Eleven Welsh arts projects took Welsh culture to India and India to Wales in 2017 and the projects continued into 2018.
Welsh and Indian creative professionals travelled to each other’s countries to work together to and develop, produce and perform new work.
The diverse portfolio of projects saw Indian and Welsh partners working together across a range of art forms, including theatre, dance, visual arts, literature and music, and some of the work will be available online.
Artists and audiences in both countries are set to benefit from opportunities including workshops, tours and talks. The projects, funded by Wales Arts International and British Council, have been designed by arts organisations and creative professionals from across Wales in partnership with Indian organisations.
Some of the project highlights were:
- Theatr Iolo work with ThinkArts, an Indian company that produces arts events for children, to develop new theatre for babies and young children.
- Parthian Books will work with India’s Bee Books on their project Through the Valley, City, Village, which saw Indian and Welsh writers working together in Bengal and Wales to produce a new book.
- Welsh theatre company Living Pictures toured India with its production Diary of a Madman, working with Indian company QTP Entertainment the theatre provided technical skills workshops. A performance took place at the Tata Steel sponsored Literature Live event in Mumbai.
- National Theatre Wales, Chapter Arts, Literature Wales and Ffotogallery are just some of Wales’ big cultural names that featured.
- Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography 2017 included an exhibition created by Ffotogallery Wales as part of their Dreamtigers, where artists and cultural professionals from India and Wales collaborate. A Million Mutinies Later showcased the lives of future generations, India at 70.
- The Hay Festival featured poetry that celebrates the vibrant cultural exchange between Wales and India
- Cardiff Dance Festival 2017 benefitted from dance artists from across India and Wales joining to perform.
- The India Centre Cardiff is the oldest and largest Indian community association in Wales. They celebrated the year of culture by organising a performance of Kathak, a classical Indian dance form at the Reardon Smith Theatre
- Wales’ Coreo Cymru and 4pi Productions and Danceworx India created a new 360° Fulldome dance film named Liminality. It involved a cast of over 40 dancers from India and Wales and was shot in coastal and urban locations in both countries.
- Winding Snake’s Jenny Allan created blogs from the arts collective’s tour of India;
- And a statue of Gandhi was unveiled to the Welsh Community (below image)
At the launch, Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Wales has strong and long-standing relations with India. The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 offers an important opportunity for Wales and India to refresh and strengthen these links, and also to create new dynamic connections and creative collaborations.
In 2018, their new collaborations included ten poets from India and Wales, who took part in an exchange organised by Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) and partners in India. The project brought them together to explore each other’s home location and create new work in six languages during a series of residencies in both countries. Alternating between the hustle and bustle of Indian metropolises and the peace and quiet of Welsh towns and rural locations.
Khamira, an ongoing collaboration between Welsh band Burum and three leading Indian musicians, toured India in 2018 and featured in the 30th Anniversary Hay Festival.
The Winding Snake team, run Rangoli workshops (a decorative colourful art form) with participants at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. the team are made up of Indian women in Wales and who travelled to India to learn about Rangoli, and they made cross-cultural connections that will last a lifetime.