Celebrating Go Digital
We’re delighted to launch our new Go Digital SSA-Wales film. This short film captures the essence of Go Digital – developing artistic process, showcasing incredible work and focusing on digital connection. Featuring some of our project partners as well as British Council staff from both Wales and across SSA, the film illustrates human innovation, resilience and the power of international digital collaboration in the midst of a challenging global context.
Go Digital evaluated: a new, successful model of international collaboration
We commissioned four researchers from across SSA and Wales to evaluate phase one of the programme. At the end of phase one of Go Digital, research found that the programme has been successful overall in the achievement of the objectives it set out to meet: developing networks, changing perceptions of digital working, and ultimately proving a digital model as a successful, climate-friendly model of international collaboration.
Read a summary of the new report at the end of this page.
As a result of the success of Go Digital SSA-Wales, we recently replicated the digital model through our new programme Go Digital Pakistan-Wales, which forms a key part of the inaugural UK-Pakistan season. Find out more here.
Digital Collaboration Grants
We have always supported international artistic collaboration through our work. In response to increasing restrictions on global travel due to Covid-19, and rising concerns about the sustainability of face-to-face collaborations, we were looking for new ways to foster these international connections. This funding has enabled the project teams to devise new virtual ways of working internationally, in turn creating a climate-friendly approach to international collaboration and artistic exchange. We hope that the programme will develop new and existing networks, strengthen the economic and social development of Sub Saharan Africa and Wales within the international cultural sector, and enable strategic digital showcasing skills to be shared between Sub-Saharan Africa and Wales heightening the international reach and impact of both regions.
In 2021 grants were awarded to project teams in Wales and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to collaborate on digital creative projects. In 2022, we will be supporting five projects to continue their work.
4pi Productions and Matamba Film Labs for Women
The Future Femme Filmmakers Project, a collaboration between 4Pi Productions in Cardiff, Wales and Matamba Film Labs in Harare, Zimbabwe brought together women creatives interested in cutting edge innovative storytelling methods in various mixed reality techniques for knowledge exchange, networking and building connections across cultures and countries.
In 2022, the partners will facilitate a five month virtual Future Femme Filmmaker’s Accelerator lab where participants will be trained to produce VR films of their own.
ASSITEJ South Africa and Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis
’Humanising the Zoom (Play) Room' was co-ordinated and led by ASSITEJ, a national network of artists in South Africa, and Wales-based theatre makers Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis. Artists from South Africa and eight artists from Wales, who are involved in creating theatre for young audiences, participated in a series of conversations, provocations, practical workshops and encounters over an eight-week period.
Through this project the artists found commonalities, points of interest and concern, and shared their skills and knowledge about creating engaging, emotionally-truthful and challenging theatre productions and encounters. The project has also created a mutual understanding of the shared importance of the language, culture and heritage of both South Africa and Wales.
In 2022, two bursaries will be offered to existing participants for the creation of a piece of digital theatre for young audiences. The group will work together to submit proposals, and to peer mentor each other. The successful pieces will be developed and shared at the Cradle of Creativity Festival at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, in August 2022.
Cardiff Dance Festival and Festival Duo Solo Danse
In 2021, the project explored on screen dance and dance films with artists and dance practitioners from Wales, Senegal and other Sub Saharan Africa countries. It included an online training lab, commissions for three new dance shorts, an online platform and showcasing event, as well as a website to introduce the artists and films involved in the project.
In 2022, further online labs will be held for a new cohort of artists, and an advanced lab will take place with artists from the research and development phase. Additional choreographic and filmmaking influences will be utilised in order to further stretch and challenge perceptions about what the possibilities of dance film might be.
Cardiff Metropolitan University and Godess Bvukutwa
In 2022, new writers from Wales and Zimbabwe will be invited to attend virtual retreats as part of ‘Where I’m Writing From’ where they will take part in writing workshops and mentoring sessions. Work produced during the retreats will be showcased via the platform.
After the workshops, the When Women Write platform will launch online, featuring readings by participants as well as women writers from both Wales and Zimbabwe.
This project is led by Dr Christina Thatcher from Cardiff Metropolitan University and Godess Bvukutwa from Mambakwedza Women's Center and workshops are taking place from August 2021.
National Youth Arts Wales and Solomonic Peacocks Theatre
National Youth Arts Wales and Solomonic Peacocks Theatre in Malawi are collaborating on a project called Maniffest/Mindset. In Phase 1, they explored how young theatre-makers from different cultures could co-create digital theatre together. This cultural exchange included performers and theatre-makers aged 17 – 22 from Wales and Blantyre in Malawi.
The two organisations facilitated online drama-based workshops, led by writers and filmmakers from both countries. The project explored shared digital platforms, and how they can cultivate a space for young people from different cultural backgrounds to co-create theatre for mobile phones.
In 2022, the two partners will expand the workshops to produce a digital theatre piece, which will be shared as part of a major digital arts festival in Malawi – the annual Easter Theatre Festival. It will also be shared in Wales using the AM app.