British Council India to promote cultural exchanges with new initiatives

NEW DELHI: Emphasising on deepening and strengthening cultural ties between India and UK, The British Council India launched 'UK-India Year of Culture 2017' programme here on Friday. The 'UK-India Year of Culture' was announced during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to London in November 2015. The campaign aims to highlight the vibrant cultural history of the two countries and celebrate the best ‘cultural exportsÂ’ together.  The year 2017 marks the culmination of four years of Re-Imagine - a programme designed to build new creative connections in new ways between the people and institutions of Briatin and India.  “With the British Council, we believe that culture has a powerful role to play in helping people understand one another. India's cultural relationship with Britain is incredibly important.  "We want to develop stronger cultural relations between Britain and India. We want to celebrate, reconnect, revive and inspire the next generation of people culturally. We want to inspire people in both places with their cultural story and,” British Council India Director Alan Gemmell told IANS. As part of the celebrations, a British Council Art Collection featuring works of some of the greatest British artists was launched. The works cover various influences in British art, which starts with the iconic designs of the 1920s London Underground posters, then moving to Eduardo Paolozzi, who brought audiences to the beginning of Pop art of 1960s. The works of Tom Philips introduce the audience to the process-based art of the 1970s and Adrian Wiszniewski's ‘New Glasgow BoysÂ’ of the 1980s, then shifting to the works of David Hepher and Howard Hodgkin of the 1990s, who very differently explored ideas of space, combining figurative and abstract elements, a theme later visited by Hurvin Anderson.  There is also a photography exhibition that displays some rare colour works by Fay Godwin.  Talking about promoting cultural exchange between India and Britain, Gemmell commented that the most exciting way is to create new things together. “We want to have ideas from India and Britain and bring those ideas together to make brilliant new things,” he added.

There was also the launch of ‘Mix the PlayÂ’ - a special edition of the popular ‘Mix the CityÂ’ platform that promotes Shakespeare. The digital platform will offer audiences the chance to direct one of ShakespeareÂ’s most loved play - A Midsummer NightÂ’s Dream. The objective of Mix the Play is to engage audiences with Shakespeare and educate them about theatre direction in a fun way.  Speaking of improving ties between the both countries, Gemmell said that British Council has planned to do many new things culturally.  “We will tell a new story from what Britain and India want to do together to the world and will help to a new story what Britain and India are together. We are expecting more from the tech and digital platform contribute more to improve and connect the cultural ties,” he stated Gemmell.