British Council for craft collaboration between India and the UK

British Council’s Crafting Futures programme invites partner organisations from the UK and India to collaborate and empower artisans

When communities of two countries collaborate, could it mean more empowerment for them? The British Council’s Crafting Futures, a three-year programme will be an experiment into that. Launched earlier this year as a means to boost India-UK collaboration, the programme is inviting its final applications, before its deadline of November 11.

“The collaboration we are looking for is between artisan organisations, NGOs, people working within the craft sector in both India and the UK. They can be well-known institutions as well as small collectives,” says Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts, British Council India.“India has a vibrant art and craft sector and we are excited to bring the Crafting Futures India-UK Collaboration Scheme here.”

Interested organisations — across the fields of textiles, jewellery, sustainable fashion, handicrafts, furniture, pottery and more — can partner with one from the UK, working on a similar theme, and present a joint project proposal. Six of the winning organisations will then be chosen for the programme, and given technical support as well as grants up to £20,000.

Organisations eligible to apply
  • Crafts organisations, associations, cooperatives and unions of artisans
  • National representative bodies for craft, such as crafts councils or Government ministries
  • Organisations that work with designers, craftspeople and artisans, including NGOs
  • Universities, educational institutes and technical or vocational schools with art or design specialisations
  • Museums or other cultural heritage bodies which present craft work
  • Media platforms (traditional and/or digital) that feature craft and design
  • Non-craft focused platforms who work in related fields and have a desire to extend their partnerships in craft, such as fashion weeks, design events, youth/women’s organisations, arts and culture festivals, cultural heritage organisations and so on.

Application criteria
  • Each proposal must have one primary applicant from India and one secondary applicant from the UK. Only joint applications will be considered. The projects must take place in India. Last date for submission of proposals is November 11.

For the coming 12 to 14 months, the organisations can collaborate with partner organisations in the UK to explore new avenues in India. “One of our main aims for the programme is the empowerment of craftswomen, through digital technology,” says Jonathan, explaining how they will make global trade easier by connecting buyers, designers and artisans on web portals.

The programme will work towards bringing traditional pieces of work to the contemporary marketplace, with the help of design experts. “Another key aspect is developing craft tourism between India and the UK,” he says. “So that the buyers can visit the places where these objects come from, and experience it from the inside.”

Jonathan adds that the programme was hoping to receive projects that address global environmental challenges. “For instance, I saw one in Delhi… a visual installation of a terracotta honeycomb. It is supposed to work in tandem with an electricity generator in factories. Once the generator is turned on, recycled water is pumped through it, cooling the air around it and making the environment friendlier for people working in the factory,” he recalls. “This is how you solve a modern issue, by combining craft, design, technology and science.”

For more details and to apply, visit

programmes/ arts/crafting-futures

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 1:04:08 AM |

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