In 2017, Hull is the UK City of Culture. As International Partner for the festival, the British Council will increase the impact for Hull and the UK culture sector more widely, creating new connections and ideas through arts, culture and education.
The exciting programme of British Council supported events is already underway including Hull-Freetown 2017, a series of cultural and educational projects between the twinned cities spanning the year, and No Boundaries, a conference in March that explored the role of the arts in society.
In line with our commitment to introduce audiences around the world to the best of UK creativity, we are organising Hull-Freetown 2017 to run throughout the year. Developed in collaboration with Freetown City Council and the Hull Society, the programme builds on the long-standing civic links between the twinned cities with a series of cultural and educational projects.
Freetown: This City Belongs to Everyone
A new film made by Freetown-based Lansana Mansaray (AKA Barmmy Boy), WeOwn TV and Nova Studio marks the launch of Hull 2017’s Roots and Routes and Freedom seasons. The film mirrors, frame by frame, Hull: this City Belongs to Everyone, which was made as part of Hull’s 2012 bid for City of Culture status.
Barmmy Boy said: ‘When I come to Hull people are always interested in what life is like for us and what Freetown is like. Remaking This City Belongs to Everyone means people can get a feel for Freetown, and how beautiful it is. We believe that the film can help our city, like the Hull film helped Hull. It will be used to bring in tourists and to help businesses as well as creating a sense of pride.’
In collaboration with Hull University’s Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, the National Museum and the Monuments and Relics Commission of Sierra Leone will mount an exhibition exploring slavery drawing out important lessons for today.
Hull Truck Theatre’s annual artist development festival, Grow (24-27 May 2017), will go international this year by hosting emerging theatrical talent from Freetown and working with artists from Sierra Leone on new performances and installations. In the autumn the visit will be reciprocated when artists and theatre professionals from Hull travel to Sierra Leone.
An arts and education project providing primary teachers in both Hull and Freetown with skills and techniques to use song in the classroom. Throughout the year, children and teachers will have the opportunity to explore and celebrate the two cities through special songs and events and a professional exchange programme. Out from Hull on a Rolling Sea is the first of our songs written to celebrate the twinned cities. It was written by Hull composer Laurence Rugg and lyricist Peter Fardell and celebrates the sea-faring history of Kingston Upon Hull (ongoing)
Rivers of the World
Large scale art works created by school students in Freetown and Hull will be on display to the public and will provide platforms for discussion and debate (ongoing)