by the notorious 'Brit Art' contingent of Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst, Christina Mackie, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Marc Quinn, Jeremy Deller, David Batchelor,
Chila Kumari Burman and Dan Hayes .
• In the last edition we reported on the British Council and Tate's project to release the secrets of 64 mysterious boxes from our archives. Some of those curious containers have since been catalogued and can be seen here.
The usual round up of emotional departures and triumphant ertivets. Please linger over a photo Vlith the mouse arrow to reveal each person's identity (if you don't already know it!).
Senior literature specialist Tanya Andrews is going on maternity leave from 2 August - 5 September 2010. While she is away Sinead Russell will provide cover. After six glorious years working with such luminaries as Gilbert & George, Emily Butler has departed the Visual Arts team to join our friends at the Whitechapel Gallery. Her last day was 11 June. Annabel Grundy joined the Film Team on 24 Mayas an adviser. Ela O'Shea has arrived as resources manager in the Arts Management Unit. She joined us from Programmes and Projects and started on 14 June. In the last edition we revealed that Graham Sheffield has been appointed as CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong. His last day as Arts and Creative Economy adviser will be 31 July. David Stewart left his post as music support officer on 22 May. Contrary to popular belief he is not reforming the Eurythmics, but making a pilgrimage to Spain, with a view to teaching English. Suzie Curtis will take oser from David for two months and his permanent successor will be Emily Wilcox, who joins from the Northern Ireland Office, and starts in July. Eleanor Hutchins has swapped her role as senior press officer for the bright lights of New York. For a short while she will carrying out PR work on behalf of British Council arts and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, Nicolle Weeks left her position as Creative Economy consultant on 25 June.
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Conta ct: Arts 01.07.10
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