Dickens 2012 is a major programme of events and activities to mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, who was born on 7 February 1812.
The British Council is working with partners including the Charles Dickens Museum and Film London to develop global activity that will include brand new film adaptations, art exhibitions, public readings, immersive theatre, educational events and creative workshops.
Beginning in October and running until spring 2012, the programme will explore one of the UK’s most renowned and popular authors, engaging audiences overseas both with Charles Dickens and with the best of contemporary British creative talent.
Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia. Dickens 2012 sees a rich and diverse programme of events taking place in the run up and throughout the whole of 2012.
Graham Sheffield, Director Arts, British Council said: "Dickens is a fascinating writer who lives on as an inspirational figure in English literature. This project innovatively re-imagines him for the 21st century and we are working with great partners to ensure the programme will have truly global reach. It demonstrates the engagement with this canonical writer worldwide and how much Dickens’ critique and vision of his society still resonates for us all today."
Dickens 2012 will feed directly into the British Council’s English objective to ensure that each of the 11 million teachers and every one of the two billion learners of English around the world should have access to the skills, ideas and materials they need. Dickens-themed English language teaching materials are available including monthly lesson plans as well as short films exploring ‘Heroes’ and ‘Villains’ in Dickens’s novels.
In Malta, a Charles Dickens film festival What the Dickens? will take place at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity from January to December. More info
For more information visit www.dickens2012.org
On the 7th February there were celebrations for Dickens’ 200th birthday happening across the globe. The British Council staged a 24 hour global read-a-thon with 24 countries reading 24 of Dickens’ texts in 24 hours.
All 24 readings were pre-recorded and organised by the British Council global network and the readings were available to watch via @britishcouncil Twitter.
The readings were 5 minutes long and the passages were chosen to reflect some of the most interesting, engaging and significant moments in Dickens’ literary colossus.
The read-a-thon commenced with a reading of ‘Dombey and Son’ from Australia at 8am (7 am UK time). Highlights during the day included a reading from ‘Hard Times’ from Iraq at 6pm and ‘The Great Expectations from the UK at 10pm. The reading of ‘The Chimes’ from Malta was broadcasted at 7pm on February 7.
Audiences from across the world were invited to see the readings travel across the globe through Twitter. A highlights reel of the readings is available here: http://vimeo.com/36316658
More info about the event: http://literature.britishcouncil.org/news/2012/january/readathon