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UK-China Contemporary Culture Online Festival Launched


This week the British Council will launch #ConnectedByCreativity, an online festival for cultural exchange between China and the UK. The festival will run until 21 October 2020.

The festival will see over 80 cultural performances and projects staged online on key platforms in China and the UK throughout October.

UK audiences can most easily access the festival programming via the British Council website, and through following #ConnectedbyCreativity on Twitter. To be visible to Chinese audiences, the festival is accessible on British Council WeChat and Weibo and UKNOW WeChat and Weibo.

It is the first time such an online festival, dedicated to the China – UK cultural and creative relationship has been staged.

The festival is organised by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for education and culture, in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Trade and Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office. The festival is supported by VisitBritain, Wales Arts International, Welsh Government, VisitScotland, the British Embassy in China and China Visual Festival.

Welsh work featured in the festival includes;

  • Theatre from Theatr na nÓg, a Neath based theatre who are sharing their Eye of the Storm production
  • 2019 Booker Prize winner Bernando Evaristo’s Talk at the 2020 Hay Literature Festival
  • Visual art from Wales in Venice 2019 artist Sean Edwards, curated by Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham and commissioned by Arts Council of Wales
  • Visual art from Artes Mundi 7
  • Kaite O'Reilly’s piece about the lived experiences of deaf and disabled people And Suddenly I Disappear
  • Gareth Bonello’s music recorded during his Musician in Residence project in Chengdu

Commenting on why the British Council is seeking to connect the two countries, and showcase some of the work created during the pandemic by creatives in both countries Rehana Mughal, Director Arts for the British Council in China, said:

“Our work and all the things we value at the British Council – encouraging connection, understanding and trust between people and nations – are being profoundly challenged by the current pandemic. For the cultural and creative industries, the impact has been significant, yet many artists have found imaginative ways to make powerful work that documents our collective strength during this challenging time. In developing #ConnectedByCreativity we sought to overcome the challenges artists, institutions and audiences face in connecting to one another at times of physical distancing and travel restrictions. We wanted to ensure we were able to support connection and build trust despite not being in the same room. While this creative documentation is not a cure for the challenges we are facing at the moment, the experience of arts can inspire and play an important role in bringing people together, and helping our societies recover, allowing them to forge greater trust and understanding between people.”

Jenny Scott, Director Wales, British Council said;

“Arts and the creative industries have been severely impacted by the pandemic.  This festival is an opportunity to maintain and build on Wales’ relationship with China, and to showcase the unique and creative talent in Wales in an innovative way.  We are delighted to share this cultural snapshot of Welsh work with our friends in China, supported by Wales Arts International and the Welsh Government.”