Woman being filmed in Venezuela as part of British Council's Camara Chica project
Participants from the Cámara Chica project in Venezuela.  ©

British Council 

Insecurity and exclusion in a region affected by violence

Economic growth and social cohesion are currently under threat across the Americas. Violence and insecurity are at the top of the list of concerns for citizens in the region, as levels of urban violence increase. 

Our work in the Americas focusses on supporting young people at risk. We aim to challenge exclusion, so that all young people, no matter what their background, have the opportunities and pathways for a better life. Through our ongoing projects which are taking place across the region, we are seeking to contribute to the region’s social justice work and to open up an important debate about marginalisation and social exclusion, addressing challenges such as homophobia.

Our arts and social action programmes in this region are enabling us to address these issues whilst creating important opportunities for the UK to connect with the Americas, in turn promoting dialogue and understanding between different cultures.  

How are we supporting young people in the Americas?

We are delivering a series of programmes in the Americas which aim to tackle these issues. 

In the Caribbean, we are delivering Backstage to the Future, a training programme which aims to provide opportunities for disadvantaged youth through training in live events. The programme covers two key areas:

  1. developing the technical skills needed to create and uphold work in the cultural and creative sector, from lighting and sound engineering to stage management; 
  2. developing soft skills to help people to share their vision and collaborate in the cultural sector internationally 

The programme is now in its second year, with training taking place for young people on the island of San Andrés, in Jamaica and in Cuba, with participants from those three countries and Venezuela.

The goal of Backstage to the Future is to inspire knowledge sharing, grow cultural networks, increase employability of disadvantaged young people and build capacity in the live events and performing arts infrastructure in the Caribbean. Now in its second year, the programme has gone beyond skills training, and is providing opportunities for young people to explore and exchange their diverse cultural heritage and identities, as well as creating vital links between the UK and the Caribbean. 

Tackling homophobia by promoting LGBT arts in the Americas

Outburst is a celebration of queer art and performance that takes place annually in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The vision of Outburst is to create a bold, brave and innovative platform for new local and international queer arts, performance and brilliant creative ideas.

To tackle exclusion and homophobia in the Americas, we have helped to bring the LGBTQ arts festival to the Americas. You can find out more about our work in bringing Outburst to the Americas and how it is challenging prejudice, developing artists and creating change here.

Other projects supporting youth at risk: