India-Wales season
India-Wales season  ©

British Council

About India-Wales season 

India-Wales is a joint initiative between Wales Arts International and the British Council that supports artistic collaboration and exchange between creative professionals and arts organisations in Wales and India. India-Wales supports the broader UK/India Year of Culture 2017 but also extends beyond. There are a total of 15 projects led by individual creative professionals and arts organisations from across Wales in collaboration with Indian partners, to develop and present work across many art forms.

 Alan Gemmell, Director India for the British Council has acknowledged the important role such artistic collaborations can play in building relationships between Wales’ and India.

Through our Year of Culture and India-Wales we are doing three things: celebrating modern-day India’s relationship with Wales and the UK; connecting with young people in both countries and seeking to inspire them to build a relationship between India and Wales for the next 70 years. I hope we will also share the values of Wales with people in India creating new friendships and partnerships that stand us in good stead for the next 70 years

Projects we are supporting 

We are supporting a rich and diverse portfolio of projects that bring together leading artists and arts organisations from India and Wales. The programme features multiple art forms: theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, music and applied arts and craft. 

They are all exciting and innovative collaborations that open up creative dialogue and reach new audiences in both countries.

Programme of projects 

Cardiff Dance Festival (Wales) and Basement 21 (India)


Interruption is a collaborative project by Cardiff Dance Festival (CDF17) and Basement 21  - a group of creative artists based in Chennai in India - that brings together individual dance artists from India and Wales in a series of public residencies in Cardiff and performances at Cardiff Dance Festival 2017. 

Four Basement 21 practitioners, including two choreographers, a theatre director/visual artist, and a musician/composer, will be resident in Cardiff from late October 2017 and for the duration of the Cardiff Dance Festival (CDF17). During this time they will work closely with four creative professionals from Wales to share and explore practice, and to improvise and develop work. Their joint explorations will be cross-disciplinary and culminate in various elements of public performance, including a performance at the Cardiff Dance Festival on 17 November 2017

To knoow more, click below:

Chapter Arts/ Coreo Cymru (Wales) and The Danceworx (India)


Liminality is a partnership between Chapter’s dance programme Coreo Cymru, multimedia company 4Pi Productions and The Danceworx India. The project supports the creation of a new 360° Fulldome dance film co-choreographed by Wales-based dance artists Kim Noble and Hugh Stanier and filmed/directed by 4Pi Productions, a cutting edge media production company. It includes a cast of over 30 contemporary dancers from India and a new sound score created by internationally-renowned musician Grey Filastine.

In July 2017, two Indian contemporary dancers from Danceworx Manas Yellapantula and Devasmita Sharma came to Wales for a rehearsal with Welsh contemporary dancers , they filmed in locations in South Wales including the National Assembly for Wales, Trevilis Bay, Newport Transporter Bridge and the Cardiff Bay barrage. 

The project goes to India in November 2017 to continue filming on locations in Delhi and Goa. 

More details here:

Ffotogallery (Wales) and NAZAR foundation (India)


Dreamtigers is a major new project in which Ffotogallery (Wales) and the Nazar Foundation/Delhi Photo Festival (India) will collaborate across a series of photographic residencies and curations of exhibitions.  Artists and creative professionals from both India and Wales will work in each other’s countries to create, curate and present new work that reflects how creativity, technology and a renewed sense of national identity are shaping the lives of future generations in a globalised society.

Photography and lens-based media will be used to examine both the ‘real India’ and the equally present and significant other – an imagined India which in recent years has significantly evolved and transformed itself in the public sphere and in the minds of Indians. 

Watch a short movie by Ffotogallery: A million mutinies later - India at 70 

Find here more about: Ffotogallery and Nazar Foundation

Jessica Mathews/ g39 (Wales) and Cona (India)

The Rejoinders

The Rejoinders is a brand new network between India and Wales which seeks to explore the collaborative process, the visual arts and ‘in between’ spaces. 

This project will bring together creative and critical collaborators from Mumbai in India and Cardiff and the UK from a variety of practices, including fine art, graphic design, web design, sound recording, and geography.  

Together they will explore visual art practices, and develop a collaborative curatorial model which can be adopted by the wider arts sector. They will share their findings and discussions, which will include visual and audio content, on a newly created online platform that will be launched at the end of September.  

In May 2017, two artists from Mumbai came to Wales to meet with other members of the Rejoinders group. Together they identified starting points for research and discussed intersecting narratives. 

The Rejoinders research groups will continue to work with local artists and arts organisations in Wales and India to create a series of events from February 2018 onwards, which will include artist’s exchange visits between India and Wales.  

More about Rejoinders

Khamira (Wales/ India)

Khamira tour

Four musicians from Wales’ premiere jazz/ folk band Burum joined forces with three of India's genre-breaking musicians to create Khamira.

Their music weaves Jazz, Welsh folk melodies and Indian Classical to create a unique sound. 

Khamira first came together in 2015 when they toured India playing many venues including The Goa Jazz Festival, Kolkata JazzFest, Bangalore, and New Delhi.

In 2016, the band recorded their debut album in the remote Welsh hills at Red Kite Studios near Llandovery. The album was released in May 2017 to widespread acclaim, with numerous four star reviews from the Jazz press. 

In May 2017, as part of the India-Wales season, Khamira undertook a nine-day tour of Wales that culminated in a sell-out performance at the Hay Festival. The group will tour India again in early 2018.

Click here to watch this video about Khamira. 

Click here to know about the band Khamira. Click here for the India tour schedule. 

Literature Across Frontiers (Wales) and various (India)

Poetry Connections

Addressing the broad theme of independence, Wales based Literature Across Frontiers is working with a range of festivals, writers, publishers and translators across India and Wales to develop a series of collaborative exchange residencies, live performances and workshops with young people. 

Ten poets from India and Wales will take part in a project focused on the theme of independence to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. The poets will collaborate to create new work during a series of residencies in both countries throughout 2017, taking the poets from the hustle and bustle of Indian metropolises to the peace and quiet of Welsh towns and villages, and from one end of each country to the other. 

The project held a ‘Literary Mela’ at the Hay Festival 2017, a series of public events in Wales and will continue to showcase the work produced in a series of performances, readings and discussions during the 2018 winter literary festival season in India when a multilingual publication with work written by the poets in Bengali, Kannada, Khasi, Malayalam, English and Welsh will be launched.

View a Podcast on the project by Eurig Salisbury here

Know more about Poetry Connections 

Living Pictures (Wales) and QTP Entertainment (India)

Diary of A Madman

In partnership with QTP Entertainment,  Living Pictures will tour their production of Gogol’s Diary of a Madman across India, from November – December 2017,  

The show is both a sensitive and meticulous study of human fragility. Performed by award-winning actor, Robert Bowman and directed by Olivier Award nominee Sinéad Rush, this one-man show tells the story of Poprishchin, a low ranking civil servant, who is struggling to make his mark on life, but one day he makes an amazing discovery. Could he really be the next King of Spain? Driven insane by government bureaucracy and hierarchy, Gogol’s dark comedy exposes one man’s reality spiraling deeper into a surreal fantasy world. 

Watch here: Edinburgh Showcase 2015: 'Diary of a Madman' by Living Pictures 

Find out more:

National Theatre Wales and Junoon Theatre (India)


Sisters is a brand new, contemporary work, co-created by National Theatre Wales and India’s Junoon Theatre, imagined by a group of artists from Wales and India, exploring their linked roots and histories. 

The project is an international conversation and collaboration between female performers, artists, creatives and designers in India and Wales. It seeks to explore and challenge notions of what it means to be an Asian woman today. It will also investigate the mythical cultural history of both India and Wales and the role of the female within these myths.

The project will culminate in a sharing of ideas and work-in progress performance in March 2018.

Find below the details about:

Parthian Books (Wales) and Bee Books (India)

The Valley, The City, The Village

Publishers Parthian Books and Bee Books collaborated on The Valley, The City, The Village, a project in which six writers from Wales and India explore each other’s countries and use these experiences to provoke and inspire new writing. 

Each group of writers has now toured the other nation, and the project has already seen a new Welsh book launched at the Kolkata Book Fair in India and group appearances at Hay and Llansteffan Festivals, as well as a residency at Ty Newydd in North Wales, among many other public events spanning across Wales. A special physical edition of Wales Arts Review was published following the Welsh writers’ tour of India in spring 2017  

The project will culminate in a trilingual publication of new writing in Bengali, English and Welsh.

View the podcast recorded by British Council Literature team at Hay Festival here

Sion Tomos Owen documented the Welsh tour for Wales and Kolkata

Know more about: Parthian books, Beebooks and Literaturewales

Theatre Iolo (Wales) and ThinkArts (India)

Theatre for Early Years and Babies

Theatre for Early Years and BabiesWales’ leading theatre company for children and young people, Theatr Iolo performed with Indian company ThinkArts to take its production Out of the Blue to Kolkata in India. The production was co-produced by Theatr Iolo and director Sarah Argent and created especially for babies aged 6-18 months (and their grown-ups!). 

There was little artistic practice of performance for babies in India, and the production is a perfect introduction to live theatre for young audiences. Out of the Blue were toured at three venues in Kolkata in September 2017. 

Three Indian artists chosen to develop their own pieces of theatre for babies showed immense potential in this new area of work when Theatr Iolo collaborated with them earlier this year. They will visit Cardiff in Spring 2018 so they can share their work with Welsh audiences - particularly those from Indian communities - and engage with artists in Wales interested in creating theatre for early years. 

About: Theatre Iolo, Think arts

Winding Snake Productions (Wales) and various (India)

Rangoli: the art that binds

Rangoli: the art that binds is a multimedia participatory arts project for women and girls in Wales and India. The project is about friendship: between women and girls, art and culture, and India and Wales.  

Rangoli is an Indian decorative art form traditionally designed and created by women. It is a practice handed down from generation to generation.  Every Indian state has its own style of Rangoli, but the techniques used to create them, a dot and grid system, are very similar. All designs have symmetry and are designed to reflect the natural world. 

Rangoli is about creating a sense of balance; it is commonly believed that "Rangoli is life", and that it "purifies and transcends space and time" (Ralph M. Steinman, 1989). 

For many people, creating Rangoli is a spiritual event, which is said to bring forth wellbeing. This is reflected in the materials used to create Rangoli, such as flowers, sand and rice: all materials that are part of one's environment, and symbolise life. 

The word ‘Rangoli’ derives from Sanskrit meaning ‘expression of artistic vision through the joyful use of colour’. 

During the project, artists and animators from Wales and India will explore the relationship between Rangoli folk art and women's friendships, and introduce and celebrate the practice of Rangoli making with women and girls in Wales. 

Working with female artists in both countries; Dr Beena Jain of Rajasthan University and Delhi based Rajni Kiran-Jha and Welsh animators Rosie Holtom and Amy Morris will collaborate to create Indo-Celtic Rangoli designs

Know about Winding snakes here

Wicked Wales and Ffresh Festival India Wales film challenge: Perception and Reality

Perception and Reality is a partnership between international youth film festival Wicked Wales and Ffresh, student media festival of Wales. The project asks young film makers in India and Wales to create short films about how they see each other’s countries.

Wicked Wales is an organisation that has been working with young people in North Wales. This project will offer young creatives in Wales and India the opportunity to express their ideas about another culture, showcase their creative work, build new relationships and gain valuable international and industry experience. 

Two young film makers from Wales will be chosen to visit India and two young film makers from India will visit Wales. During their trips they will be asked to challenge their original views of their host countries and produce films that document the change in their perceptions.

The competition is called Perceptions and Reality and the winning films will be screened at the Wicked Wales International Youth Film Festival in venues across North Wales during October and in Kolkata in India in November.

The competition closing date is 15 September 2017 and it is open to young people between the ages of 16 - 30 years. Find out more information and access the application form here

Rhiannon Hughes, Wicked Wales festival director, has acknowledged the important role such artistic collaborations can play in building relationships between Wales’ and India. 

We are delighted to be working with our partners in India, including the Chitrabani Centre in Kolkata, to launch this competition, which will create new films by young people and raise awareness of the wonderful cultures in both Wales and India.”

About: Wicked Wales and Ffresh

See also

External links