Tuesday 05 March 2013


ARCHITECTURE Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture, RIBA Gallery, London till 27 April

For the first time in the history of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the British Pavilion exhibition is showing in the UK after its Venice run. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in collaboration with the British Council and the Architectural Association, is hosting the exhibition in conjunction with a season of special events showcasing UK architectural talent through ten exceptional international research projects.

VISUAL ARTS Homelands: a 21st century story of home, away and all places in between, Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata, India 1 − 14 March

A new exhibition on the theme of identity and belonging organised by young Indian curator, Latika Gupta, for a four city tour of India: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Works from the British Council Collection have been supplemented by loans from the Arts Council Collection, and an extensive programme of lectures, talks and seminars accompanies the exhibition throughout its tour to Mumbai and Bengal later in 2013.

CREATIVE ECONOMY ‘Crossing the River’: Arts & Cultural Organisations in the Digital Age, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong 1 − 10 March

A delegation of cultural and digital experts from Tate, Royal Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse, Sage Gateshead, Culture24, the Literary Platform, ArtFinder and the Philharmonia Orchestra will join their Chinese equivalents in a major forum at the China Museum of Digital Arts in Beijing on 4 March, followed by business networking in Shanghai and another forum in Hong Kong. The focus is on art-form innovation, audience engagement, research and new business models in the digital age; and the aim is to encourage creative and business links between both sides. ‘Crossing the River’ is a new initiative developed by the British Council in partnership with Nesta and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

FILM Cannes Selector Screenings, London 5, 6, 18 March

An annual programme of Festival Selector Screenings organised by British Council and staged in partnership with BFI Southbank, brings selectors from the top 15 International Film Festivals to London to view new UK feature films. For the first time this year all three sections of Cannes Film Festival (Official Selection, Critics Week and Director’s Fortnight) will join us to view newly completed work which is set to include new features from Clio Barnard, Joanna Hogg and Kevin MacDonald.  

CREATIVE ECONOMY Culture Shift II Zimbabwe, Harare 5 − 7 March; Culture Shift II South Africa tbc

In the second series of Culture Shift - coming this year to Kenya (February), Zimbabwe and South Africa - teams of technologists, entrepreneurs and cultural professionals will once again be collaborating in a series of ‘hack’ day events, aiming to build the most innovative solutions to local cultural sector challenges. The teams that show the most promising outcomes from the creative 'hacking' process will be awarded seed grants for further development of their projects, as well as longer term mentoring support and access to both local and international networks and markets. Culture Shift is led by the British Council and supported by UK and local partners. Culture Shift II Zimbabwe is supported by Culture Code, Kemchi and Chips and Creative Nucleus; Culture Shift II South Africa will be working with Sync and others. Facilitating the hacks from the UK for this series are Tim Kindberg (Watershed) for Culture Shift Kenya and Joeli Brearley (Culture Code) for Culture Shift II Zimbabwe.

MUSIC Supereverything* UK tour 9 Mar − 19 April

Leading audio-visual artists The Light Surgeons present SuperEverything*, a cross disciplinary, live cinema performance which will tour the UK this spring. Commissioned by the British Council and performed in Malaysia last year, it has been created in collaboration with some of Malaysia’s most high profile artists and musicians, who will be joined by members of the acclaimed Heritage Orchestra on this tour.

MUSIC World Voice, India 14 – 19 March; Senegal 25 – 29 March; ongoing worldwide

World Voice, a project which will bring singing into classrooms around the world and through that bring together children in the UK with their counterparts globally, starts with two pilot projects in India and Senegal.  Richard Frostick, Artistic Director, will visit each country to train teachers in the art of using singing in and beyond the classroom through the sharing of traditional songs from the UK and the host country.  The key is to complement the pedagogy and culture of each country and therefore training will focus on providing a range of techniques which can be adapted for use in the country’s schools.  We are also setting up an international resource bank of repertoire and a website that will provide materials and inspiration for generations of children and their teachers.

FILM Industry Mission to Moscow 17 – 24 March

The first stage of a wider programme designed to develop relationships and links between the UK film industry and Russian counterparts. 12 key figures from across the UK industry (including sales agents/distributors, talent agents, producers, exhibitors, archivists, commissioners and festival programmers) will spend a week in Moscow attending a series of bespoke meetings and visits to institutions designed to contextualise the current industry in Russia; and have the opportunity for one-to-one project development. 

DRAMA AND DANCE Arts & Disability Festival, Qatar 18 – 30 March

As part of the Qatar-UK Year of Culture, the British Council will present an arts and disability festival featuring work from the Unlimited season, the largest ever celebration and exploration of disability arts and a major element within the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The programme of live performance, visual arts and film created by leading British deaf and disabled artists will also be accompanied by talks and workshops.

FILM First Light, Cuba 21 March – mid April

First Light is a UK wide organisation that uses film and media production skills in working with young people aged up to 25. This project, led by the British Council’s Film department, will see them working internationally for the first time: travelling to Cuba to implement a scheme with six community centres across the island and helping them to take their ideas from script through to post production.

DESIGN Design\Explore, Morocco 24 March – 6 April

For the first time, the British Council will host an intensive two-week design school in Morocco, offering the chance for a group of young, talented Moroccan designers to develop their creative thinking as well as their ideas and professional skills. Through mentoring and training this new generation will be assisted in exhibiting and presenting their work on the international market.

FILM ‘Abu Dhabi STORIES’, UAE tbc

A week-long practical workshop programme led by the Scottish Documentary Institute and designed to help local film communities tell the stories that interest them. This is the latest in a series of similar workshops co-ordinated by the British Council, which have worked with film communities at various skills levels over 2012/13 and which have resulted in a significant body of short films – Ramallah Stories, Tripoli Stories, Rabat Stories, Benghazi Stories – which are gaining international exposure at prestige festivals.

DESIGN Made in Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain 24 March

Martin Postler of design studio PostlerFergusion will visit Manama for the second Made in Bahrain workshop - the first of which explored the designer’s role in transforming observations from everyday life into functional product ideas. This second workshop will focus on expanding and developing design skills using new tools and software.

MUSIC UK contemporary music concert series, Bucharest, Romania 27 March

The fourth in a series of concerts which has now been running for three years, featuring works by Richard Causton, Harrison Birtwistle, Bryn Harrison, Philip Cashian, Gabriel Jackson and Howard Skempton.  At the last count this concert series – curated by composer Philip Cashian – has performed over 100 works by 53 living UK composers, several of whom have visited Bucharest over the last three years.

MUSIC The Britten Sinfonia, Mexico tbc

The Britten Sinfonia will be touring to Mexico, supported by the Anglo-Mexican Foundation and British Council in celebration of their 70th birthdays, and with support from Cambridge English Language Assessment. They will perform in Castillo de Chapultepec, Mexico City, in Guadalajara and Guanajuato, and finally at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. At the end of the tour, the orchestra will also give impromptu string quartet performances in various locations across Mexico City.


LITERATURE & DESIGN Granta magazine ‘Best of Young British Novelists’, worldwide ongoing

A partnership with leading literary magazine Granta to launch an ambitious showcase to introduce Britain’s twenty best fiction writers aged under forty to new audiences worldwide. In addition, our Literature and Architecture, Design, Fashion departments are collaborating on an innovative bookcase commission by UK-based design studio, Raw-Edges, to celebrate the four generations of ‘Best of Young British Novelists’, as chosen by Granta magazine in 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013.

FASHION Pattern-cutting Masterclass programme, Colombia 1 – 7 April; Argentina 8 – 14 April; Chile, 15 – 21 April; Colombia 22 – 29 April 

Julian Roberts from the Royal College of Art will be travelling to South America to give a series of pattern-cutting masterclasses. Julian is a fashion designer and filmmaker who has shown thirtee collections at London Fashion Week and won the British Fashion Council's New Generation Award (NEWGEN) five times. He will be demonstrating a garment pattern cutting method of his invention called 'subtraction cutting.’ The workshop series will be followed by an exhibition of the work produced in Mexico.  

FILM Birds Eye View, London 3 – 10 April

Birds Eye View, the UK’s leading organisation in support of women filmmakers, turns a spotlight on Arab Women Filmmakers over a week in London. British Council will support the presence of Haifaa Al Mansour (director of Wadja, the first internationally acclaimed feature from a Saudi female filmmaker) and bring a delegation of a further 27 women filmmakers and film professionals from across the Middle East (including a significant delegation from the Gulf) to the festival for a bespoke, information-gathering experience of the UK’s film industry and to engage with UK audiences. 

MUSIC Folk Nations, worldwide ongoing

A new three-year programme bringing together musicians, creative producers and practitioners from the UK and South Asia. Folk Nations has encompassed projects such as Mercury Prize nominee Sam Lee travelling to Bangladesh to collaborate with local folk musicians and a week-long residency, where folk artists from England and Scotland had the opportunity to work with artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The programme will also include professional development and networking opportunities such as Womex13 in Cardiff and Showcase Scotland in 2014.

FILM Lux at Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema, Buenos Aires 10 – 21 April

A retrospective of work from LUX, a UK organisation which explores ideas around artists' moving image practice through exhibition, distribution, publishing, education and research, at Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI). Screenings will be supported by selected panels with Gil Leung (Distribution for LUX) and Redmond Entwistle (Director); with the LUX team taking part in the BAFICI Talent Campus for emerging international filmmakers before hosting a series of workshops in Cordoba.

CREATIVE ECONOMY UnBox Fellowship Showcase at Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre, London tbc

A showcase of the British Council's UnBox Festival 2013 Fellowship programme will be included at this year's Alchemy Festival at Southbank Centre in April. At the start of the year, each fellowship team were hosted at a creative or social organisation in India for four to six weeks and tasked with localised challenges, with the aim of building better links between academic research and the creative industries. The resulting projects were judged by a panel at the festival - which included John Thackara, Clare Brass (Seed Foundation) and MP Ranjan (NID) - and all were approved to apply for the next stage of funding. The UnBox fellowship programme is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) & the FCO's Science and Innovation Network (SIN).

LITERATURE London Book Fair Market Focus Cultural Programme: Turkey, London 15 – 17 April

Our Literature department continue their longstanding collaboration with The London Book Fair. The Market Focus Cultural Programme is the most comprehensive, continuous project to showcase overseas writers to UK audiences. This April, acclaimed writers from Turkey including Elif Shafak, Ayşe Kulin, Ahmet Ümit and Murathan Mungan will appear in a series talks at The London Book Fair and across London and the UK. Work also begins on the Korean Market Focus for 2014.

MUSIC Alchemy Festival, London 17 April

Part of Folk Nations, Arieb Azhar, a singer and guitarist from Pakistan, will perform with Martin Simpson, one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, in a collaboration organised with The Sage Gateshead. Prior to the performance, folk musicians and practitioners from UK and South Asia will give a talk exploring folk, identity, contemporary culture and collaborative practice..

DRAMA AND DANCE Lapa Londres Festival, Rio de Janeiro 19 – 23 April

A four day festival celebrating the developing creative relationship between Rio and London, built around partnerships with cultural centres, arts companies and artists in Lapa. Performances will take place at major venues like Fundição Progresso, Circo Voador and Sala Cecilia Meireles as well as smaller bars and nightclubs. The British Council will be partnering a cross-art programme celebrating UK arts and disability that is inspired by the Unlimited season.

MUSIC Bozzini Quartet & hcmf//Composer's Kitchen 2013 - 9th edition, Montreal, Canada 21 – 27 April

This unique event revolving around the string quartet is a combination workshop, laboratory, playground and master class. Over the course of a week, the Bozzini Quartet and two experienced composers will observe the work of four up-and-coming composers. Their compositions will be read, played, assessed, analyzed, worked on, played again and, finally, performed in the closing concert. The Bozzini Quartet and two mentor-composers (Michael Oesterle, Montreal/Canada and Laurence Crane, London/UK) will work with the participants in an informal yet intensive atmosphere. The Composer's Kitchen hosts an exchange with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, providing the opportunity for two UK composers to attend the Canadian edition of the Composer's Kitchen and for two Canadian composers to reciprocate, when the event moves to the UK. .  

MUSIC Benjamin Britten Centenary, worldwide ongoing

The British Council and the Britten Pears Foundation have worked together on a rich programme of events celebrating the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. An animation project inspired by A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra will link school children in the UK, Russia and Brazil, introducing a new generation to the music of Britten. Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten will take place at Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro on May 24, 25 and 26. 


MUSIC Rinse FM in Egypt tbc

Later this year, the British Council will launch a major collaboration with Rinse FM, which will see the pioneering radio station travelling to Egypt. In partnership with Cairo’s 100 Copies Music Space, their DJs and artists will collaborate with local Shaabi acts and the wider underground electronic music scene. The project will invite UK and Middle Eastern talent to join forces, sharing skills, producing new music and celebrating the results through a series of live events and broadcasts.

FILM Secret Cinema New York tbc

The UK’s celebrated ‘event cinema’ organisation launches in New York, in partnership with British Council, with an interactive, immersive screening of a secret British film presented in a secret location..

DRAMA AND DANCE Field Day, part of Derry-Londonderry City of Culture, Derry tbc

Derry-Londonderry City of Culture marks the largest ever single investment in the arts by the British Council in Northern Ireland. Field Day Theatre Company, which began as an artistic collaboration between playwright Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea in 1980, has returned to Derry and in May will perform Thirsty Dust - a new work by Clare Dwyer Hogg starring Brid Brennan.

MUSIC The Great Escape, Brighton 16 ­– 18 May

Key music sector programmers, producers and festival managers from overseas will be invited to attend the three day conference and independent music showcase in Brighton. This is the UK’s biggest music conference and offers the opportunity for practitioners to see UK artists, meet counterparts and learn about the current UK industry context.


VISUAL ARTS Jeremy Deller in the British Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice 1 June­­ – 24 November

Jeremy Deller has been selected to represent Britain at the 55th Venice Biennale, opening in May 2013. Often working in collaboration with others (among them artists, makers, musicians and members of the public), he brings together elements from traditional and contemporary culture to create new types of work: films, installations, performances and events which are often humorous, but which don’t seek to satirise the people or subjects involved. His works display an engagement with all sorts of communities that exist in today’s society, and whose interests are brought to our attention by Deller with wit and clarity. In addition Bedwr Williams will present a new exhibition titled “The Starry Messenger” in the Welsh Pavilion; and artists Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell and Hayley Tomkins will present new works in the Scottish Pavilion. An exhibition by Anthony Caro at the Museo Correr, presented in association with British Council.

ARCHITECTURE Atlas of the Unbuilt World, International Architecture Showcase 2013, London 1 –  31 June

The international element of the London Festival of Architecture will be a major exhibition showing models of new architecture from around 50 countries worldwide. The exhibition will be organised in partnership with London’s embassies and cultural institutes.

MUSIC Mahogany Opera tours The Prodigal Son to Russia with James Gilchrist, Lukas Jakobski, Rodney Earl Clarke, John McMunn, Samuel Evans; directed by Frederic Wake-Walker with music direction by Roger Vignoles and Aurora Orchestra tbc

Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, which hangs in the Hermitage, inspired Britten to compose The Prodigal Son after his visit to St Petersburg in 1966.Never before performed in Russia, a special performance in the Hermitage Theatre on 4 June will have a particular resonance.  Following this will be performances of all three Church Parables (Curlew River, The Prodigal Son and The Burning Fiery Furnace) at St Ekaterina’s Lutheran Church in St Petersburg - the recording studio of the Soviet label Melodia, where many Shostakovich records were made - on 5 - 8 June . The Parables will be performed as a triptych over two evenings: Curlew River on the opening evening and The Prodigal Son in the late afternoon of the next day; culminating in The Burning Fiery Furnace in the later evening. The Parables have never been performed in this way and will take the audience on a profound journey through these intense and powerful works. Part of the Benjamin Britten Centenary.

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN The Lina Bo Bardi Fellowship tbc

Following the success of the exhibition Lina Bo Bardi: Together (curated by Noemi Blager and hosted at the British Council Gallery in London), we have created a fellowship for British architects and designers to spend time in Brazil exploring the work of the legendary architect. Fellows will then pursue a project back in the UK based upon their experience. The fellowship is part of our programme of residencies, which also includes an opportunity later this year at Helsinki Design Week.

FILM International Delegation, Sheffield Doc/Fest 12 – 16 June

A British Council-supported delegation of over 50 international documentary filmmakers from across the globe including Russia, Morocco and Iraq, will travel to the Sheffield Doc/Festival for a bespoke introduction to the UK industry, and to attend festival screenings and networking events.

ALL ART FORMS Shubbak Festival, London 22 June – 6 July

A celebration of contemporary Arab art and culture, organised in collaboration with the Mayor of London, Shubbak will showcase over 70 cross-disciplinary events at some of London’s most important arts venues, including visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature, architecture, lectures and discussion.

VISUAL ARTS Lucian Freud: the artist’s prints 1947-2007 with photographs of the artist, his studio and sitters by David Dawson, Brazil tbc

A retrospective exhibition of Lucian Freud prints that will tour to MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) and Paço Imperial, Rio.  Spanning the artist’s entire career it will comprise approximately 60 etchings by Freud, complemented by up to 20 photographs of the artist in his studio by David Dawson and a rare film of him painting. This is a unique partnership between the British Council, MACC (Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Caracas) and David Dawson, Lucian Freud’s studio assistant of the past 20 years.


FILM Film Criticism workshop, Odessa 12 – 20 July

Journalist and academic Ian Haydn Smith will hold a one week workshop in film criticism during the Odessa International Film School Summer School.

MUSIC British Council/Choir of London Bursary Scheme for young Palestinian musicians ongoing

Winners of the bursary for young musicians resident in the West Bank or Gaza will spend ten days in the UK, attending a residential music camp with young British musicians, preparing for a showcase concert in London, meeting and working with professional musicians and experiencing London’s cultural life. Successful applicants, as well as a small number of shortlisted candidates, will also be invited to participate in the Choir of London’s tour of the Palestinian Territories in late August 2013.


LITERATURE Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, Edinburgh tbc

British Council’s worldwide programming partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival continues. Marking 50 years since the infamous 1962 Writers Conference in Edinburgh, we are working with festivals and partners in 15 countries on five continents to build the most complete picture of writing and its relationship to our lives ever attempted. With contributions from writers as diverse as Irvine Welsh, Ahdaf Soueif, China Miéville and Ali Smith, the conference has a vibrant online life and will lead to a landmark publication following the final EWWC events in Edinburgh, August 2013.

DRAMA AND DANCE Edinburgh Showcase, Edinburgh tbc

The Edinburgh Showcase has come to be regarded by many as a benchmark of quality in the fields of drama and dance and has launched many companies and artists onto the international stage. As a direct result of the 2011 showcase, theatre company 1927 have already toured their ground-breaking production The Animals and Children Took to the Streets to ten countries, with visits to a further 13 planned this year, alongside a significant participatory programme for animators, theatre makers and young people.

FILM MicroSchool at Batumi International Arthouse Film Festival, Georgia 15 August­ – 22 September

Microwave, Film London’s digital feature film production programme, stages ‘MicroSchool’: a week long professional development programme in partnership with Georgia’s National Film Centre. Seven teams of student filmmakers (each consisting of a writer, director and producer) will attend seminars, learn from UK Microwave alumni and plan their own feature development.    


FILM Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto 5 – 15 September

British Council joins with partners from across the UK film industry to present a joined up UK FILM presence at this major international event, presenting a market stand, hosting networking events and supporting UK talent to attend the festival. In addition, as part of its membership of European Film Promotion (EFP), British Council will support the participation of emerging UK producers in the annual Producer’s Lab.    

DESIGN Design Connections for London Design Festival, London 14 − 22 September

For the London Design Festival, the British Council will host a delegation of leading figures in design from design museums, centres, festivals and associations around the world with the aim to broker new collaborations between the British and international design sectors.  Last year’s programme has already led to new partnerships and projects in Korea, Argentina and India.

FILM ENCOUNTERS International Film Festival, Bristol 17 – 23 September

British Council will support the annual Depict! competition (90 second short film competition), contribute to a range of panels, masterclasses and other events; and host visits from international filmmakers to the UK’s premier short film festival.


FILM DokWok Professional Development finale, India/Germany 28 October − 3 November

The conclusion of a one year programme which has offered skills and project development support to 20 Indian documentary filmmakers, co-staged by British Council in partnership with Goethe Institute. Three workshops in Delhi over the course of 2012/13 were managed by India’s Magic Lantern Productions with contribution from experienced UK and German documentarists. The programme will conclude in Germany with final presentations of all the projects at the prestigious Dok Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

VARIOUS Chinese Arts Managers Placements, UK 7 October − 8 November

This highly effective programme assigns ambitious young Chinese arts managers to five-week placements within British cultural institutions; from large arts centres, museums and festivals to concert halls, theatres and galleries. Last year 100 applied, 40 were interviewed and 20 were picked. The programme’s continued aim is to build closer relationships and increased collaborations between UK and Chinese cultural organisations. This will be the fourth such programme: many participants who were involved in the first are now in senior decision-making positions and are reaping the benefits of a reciprocal relationship with their peers in the UK.

MUSIC Womex, Cardiff 23 − 27 October

Hosted in Cardiff in October 2013, Womex is the largest World Music Expo and showcase. It is hosted in the UK for the first time in over 10 years and the British Council is working in partnership with Cerdd Cymru (Music Wales) to support new international relationships and  deepen the engagement between global and UK networks.

VISUAL ARTS Willie Doherty, Unseen, Derry tbc

Since Northern Irish artist Willie Doherty began exhibiting in the early 1980s, his work has consistently addressed problems of representation, territoriality and surveillance, as well as the politics and rhetoric of identity, with an emphasis on these issues in his native Derry.As part of Derry-Londonderry City of Culture Doherty is developing plans for a new feature film created in the city, as well as a series of new and previously unseen photographs. Unseen will bring together 30 works: ten new images; ten iconic old prints borrowed from galleries and institutions around the world - including the British Council’s Collection - and ten previously unseen pieces from his personal archive.


FILM New British Film Festival, Russia tbc

An annual programme which showcases contemporary independent UK film celebrates its 11th edition. Over 20 titles will screen in Moscow, St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg, accompanied by a range of guest speakers and workshops.

MUSIC Benjamin Britten Centenary, Moscow ongoing

As part of the programme of events celebrating the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, the Russian National Orchestra will perform concerts under the batons of Vassily Petrenko, Mark Elder and Mikhail Pletnev, including the Sinfonia da Requiem, the War Requiem, the Violin Concerto and The Prince of the Pagodas Suite.  Ian Bostridge will appear in Death in Venice at the Moscow Conservatoire, conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, and will also perform the Canticles. Preparations are underway for the final translation into Russian of David Matthew’s biography of the composer; and the festival will feature an exhibition about Britten at the Pushkin Museum, that will include artworks from The Red House, organized at the instigation of the Director, MmeIrina Antonova.

FILM UK Film Season at Tribeca Film Festival, New York tbc

British Council Film works within a worldwide network and with a range of international partners to develop imaginative film projects, including curating programmes of contemporary British films, advising on international events and workshops and arranging for filmmakers and expert film industry specialists to represent the UK abroad. UK features will be selected for screenings at Tribeca and their directors will receive travel grants to attend the festival.


VARIOUS Hay Festivals

Hay Festivals and the British Council launched a global partnership at the Hay-on-Wye Festival in May 2010 and continue to work together to bring UK authors and thinkers to a global audience. This year, festivals will take place in, amongst others, Kenya, Wales, Hungary, Bangladesh and Spain.

VARIOUS Qatar –UK Year 2013 Year of Culture

Qatar –UK Year 2013 Year of Culture aims to be a catalyst for an increase in bilateral relations between Qatar and the UK and a platform on which to build new long-term partnerships between our cultural institutions. The British Council is curating a special programme for Qatar-UK 2013 Year of Culture which will showcase a diverse range of work from across the UK. This will include a mini-showcase from the Unlimited season, an exhibition of contemporary installation art, a UK film retrospective and a cultural management programme in partnership with UK arts institutions. 

MUSIC Selector Radio

A weekly two-hour programme that covers all styles of music, from indie, dubstep, folk, soul, electro and everything in between. The show features interviews, mixes and exclusive live sessions from some of the most exciting British artists. Hosted by DJ and presenter Goldierocks, The Selector presents an overview of all that is exciting and fresh in British music. It avoids many of the mainstream British acts that international audiences might already be familiar with, in favour of emerging talent and underground flavours. The show reflects the brilliance and diversity of British music, promoting the sounds, talents and musical culture of modern Britain to an international audience. The underlying aim of the show is to challenge people's perceptions about the UK and showcase the wealth of creativity and innovation on offer here. With an audience estimated to be in excess of 3 million listeners, The Selector is syndicated on FM to over 30 countries around the world including Mexico, Columbia, Israel, Poland, Malawi, Hungary, Indonesia, Bulgaria & China. 


We have begun a comprehensive new approach for our Creative Economy programme, forging connections between the growing creative industries in the UK and overseas. By helping to shape thinking amongst policymakers while also building entrepreneurial and leadership capability, we will encourage collaborative change across sectors. Through our revitalised approach, we will empower creative talent, boost cultural policy, improve infrastructure development and increase international connections, while sustaining the economic impact and reputation of the UK’s creative industries. We will work particularly with the cultural and digital sectors through projects including:

DRAMA AND DANCE Behind the Scenes

Our international skills and professional development programme embraces and empowers performing arts professionals at all levels of experience. So far, we have delivered workshops to improve backstage skills; increase managerial efficiency; help generate new audiences and greater income; build new local networks; and ultimately help to create new opportunities for participants to promote their work in increasingly competitive national and international markets. Behind the Scenes will see increased investment this year as we expand our work.

FILM British Council Film Collection

Since its online launch last year, films from the British Council Film Collection (a series of short documentaries about Britain made during the 1940s) have already been viewed more than half a million times. This year, as part of our continuing programme, we are launching projects to enable filmmakers to create their own interpretations of the films.

FILM Club Shorts 

A programme of the best UK short films from the last decade, suitable for young viewers. The programme has been designed for use in schools via the ‘Film Club’ initiative, which has established after-school film clubs in over 3000 British schools to get young people watching films.

FILM 2013 BAFTA nominees

An annual programme of the short films nominated for British Academy Film Awards will provide a snapshot of the best live action and animation short films as nominated by the British industry.

FILM Random Acts 

A package of contemporary short ‘arts’ films curated from Channel 4 Television’s innovative Random Acts strand. These contemporary films show British artists and filmmakers experimenting with form, medium and content.

VARIOUS Starless and Bible Black – Dylan Thomas

The centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas will see the British Council work to bring his legacy to new audiences across the world, with a global showcase from 2013–2015 in partnership with Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government.

VARIOUS Derry-Londonderry 2013 Year of Culture

The British Council has made its largest single investment in the arts in Northern Ireland to celebrate the first ever UK City of Culture. Supported projects include the Other Voices music festival, the relaunch of Field Day Theatre Company, visual artist Willie Doherty’s exhibition Unseen, touring music event Cities, Walls and Trees and theatre spectacle The Conquest of Happiness.

Notes to Editor

For more information please contact Alex Bratt, Senior Press Officer on 020 7389 4872 or email alex.bratt@britishcouncil.org or Mary Doherty, Arts Assistant Press Officer on 020 7389 3144 or email mary.doherty@britishcouncil.org

For more information about the UK at the Venice Biennale contact:

British Pavilion


Press Enquiries: Chloe Kinsman at Pelham Communications on +44 (0) 20 8969 3959 / chloe@pelhamcommunications.com

Welsh Pavilion


Press Enquiries: Emma Pettit or Stephanie Knox at Margaret on +44 (0)20 7923 2861 / emma@margaretlondon.com / steph@margaretlondon.com   Scottish Pavilion


Press Enquiries: Jenny McVean at Calum Sutton PR on +44 (0)207 1833577 / jenny@suttonpr.com

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.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

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