For more than a decade, the British Council has run a well-established Connections through Culture programme, which enables collaboration between creative and cultural professionals in China and the UK. Through brokering connections and offering travel grants, CtC has enabled over 370 creative and cultural professionals to see one another's work, exchange skills and co-develop projects.
Connections through Culture is designed to be agile, responding to changing sector needs and the wider socio-economic context within the UK and China. This year, in light of the pandemic situation, the British Council decided to press ahead the programme by piloting a digital exchange phase to support new collaborations on sustainability, inclusion and gender equality.
We have been working with our partners in Greater Manchester and our long-standing partner Scottish Government to start our pilot in October, 2020. The UK creative and culture professionals are encouraged to submit their EOI to this digital exchange phase, and the British Council will help to translate the EOI into Chinese for an open call for Chinese peers to respond to.
The British Council will play an advisory role in the process, providing knowledge pack for participants to better under social and cultural context in the other country. We particularly welcome and encourage individuals who are, or who are working with, underrepresented groups who face barriers to participation in international programmes, including professionals and audiences who are D/deaf or disabled. The British Council will be able to provide needed support including sign language translation to facilitate communication between collaborators.