British Council initiative to Transform UK-Brazil relationship
17 September 2012
Following the handover of the Olympic baton, the British Council announced yesterday a four-year cultural collaboration with Brazil that will see major UK arts projects take place across the country and artistic partnerships that will build relations between the two nations.
Forming the cultural strand to the UK Government’s UKBrasil (UKBR) season, TRANSFORM will be the biggest ever programme to unite Brazilian and UK creative professionals, in order to address the relatively low level of engagement between the two countries’ cultural institutions. As Brazil develops as a major economic and political world power, TRANSFORM aims to develop a powerful and enduring cultural partnership between the nations that will have a wide reaching social and economic impact.
Speaking at the launch, Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “I am delighted to announce this new initiative. The cultural and educational relationship with Brazil matters - in both directions – to further the growth of our two countries.
“The London Olympics was a catalyst for building new cultural relationships around the world, TRANSFORM will enable the UK to work with Brazil to continue and grow that legacy. We are going to bridge the London and Rio Olympics games with this new programme to forge new connections and cultural understanding that will build trust, and trust underpins trade.”
Graham Sheffield, Director Arts at the British Council, said: “Jude Kelly and I have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of artists and companies to engage with TRANSFORM. I believe the long-term nature of the programme and commitment to learning, partnership and collaboration will result in real changes to the UK-Brazil relationship. By 2016 the artistic links between the two countries should be seamless, fundamental to our relationship and consistently inspiring.”
UKBR includes events on business, education and innovation, aimed at highlighting the best of Great Britain throughout Brazil. More than a one-off, UKBR is an integral part of a step-change in the UK’s engagement in Brazil, providing legacy to future generations. This sustained effort to broaden and deepen our historical and existing successful partnerships with Brazil will show that our relationship is a modern one: a partnership of equals.
Highlights of the confirmed projects across Brazil, supported by the British Council, include:
Antony Gormley: Still Being
Rio de Janeiro, 6 August to 23 September 2012
This major exhibition of sculpture by one of Britain’s leading artists has been organised by Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil with support from the British Council. It features some of Gormley’s most significant large-scale works of the last two decades. In addition, installations of 31 life-sized figures sited on top of public buildings are shown across the city centre of Rio de Janeiro. There will also be an exhibition in CCBB Brasilia (October 2012 - January 2013).
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Prelude - The Insides are on the Outside
Casa de Vidro, São Paulo, November 2013
Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, this exhibition at Casa de Vidro in São Paulo, designed in 1950 by the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, will enable artists, architects and the public to ‘experience the unexpected’. British artists Gilbert and George and Douglas Gordon are shown alongside artists and architects from across the world, all works being created especially for the space as site-specific responses.
Rio de Janeiro Film Festival
One of the most significant film events in South America, Rio’s internationally-acclaimed film festival hosts a UK focus this year, opening with a Gala Premiere of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. The Festival presents a strong line-up of contemporary UK feature films including new work from major talents like Ken Loach, Michael Winterbottom and Julian Temple; introduces striking debuts from Rufus Norris, Sally El Hosaini and Ben Drew (aka Plan B); and screens the newly commissioned ‘Olympic shorts’ including those by Mike Leigh and Lynne Ramsay. Alfred Hitchcock’s first silent film, The Pleasure Garden, restored as part of a landmark restoration programme by the BFI (British Film Institute) National Archive, is shown with a brand new soundtrack by young UK composer, Daniel Patrick Cohen, played live on the Copacabana Beach by the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Ensemble. A comprehensive retrospective of Brazilian director Alberto Cavalcanti, whose work has been long-preserved and restored by the BFI, is taken back to screen in Rio for the first time – and a range of UK film experts, including BFI Head Curator Robin Baker, will visit the festival to take part. From September 27 to October 11 2012
Morro dos Prazeres, Rio de Janeiro, 5 to 11 November 2012
This new festival showcases exciting collaborations of performance poets from Brazil and the UK to address inner city communities and their daily concerns. The festival happens in Morro dos Prazeres in Rio de Janeiro, where there is a permanent police presence, known as UPPs, or Units of Police Pacification
. The festival took its name (Literary Festival of the UPPs) from this and aims to bring literature to a wider audience and to focus on the writing talents of the most marginalised, namely the favela residents themselves. The two British authors confirmed are Yvette Edwards and Naomi Alderman.
Panorama Festival - Panorama International Dance Festival
Rio de Janeiro, 1-18 November 2012
The 2012 Panorama Festival edition has invited three events to showcase the diversity of practice. Helen Cole and Alex Bradley’s ever-changing work capturing audience’s best theatrical moments, the extraordinary Rosemary Lee creating a work with locals in an outdoor setting, and the unique, relevant and influential Live Art Development Agency (LADA) with their moveable Performing Rights Library.
Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro March 2013
Marking Britten’s centenary, the British Council and Britten-Pears Foundation support performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in two cities in Brazil. Audiences will be enchanted by Britten’s setting of Shakespeare not only in Sao Paulo but also in Rio de Janeiro.
Multiplicidade and Happenings @ Panorama
Rio de Janeiro, 22-29 November 2012
Curated and produced by Batman Zavareze, the festival nurtures an audience of young, engaged professionals and students and contemporary arts professionals interested in new digital media and technologies and their presentation within an arts context. Partnering with Queen’s University SARC in Belfast (N Ireland), Multiplicidade will combine the talents of Pedro Rebelo and Justin Yang and PianOrquestra of Brazil to create a unique tribute to the great John Cage. Part of the program will take part within the newly created Happenings @ Panorama, the multi- disciplinary performance festival.
Pinacoteca and Tate Gallery
This development programme between two contemporary, multidisciplinary arts institutions, in São Paulo and London includes curatorial, educational and conservation exchange, leading to large scale co-created exhibitions in 2013.
The UKBR season will include:
- GREAT British Business Workshops on the theme of mega-events and sports management across 12 cities.
- Capacity building events on carbon footprint, energy efficiency and sustainable healthcare.
- GREAT British space at CasaCor, the nationwide interior design and architecture fair.
Notes to Editors:
Curated by Graham Sheffield, British Council director of arts, and Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre, the innovative four year programme will span all art forms, exemplifying the UK’s world-class excellence in the fields of art and culture, and provide opportunities for creative professionals from both nations to take risks, share experiences and collaborate with a concentration on projects producing lasting and significant social change.
TRANSFORM complements the British Council’s work in Brazil in English, education and society, and will be initiated through a six month season of high-profile events launching with Lina Bo Bardi: Together, a video and art installation of the work of the Italian architect whose work had such an impact in Brazil.
TRANSFORM works in partnership with the UK Government, the Brazilian Government, and with support from the leading cultural institutions of the two countries.
About the British Council
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.