Tuesday 10 November 2020


This year’s Diwali celebrations will see artists from Wales and India come together to share how they have worked in partnership to create new work.

In 2017 British Council Wales launched India Wales, a cultural programme that has seen artists from both countries crossing the world to work together. 

Since the programme’s launch, artists in Wales and India have continued to collaborate on projects across literature, dance, theatre and visual arts.

This year further partnerships were planned, but Covid-19 has meant artists have had to work together mainly online.

Head of arts at British Council Wales, Rebecca Gould, explained: “Following on from the success of the India Wales programme, last year we launched a new grants scheme, Connections Through Culture: India Wales. 

“Five grants were awarded to partnerships of artists and arts organisations from the two countries.

“Unfortunately, as the artists couldn’t travel to work with each other, they had to quickly shift much of their planned project activity online. 

“To honour their determination and spirit we decided to create an online event, the India-Wales Digital Festival: Connections Through Culture. 

“We’re bringing together Welsh and Indian visual artists, musicians, textile artists, writers, theatre makers, art leaders and choreographers to discuss the work they have created together over recent years.”

“The best thing about India Wales is all the brilliant artists who have come together to form new artistic connections and so generously shared their work and experiences with each other, and with the rest of the arts sector in Wales and India. 

“Though we couldn’t represent every project in this festival, we’ve tried to give a cross-section of the amazing work that has taken place.”

The event will take place over a two-week period to coincide with the Diwali celebrations in India and Wales, starting on 12 November.

The Festival will include panel discussions and Instagram Live events. The full programme can be seen on the British Council Wales website https://wales.britishcouncil.org/en

Welsh Government deputy minister, Jane Hutt, said: “The India Wales Digital Festival is a welcome addition to this year’s Welsh Government Diwali celebrations. The Wales India programme has helped strengthen cultural relations between the two countries and it is good to see artists from both countries continuing to collaborate despite the barriers caused by the pandemic.”

Barbara Wickham OBE, director, British Council, India said: “India and Wales have longstanding cultural ties rooted in arts and education. British Council’s current work with the Welsh Government and Government of Telangana in south India is testimony to that strong legacy and our shared ambition for future positive cultural relations. 

“The India-Wales Connections Through Culture Festival further strengthens creative collaboration between pioneering artists in theatre, music, dance, film and craft and will enable emerging arts and culture leaders in both nations to continue that collaboration even in these very difficult times.”

Everyone is invited to join the online events, which are all free to join, find out more and register at https://wales.britishcouncil.org/en 

Notes to Editor


Launch event in partnership with Welsh Government Digital Diwali #DiwaliCymru

Collaborations in literature

Thursday 12 November 2020: 10.00 (GMT) 15.30 (IST)

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Introduction by Barbara Wickham OBE, Director British Council India. This event will explore the many recent India-Wales collaborations in literature. It will be chaired by Clare Reddington, British Council Trustee and CEO of the Watershed in Bristol. As part of the event, we will launch Wales based Parthian Books’ Modern Bengali Poetry anthology which celebrates over one hundred years of poetry from the two Bengals - the Eastern Indian state and the country of Bangladesh - represented by over fifty different poets and a multitude of forms and styles, selected and translated by Arunava Sinha.

Arts leadership through Covid-19 in India and Wales 

Tuesday 17 November 2020: 14.00 (GMT) 19.30 (IST)

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes 

As arts and creative industry sectors in India and Wales start to recover from the global pandemic, hear from arts leaders in India and Wales on how collective action and resilience are enabling and encouraging the sectors to imagine a new future for the arts. Chaired by Rashmi Dhanwani, Founder Director, The Art X Company.  

Collaborations in visual arts

Thursday 19 November 2020: 14.00 (GMT) 19.30 (IST)

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Journey through shared cultural narratives in the visual arts. Collaborations across borders and cultures in India and Wales. Chaired by Karen McKinnon, curator at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, in South Wales. 

Collaborations in music

Saturday 21 November 2020: 12.30 (GMT) 18.00 IST

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Exploring Indo-Welsh music collaborations with artists and festival producers across borders, genders and digital landscapes. Chaired by Tom Sweet, Music Programme Manager at the British Council. 

Collaborations in craft

Sunday 22 November 2020: 09.30 (GMT) 15.00 (IST)

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

An insight into craft collaborations across borders with personal accounts from artisans in India and Wales.

Collaborations in theatre and dance

Monday 23 November 2020: 14.00 (GMT) 19.30 (IST)

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

An opportunity to explore some of the many and varied collaborations in India and Wales across theatre and dance. Chaired by Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts in Wales at the British Council


Diwali, which means ‘rows of lighted lamps’, is a Hindu festival celebrated every autumn. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. It marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and is also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org

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