2020 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival launched

Emilee Geist

An online festival, dedicated to the cultural and creative exchange between China and the United Kingdom, has been launched on Oct 9 by the British Council. Around 50 cultural institutions from both countries have provided digital content that forms more than 75 individual cultural projects, most of which were created […]

An online festival, dedicated to the cultural and creative exchange between China and the United Kingdom, has been launched on Oct 9 by the British Council.

Around 50 cultural institutions from both countries have provided digital content that forms more than 75 individual cultural projects, most of which were created during the pandemic when restrictions were in place and will be shown for the first time in each country respectively in October.

The festival celebrates the power of arts and culture in uniting people it will help to increase and strengthen collaboration between artists and cultural institutions from China and the UK as both recover from the impact of the pandemic and it will introduce new work to wider audiences in China and in the UK.

The festival organised by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for education and culture, in partnership with Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office and the UK’s Department for International Trade, will see over 80 cultural performances and projects staged online throughout October, with support from VisitBritain, VisitScotland, the British Embassy in China and China Visual Festival.

Commenting on why the British Council is hosting a festival at this time, Rehana Mughal, director arts for the British Council in China, said: “For the cultural and creative industries, the impact (by the pandemic) has been significant, yet many artists have found imaginative ways to make powerful work that documents our collective strength during this challenging time. #ConnectedByCreativity is our contribution to the important cultural and educational relationship between our two countries.

“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,” she said. “We wanted to ensure we were able to support connection and build trust despite not being in the same room. Adversity can sometimes breed creativity, we felt it was important to mark this moment in history and to share art that has been produced during a pandemic. We created an online festival to expand the reach of this art to new audiences from both countries.”

Kicking off in the UK on 1 October, the festival focuses on promoting in the UK the work of Chinese artists and institutions over the Mid-Autumn Festival. Since October 9, this will be followed by a programme of online performances and talks from the UK in China.

The festival will include showcases and projects relating to trending social topics such as Creative Industries response to the pandemic, sustainability and climate change, inclusion and diversity.

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