Caitlin - Light, Ladd & Emberton
Caitlin - Light, Ladd & Emberton ©

Warren  Orchard

In January 2019, four Welsh artists and arts organisations traveled to Kolkata, often referred to as the culture capital of India, to present their work in theatre, dance and literature.

They presented work at prestigious festivals in the city,  undertook workshops with local schools, students and arts professionals, spoke on panels and delivered lectures alongside leading Indian culture professionals. 

Wales in Kolkata, the season of Welsh arts activity and collaboration, is supported by the British Council and Wales Arts International - details of the programme can be found below.

This festival is a result of the relationships and networks formed by the 2017-18 India Wales season, a major programme of artistic collaboration between Wales and India, which has paved the way for lasting international cultural networks between the two countries. 

Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism said: “I am pleased to see the cultural links between Wales and India continue to strengthen, particularly on the back of all the fantastic work that occurred as part of the Wales/India Season of 2017-18, and Wales being the featured nation at this year’s Kerala Literature Festival. Once again the best of Welsh culture will be on display for Indian audiences to experience, and I wish all participants a successful Festival.”  


Light, Ladd & Emberton partnering with the Kolkata-based Pickle Factory Dance Foundation performed their immersive dance production Caitlin. 

The acclaimed show, staged at the Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan hall, chronicles the popular Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ tumultuous relationship with his wife Caitlin.

Light, Ladd & Emberton’s performers also delivered workshops to share their skills and creative knowledge with a wide variety or participants including university students, school pupils and theatre enthusiasts. 

Find out more about their experience in Kolkata


Theatre Iolo, with their passion for delivering meaningful theatre for young audiences, performed their production of Transporter, a spoken word odyssey, written and performed by Catherine Dyson, that captures the journey of a young girl called Maya. Again the company partnered with Kolkata-based Think Arts, who work in arts with young audiences, who Theatr Iolo worked with when taking their expertise in theatre for babies to India for their #IndiaWales project.

They held workshops and performances at Birla Academy of Art and Culture and Modern High School for Girls. Theatr Iolo accompanied by their award-winning artistic director Lee Lyford presented Transporter at the Junior Kolkata Literary Meet, Victoria Memorial Hall.

Find out more


The Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize is the world's largest literary prize for young writers

The 2019 prize winner, Kayo Chingonyi travelled to Jaipur Literature Festival to participate in two panel discussions, one about poetry and the other about Reni Eddo-Lodge’s bestseller Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Two Swansea University academics; Dr Elaine Canning who is Executive Officer of the award and its educational strand DylanED, and Professor Daniel Williams accompanied him to the Jaipur Literature Festival to deliver a series of talks and to promote the Dylan Thomas Prize and it’s education strand DylanEd.

Professor Daniel Williams delivered the inaugural #WalesinKolkata lecture at the British Council library, and Dr Elaine Canning gave a presentation about the International Dylan Thomas Prize.

Find out more about the fascinating journey through the deep Welsh connections in India that begins in 1783.

Dr Elaine Canning also ran a number of activities with children age 8-12, which inspired them to craft their own short stories, and Chaired an ‘in conversation’ event with Prajwal Parajuly; shortlisted author and former judge of the Dylan Thomas award. 

Find out more about Dr Elaine Canning’s experience in Kolkata  


Gary Raymond, novelist and renowned editor of Wales Arts Review launched an anthology of short stories by Welsh writers ‘Renegade Wales: Revolutionary New Voices in Welsh Fiction’ in collaboration with Indian publishers BEE Books at the British Council and also presented at the Kolkata Literature Festival at the Kolkata Book Fair. Find out more

Gary is a critically acclaimed novelist, author of the ‘brilliant and unnerving’ (Bookseller) The Golden Orphans, published by Welsh Publisher Parthian, and undertook creative writing and publishing workshops at venues including the iLEAD Media and Management Institute the Kolkata Press Club.

Find out more about Gary Raymond's lecture at the Kolkata Press Club about journalism in the digital age.

See also

External links