Dan Boyden passing a pen to a participant in an Artivism workshop in the Horn of Africa.
Dan Boyden of The Change Collective with Artivist Aelaf at an Artivism workshop in the Horn of Africa.  ©

British Council

This thought piece has been commissioned by the British Council to explore the links between UK arts and international development from a practitioner’s point of view. Recognising that there is an ongoing shift in both these sectors – from more traditional ways of presenting artistic practice or delivering development, to a more participatory and inclusive way of working – the British Council is currently exploring where the connections and synergies lie, and how we can make a contribution through a cultural relations approach to development.

This paper sets out the changing landscape in the arts and development sectors and presents ways in which large-scale organisations can find new ways of working to shift the balance towards a more flexible, mutual and sustainable model. It complements a recent Culture and Development literature review that has been completed by JP Singh, Institute of Intercultural Relations, for the British Council. It also follows on from the Uncommon Ground Symposium on socially-engaged arts, held in the UK in March 2018.

The British Council has commissioned The Change Collective for this piece of work, as they have extensive experience of working in the UK and internationally in a creative and collaborative way, with people from diverse backgrounds and contexts. They are also familiar with the British Council, particularly the work of Culture and Development and the Active Citizens global programme.

We hope that this thought piece serves as a starting point for further discussions and collaboration with the arts and development sectors, both in the UK and internationally.

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