Picture of the Unboxed commission PoliNations showing huge modern tree like sculptures Thursday 04 August 2022


UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, working with its International Partner the British Council, will welcome two delegations of festival leaders and arts programmers from around the world this August and September, as part of a wider ambition to build a global conversation about the importance of creativity in people’s lives, collaborative practice and the future of work.

The first delegation (11-18 August) will visit the Edinburgh Festivals, the world’s largest celebration of international arts, culture and creativity, where UNBOXED commission, the five-star reviewed Dreamachine will be running, part of its UK-wide programme of 10 major creative projects taking place in 2022.

Designed for people who programme festivals internationally, the Edinburgh delegation will explore the future of festivals and their role in communities, places and nations. Themes for the visit include the purpose and future of festival programming; innovative audience experiences; sustainability; community engagement; interdisciplinary work; fostering creative ecosystems; and building international partnerships.

From 1-7  September, the second UNBOXED-British Council international delegation will bring together people who programme interdisciplinary, socially engaged art in public spaces. It includes a visit to Birmingham, where UNBOXED has commissioned PoliNations, a major public realm intervention featuring giant architectural trees and thousands of plants, which is presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, which will transform Victoria Square into a city centre oasis hosting a variety of colourful events and activities, all free to attend.

The delegation will look at diverse participatory processes and models of civic engagement from cultures around the globe. Programme themes includeparticipatory processes; interdisciplinary work at scale; fostering creative ecosystems in civic spaces; technology; identity and art in the public realm; community engagement; and placemaking.

Both delegations will hear about UNBOXED, which has seven out of its ten commissions taking place in England, in September and October.

The result of collaboration across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, UNBOXED includes hundreds of free large-scale events and digital experiences, at locations from the Outer Hebrides to Southampton and from Omagh to Swansea, and on traditional and online media.

Projects include a thrilling multimedia journey through 13.8bn years of history, from the Big Bang to the present day; the solar system recreated as a 10km sculpture trail; a spectacular technicolour city centre forest-garden; an exploration of the human mind involving an artwork you 'see' with your eyes closed; thousands of people coming together to make public artworks celebrating the UK's landscapes; Wales transported 30 years into the future; a cutting edge AR and VR technology project immersing people in hidden histories in 15 towns and cities; a decommissioned offshore North Sea platform transformed into a major art installation in Weston-super-Mare; and a multimedia convoy through England inspired by the Moon.

The British Council has worked with UNBOXED to engage delegates from its networks of established and emerging cultural leaders, education professionals, researchers, artists, and public sector professionals. They come from almost 20 countries, bringing a range of experience and knowledge they will be able to share with each other and the interdisciplinary creative teams behind the UNBOXED commissions.

Skinder Hundal MBE, Director Arts at the British Council, said:

“The delegates across both visits represent a broad spectrum of perspectives and disciplines and reflect the importance of the interdisciplinary working which is at the heart of UNBOXED.

“They will play an important part in international legacy of the festival, as they engage with the commissions, the different methods of working, and through the discussions they have with other delegates.

“What they take away with them to their home countries and in their future careers will be part of the legacy of Unboxed.”

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, said:

“With several UNBOXED projects taking place between August and September, it’s the perfect time to bring together arts professionals and cultural leaders from around the world. Each visit provides a timely forum to reflect on different ideas and ways of working, collaboration and the role of creativity in finding solutions to problems. These visits also build on the support that the British Council has provided for UNBOXED teams to develop international partnerships that we hope will continue long after our programme has finished.”

The British Council has provided funding to enable several UNBOXED projects to develop collaborations with international partners including Dandelion, Our Place in Space PoliNations and StoryTrails.

The delegations are being delivered through Creative UK, the independent network for the Creative Industries.

  • Festivals for the Future (Edinburgh, 11-18 August)
  • Art in the Public Realm (England and Wales, 1-7 September)

Notes to Editor

For more information and opportunities to interview delegates please contact: Peter Hawkins, Senior Media and External Relations Manager peter.hawkins@britishcouncil.org

UNBOXED Festival Delegation

Art in the Public Realm:

  • Lim Jian Yi (Daniel) is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Think City is an urban regeneration and impact organisation founded ten years ago.
  • Jadwiga Charzynska is based in Gdańsk, Poland. Jadwiga was appointed director of the LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art in 2004.
  • Phuong Nguyen is based in Hanoi, Vietnam.Phuong is the vice director at Think Playgrounds, a pioneer social enterprise focusing on developing creative, ecological, and sustainable public spaces in urban areas.
  • Paul Tam is based in Hong Kong, China. Since 2020 March, Paul has led the led the Performing Arts Division (PA) as Executive Director at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
  • Nindyani (Nin Djani) is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Nindyani is the Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN).
  • Helena Aryal is based in Kaalo, Nepal. Helena is co-founder of the art initiative Kaalo.101.
  • Godwin Constantine is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Theertha International Artists Collective.
  • Gideon Obarzanek is based in Melbourne, Australia.Gideon is the Co-Artistic Director and Chief Executive of RISING.
  • Saima Zaidi is based inKarachi, Pakistan. Saima is a textile designer, educator and artist at Numaish Karachi - an award-winning, interdisciplinary collective.
  • Omar Nagati is based in Cairo, Egypt. Omar is the co-founder of CLUSTER - an independent urban design and research platform based in Cairo, founded in 2011.
  • Dominika Kluszczyk is based in Wrocław, Poland. She is a producer and lecturer, affiliated with the WRO Art Center co-creator of the IP Studio.
  • Faisal Kiwewa is based in Kampala, Uganda. He is the Artistic Director of Bayimba Foundation - a multiple-branched organisation that focuses on uplifting arts and culture in Uganda through cultural exchange and creativity.

Festivals for the Future:

  • Beril Sarıaltun, based in Istanbul, Turkey.Beril is a musician, sound designer and producer at Beats by Girlz.
  • Hardesh Singh, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hardesh co-founded The Cooler Lumpur Festival in 2013, originally as a literary festival.
  • Roni Isola, based in Buenos Aires City, Argentina. As the General Director of Festivals and large-scale events of Buenos Aires City, Roni has produced and managed more than 50 shows of Performing Arts shows over five years.
  • Carla Uller, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Oi Futuro. Carla is the Executive Manager of Oi Futuro - a non-profit institute dedicated to foster an innovative ecosystem for artists, producers, educators and social entrepreneurs in Brazil and Latin America.
  • Jo Mangan, based in Ireland. Jo is the Artistic Director of The Performance Corporation.
  • Shihui Weng, based in London, UK. Shihui is Creative Producer at the Tempest Projects commissions where she creates and produces innovative performing arts projects with an international perspective.
  • Marina Barham, based in Beit Jala, Palestine. Marina is the co-founder and General Director of Al Harah Theater, Palestinian Performing Arts Network and Tamasi Association.
  • Haytham Nawar, based in Cairo, Egypt. Haytham isan artist, designer and scholar in art and designer at Cairotronica - a platform for new media arts.
  • Seong Hee Kim is based in Seoul, Korea. Seong Hee is Artistic Director of the Ob/Scene Festival.
  • Ioannis Kaplanis is based in Athens, Greece. He is Director General of the Athens Epidaurus Festival.
  • Julie Nagham is based in Toronto, Canada. She is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts and artistic director of Nuit Blanche Toronto.
  • Anastasia Galimova is based in Uzbekistan. She is a researcher currently specialising in poetry and working at the interdisciplinary art festival MOC FEST. 

UNBOXED

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions and bring people together. It features free large-scale events, installations, and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration. Produced by some of the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, UNBOXED features ten major multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future. Events and activities take place from 1 March to 2 October 2022 – from the Outer Hebrides to Southampton and from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media. UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales, and EventScotland. unboxed2022.uk 

Creative UK

Creative UK empowers the Creative Industries to achieve their full potential. We champion, connect, support and invest in creative people and businesses, harnessing the power of the creative sector to build a stronger, fairer, and more prosperous future. www.wearecreative.uk 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2020–21 we connected with 67 million people directly and with 745 million people overall.

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