Society

British Council invites joint artistic projects between India and the UK for grants worth ₹25 million

Work across theatre and dance, visual arts, new media, music, film, architecture, design and fashion, literature, and interdisciplinary arts are what they are looking for   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Augmented or virtual reality projects, co-productions, tours, exhibitions, art residencies, films, installations... the list is long and possibilities are endless.

The British Council’s latest open call looks to spot creative and artistic projects that are born out of collaborations between India and the UK, rooted in arts. On offer are four grants worth a total amount of ₹25 million. The programme titled India-UK Together 2022, through these grants, hopes to address common challenges that the arts sector is facing, in a pandemic world, seeped in uncertainty.

The inception of it was a way to mark 75 years of India’s independence from colonial rule. Through enabling collaborations, Jonathan Kennedy, director of arts, British Council, India, believes that “we can build programmes in arts, culture and heritage”. The programme also invites those in the arts sector to build networks and create a greater sense of community. Which is why it is called India-UK Together, Kennedy adds, “the key word here is ‘together’.”

The open call comes at a pertinent time as COVID-19’s effect on the arts sector has been brutal. “Covid has transformed how we experience our day-to-day lives, how we experience art and to some extent, how we make art. We know that in the past 18 months, the impact of Covid on the creative economy of India and the UK has been challenging. So, there is a sense of togetherness. And innovating digitally and having a global consciousness of not only the pandemic but climate change too, are all part of our shared futures,” says Kennedy. The next season will capture and address these collective challenges.

Jonathan Kennedy

Jonathan Kennedy   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Considering how the arts have pivoted in the past couple of years to adapt and remain resilient, more hybrid and digital projects are expected in the coming season, says Kennedy.

“In terms of curation and current grants, our colleagues at British Council in India and the UK, and prominent names in the arts sectors of India and the UK will be reviewing the projects. It is a mix of internal and external evaluation,” he adds. The programme factors in the geopolitical diversity of India and expects to receive proposals from beyond just metropolitan cities.

Work across theatre and dance, visual arts, new media, music, film, architecture, design and fashion, literature, and interdisciplinary arts are what they are looking for.

Three winning projects will receive grants up to five million rupees each and the fourth project will receive a grant up to one million rupees. Projects will need to be delivered in India between January 2022 and March 2023, with digital or hybrid display for public taking place between September 2022 and March 2023. The winning teams will tour across India and the UK, tentatively in 2022-2023.

Arts organisations and their networks, and not individuals, fit the eligibility criteria. “There are already 150 arts organisations that have attended our webinars,” adds Kennedy.

On the tour in 2022, he says, “When the season opens, we will start in September which is when the culture season starts in the UK and in August is India’s Independence Day. The public-facing aspect will be held then.”

The last day for submission of proposals is on October 31. For details, visit www.britishcouncil.in.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 6:01:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/british-council-invites-collaborative-projects-between-india-and-the-uk/article37121250.ece

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