Arts organisations win funding to take Welsh culture to India

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Eleven Welsh arts projects will bring Welsh culture to India as part of the UK-India 2017 cultural season.

Mumbai, 9th February 2017: During the year Welsh and Indian creative professionals will travel to each other’s countries to work together and develop, produce and perform new work.

The projects have been designed by arts organisations and creative professionals from across Wales in partnership with Indian organisations.

They have been chosen to receive funding from the £450,000 India Wales Fund, a joint Wales Arts International and British Council scheme, which aims to help build relationships between Wales and India.

The full list of selected projects will be announced on Wednesday, 8 February at the Wales Millennium Centre by Economy Secretary, Ken Skates. Speakers at the launch will include Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales, Nick Capaldi and Director of British Council India, Alan Gemmell.

The diverse portfolio of projects will see Indian and Welsh partners working together across a range of art forms, including theatre, dance, visual arts, literature and music.

Performances will take place in India and Wales, and some of the work will be available online, with artists and audiences in both countries benefiting from opportunities including workshops, tours and talks.

Some of the project highlights:

  • Theatr Iolo will work with ThinkArts, an Indian company that produces arts events for children, to develop new theatre for babies and young children.

  • Parthian Books will work with India’s Bee Books on their project Through the Valley, City, Village, which will see Indian and Welsh writers working together in Bengal and Wales to produce a new book.
  • Welsh theatre company Living Pictures will tour India with their production Diary of a Madman, working with Indian company QTP Entertainment to provide technical skills workshops. A performance will take place at the Tata Steel sponsored Literature Live event in Mumbai.

National Theatre Wales, Chapter Arts, Literature Wales and Ffotogallery are just some of Wales’ big cultural names that will be building links with India.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:

“Wales has strong and long standing relations with India. The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 offers an important opportunity for Wales and India to refresh and strengthen these links, and also to create new dynamic connections and creative collaborations.

“I’m delighted that the India Wales Fund has been established jointly by the British Council and Wales Arts International and I’m certain that it will make a major contribution to the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the cultural contribution that so many people of Indian heritage, who live in Wales, make to our national life.”

Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales, said:

“2017 is the UK-India Year of Culture and it offers an opportunity to celebrate and build on long-term ties and partnerships between Welsh cultural institutions and their Indian counterparts. This exciting opportunity promotes shared endeavour, and it will lead to the creation of new arts activity by encouraging the production of a wide range of new theatre, literature, photography and much more.”

Alan Gemmell, Director British Council India, commented:

“Welsh and Indian culture share a love of music, arts and sport. Artists and arts organisations from the two nations are keen to experience and learn from each other’s cultures through contemporary perspectives. This opportunity offers a creative platform for Welsh and Indian partners to connect and work collaboratively for mutual benefit and open up avenues for trade, investment and tourism. These links can also inspire students in India to choose Wales as a location for their higher studies. We are delighted to partner with Wales Arts International to celebrate the UK-India Year of Culture in 2017.”

Indian Honorary Consul to Wales, Raj Aggarwal, said:

“Wales and India share a love of music, dancing, theatre and literature so this cultural exchange is a fantastic opportunity for each country to share the heritage of each other’s performing arts. This is an amazing project with great scope and vision, and particularly exciting as it involves a collaboration and blending of both nation’s talent working together to create new and unique works. Professional dancers from both nations will be performing in Wales and India, Welsh band Burum will be working with leading India musicians, mixing the melodies and styles of both nations on a tour of both countries. A collaboration of Welsh, English and Bengali writers will bring together the works of six writers with live performance and the publication of a new tri-lingual work. This is an amazing opportunity not just to see and enjoy the other country’s culture and talent, but to actually work together to create a hybrid from the two that fuse our nation’s cultures in the future.”

2017 is the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and the British Council has developed a season of cultural activity to mark the anniversary. India Wales was launched at the International Kolkata Book Fair on Saturday, 4 February, and Avik Debnath, Senior Business Development Manager from the Welsh Government Office at the British High Commission in New Delhi, represented Wales at the event.