Tuesday 03 March 2020

Five Indian-Welsh collaborative projects are confirmed for the Connections Through Culture: #IndiaWales programme.

Festival of Voice, Focus Wales, Diffusion festival, Gareth Bonello and Theatr Iolo will develop projects with festivals in India. 

They will collaboratively create new work and tour the projects to various festivals across India and Wales – bringing international work to vast new audiences. 

The fund is a further venture by the British Council, with support from Wales Arts International, following on from the 2017-18 #IndiaWales season and 2019 #WalesinKolkata season. It aims to promote mutual and equitable collaboration between India and Wales so organisations can exchange sector knowledge, skills and business models to build a more sustainable and resilient festival sector in both countries.

Barbara Wickham OBE, Director India British Council, said: 

“Wales and India have a shared love of arts and a legacy of working collaboratively in this sector. We received some fabulous proposals through the Connections Through Culture grants call-out and have selected some really exciting creative projects across India and Wales with some cutting-edge festivals. This is a fantastic opportunity for British Council in India and Wales and Govt of Wales, Wales Arts International to embed creative relationships; to enable sustainable partnerships to connect, create and collaborate over the coming years.”

The successful projects are; 

Festival of Voice will work with Jodhpur Riff, an International folk music festival in Rajasthan. The music and spoken word project will work with female voices in both traditional Hindi and Welsh. Artistic Director Graeme Farrow said:

“Our vision for Festival of Voice is that it will become an international centrepiece of Wales’ annual calendar, and of Cardiff’s commitment to placing music at the heart of the capital’s development. We look forward to working with Jodhpur RIFF on this exciting project and look forward to welcoming them to Cardiff.”

Ziro Festival, in the Arunachal Pradesh region of India are partnering with Wrexham’s FOCUS Wales. Both festivals showcase their countries independent music scenes and their project involves reciprocal showcasing at each festival. 

Theatr Iolo, a young-persons theatre company are partnering with Hyderabad Children’s Theatre Festival. Lee Lyford, Artistic Director for Theatr Iolo said; 

“We are thrilled to receive a Connections through Culture: India Wales grant and very excited to be partnering with Hyderabad Children’s Theatre Festival, to share process and learn from each other to develop new work for Young Audiences. This is an excellent opportunity for Theatr Iolo to extend our reach in India, having already made meaningful connections with Think Arts in Kolkata during the #IndiaWales season”

Singer-songwriter and Welsh Music Prize winner Gareth Bonello will work with Jodhpur Riff to link musicians from Wales, the Khasi Hills and Rajasthan. 

Diffusion Festival and Chennai Photo Biennale will together commission work which will show at Diffusion Festival in 2021, and further tour to Chennai Photo Biennale in 2022.

Notes to Editor

For further information and to arrange interviews, contact; Rosa.bickerton@britishcouncil.org Tel: +44(0) 758 5984 319

Website for more information: https://wales.britishcouncil.org/en/programmes/arts/about/connections-through-culture-india-wales

About Wales Arts International 

Wales Arts International facilitates international work in the arts through collaborations, projects, networks and communication. We provide advice and support to artists and arts organisations from Wales who work on an international level. We are also a contact point for international artists and arts organisations working in Wales. We foster international artistic excellence in Wales and ensure international impact and recognition for the arts and culture of Wales. www.wai.org.uk


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. 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