Scotland-India image
L-R: Alasdair Campbell (Counterflows), Sunniva Ramsey (Traverse Theate), Katy West, Ross Wilson aka Blue Rose Code, Brian Molley, Ross Ainslie, Jenny Brown, Ninian Perry (Paragon Ensemble) ©

Jonathan Littlejohn

About India-Scotland Season

British Council has been working in partnership with Creative Scotland for over 4 years to develop projects between artists, art professionals and organisations from India and Scotland. Scoping trips to India and delegations attending key events such as Momentum, Celtic Connections and Turner Prize have resulted in many new projects, collaborations and opportunities being created. 

Projects we are supporting 

A distinctive Scottish element to UK/India 2017 has been co-ordinated by the British Council in Scotland in partnership with Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government. Nine projects covering a range of art forms have been chosen to take part this year. They include leading Scottish photographers, artists, writers and electronic musicians, amongst others. 

The partnerships aim to build sustainable and lasting relationships between Scottish artists and organisations and their Indian counterparts. Projects involving young people in both countries were a particular focus, as is reflected in the majority of those selected.

Drawing on Scotland’s reputation as the home of tartan noir, a Scottish crime writing delegation will see authors Doug Johnstone and Lin Anderson join agents Jenny Brown and Esha Chatterjee for events in Edinburgh and Kolkata to develop connections between Scottish and Indian writers. The Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival will seek to build a reader base for contemporary Scottish authors through an online writers’ residency hosted on a popular Indian books website.

Photography collective Document Scotland presented an exhibition in India at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in September 2017, with workshops for young people. A further project will identify artists for a digital photography exchange between Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow and the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. 

Katy West and Glasgow School of Art will expand the India Street textiles exhibition shown in 2016 at Tramway in Glasgow. Focused in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, their projects will include workshops for students to share knowledge of the textiles industries in both countries.

The team behind the Counterflows music festival in Glasgow will focus on mentorship and collaboration with contributions from Rian Treanor, composers Mark Fell and Nakul Krishnamurthy; percussionist Anantha R Krishnan and violinist Dr Lalitha Muthuswamy. Activities will take place in Fort Kochin, Chennai and Kolkata. Read more about the schedule of events in December 2017 here. 

Class Act India will see Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre partner with Mumbai’s Rage Theatre from November 2017 to February 2018 to connect young people from diverse backgrounds through workshops led by Scottish playwrights.

And Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway and the Edinburgh International Book Festival will tour a Gaelic and Indian music commission, and coordinate an exchange between Scottish and Indian writers and illustrators. Both projects will draw upon the collection of Stornoway-born Colin Mackenzie, who became the First Surveyor General of India and amassed the largest known collection of Indian antiquities and artefacts.

The Brian Molley Quartet has already embarked on its project with performances and workshops for students and children with disabilities at the Madras Jazz Festival, earlier this month. Glasgow-based Paragon Ensemble will head to Chennai in July 2017, to lead a music programme for children with additional support needs. Then in October 2017, Paisley’s Spree Festival will partner with Jodhpur Riff Festival, bringing young people together with Scottish musicians Blue Rose Code and Ross Ainslie for a traditional music collaboration. 

Katy West, Gabriella Marcella, Illustration
Katy West, Gabriella Marcella, Illustration 

FOCAS India & Scotland

This project has three strands over 18 months. The first is an open call for existing images responding to the theme Document to Indian and Scottish art photographers. The works will be judged by leading photographers Davila Daulet Singh, Photoink, Delhi and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Document Scotland. The curated exhibition will tour in India and Scotland between August - December 2017 (including venues in Gadhinnagar, Delhi, Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pondicherry,Chennai) and there will be artist led workshops for young peoples at each venue. Find out about the exhibition here. 

PURVAI - Warm Wind from the East

Touring to India will be two works from its existing Purvai 2017 project; Yatra and New Passages.
The first is a music commission working with Gaelic and Indian musicians and the second is an exchange between Scottish and Indian writers and illustrators. Both work with the themes and materials from the Colin Mackenzie Collection, the Stornoway-born man who became the First Surveyor General of India and amassed the largest ever known collection of Indian antiquities and artefacts.

Weaving a Musical & Digital Tapestry that Connects Scotland with India and India with Scotland

A musical collaboration will weave together traditional music from India and Scotland to create an hour-long performance, which will be curated in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and performed at both the RIFF and Spree festivals. Involving young people is central to the aim of both festivals and a digital tapestry will be created, which will weave together the patterns of everyday life of young people from the towns of Paisley and Jodhpur.

Care for Culture - Inclusive Music Programme

This is an Inclusive Music Programme for children with additional support needs and aims to share skills and promote inclusive art practice with musicians and care practitioners. It will include workshops such as “train the trainer”, sessions with a focus on working with young people with disabilities, mental health issues and those excluded by social & economically issues. They also aim include and enable the young people to take part in a performance of their own music as a result of the workshops.

Paragon and Exodus also want to establish further connections with other musicians and organisations in India as part of this project. You can read more about the Event in Chennai in November here. 

Bridges Beyond Boundaries

Bridges Beyond Boundaries aims at creating bridges through Literature across the physical boundaries. To build a reader base for the contemporary Scottish authors in India and to introduce Indian readers to a wider variety of Literature.

There are two parts to the project:

1. Scottish contemporary novels are published and sold at an Indian price. This would build a base over six months and then the published authors would come down to attend the Literature festival.

2. Before that, alongside the publications, we run an online writers residency. A Scottish blogger turned author and an Indian Bengali blogger turned author would jointly publish a series of stories/translations which would be published through a popular website which records a minimum of 5 million views a month.


See also

External links