30 Sept 2022

British Council - Italy

Arts & Culture Newsletter

Performing Gender Dancing in Your Shoes – Bologna Workshop - photographer Anna Kushnirenko 


Welcome to a bumper autumn issue of our Arts & Culture newsletter.

We hope you had a chance to relax and recuperate this summer as we have a busy few months coming up in Italy, so do read on.

As a global organisation our thoughts are very much with colleagues and communities around the world who face enormous hardships in difficult circumstances. Visit our UK/Ukraine Season to see how we are supporting the Ukranian culture sector at this time and read our 2021-22 review  which describes our work across the globe and how we support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide.

We also would like to remember a great friend and collaborator from Italy, Claudio Gaetani, who passed away in September. Actor, director, filmmaker, activist and co-founder of the Italian disabled artists’ association Al.Di.Qua, Claudio was known and respected internationally for his own artistic practice, but also for his support of fellow artists, and for his commitment to advocating for change in the cultural sector.  Artists and professionals around the world will, without doubt, join us in mourning his passing. Grazie, Claudio.

What we are up to:

Performing Gender Dancing in Your Shoes – Bologna Workshop - photographer Anna Kushnirenko 

Museums Revisited

Museums Revisited aims to build capacity and connectivity through a network of museums across the UK and EU. Following research carried out in March 2021 with the support of Ministry of Culture, ICOM Italy and AMACI, we have been collaborating with ICOM Italia to develop two “culture salons” to offer opportunities to share examples of audience development through innovation in Italian and UK museums. The first event takes place on 17 October. Find more info and sign up here.

International Collaboration Grants Programme 

It’s full steam ahead here with five separate projects at various stages of development.  

  • Disabled Leadership is a creative exchange between four disabled dance leaders from StopGap Dance Company and Oriente Occidente. A series of creative labs – running in various cities across the UK and Italy - will give opportunities to disabled and non-disabled practitioners to experience inclusive creativity with UK professionals connecting with Italian disabled leaders. 
  • Dancing the Horizontal will take the form of two international exchanges this October when Kate Cox and Rachel Fullegar of Gracefool Collective (UK) work with the Dance Well group in Bassano Del Grappa and Yorkshire Dance. Humour is combined with a strong, feminist, multi-disciplinary practice. This project focuses on exchange between these exceptional artists and local communities of older adults and those living with long-term health conditions and disabilities. 
  • Creating Connections sees Wanda Moretti (Venice, Italy), Kate Lawrence (Nant Peris, North Wales) and Lindsey Butcher (Brighton, England) draw on the participatory spirit and inventiveness of experimental dance work in 1970’s New York. Following a successful event in Italy earlier this year, they will run workshops in Wales and Brighton in October, first with students and teachers from a special school for disabled children and next with D/deaf and disabled artists alongside professional vertical dancers. If you’re interested in hearing about the lessons learned from the project, there will be an online symposium in December 2022. More information for this will be made available through Il PostoKate Lawrence or Gravity and Levity’s websites.  
  • New Ways. Arcade Campfa and Spit & Sawdust, two artist-led spaces in Cardiff, are collaborating with Pase Platform, Venice, to offer a residency to train in the use of ‘d&b soundscape’, a radical new sound positioning technology that exists in only six locations in Europe.  Wales-based artist and experimental musician Emma Daman Thomas and Venetian flautist Andrea Vecchiato will be using this technology to create new art – keep your ears open! 
  • Diverse Voices: After an open call in June, Inua Ellams, Orbita Spellbound and Spazio Griot ran a fantastic three-day workshop in Rome on live literature practices with 14 young artists from BiPOC backgrounds. Next up is a ‘Poetry Film Hack' in London on the 13 October. Afterwards we can look forward to the grand finale in Rome on the 28 October. The R.A.P. (Rhythm And Poetry) Party at Caffe delle Esposizioni will be a night of fun, poetry and music - keep an eye on Spazio Griot for more details. 

Stay informed about the next round of International Collaboration Grants and other opportunities and events through our new EU enewsletter. Sign up here.

UK artist Self Esteem performing at Ypsigrock – copyright Elisabetta Brian

Bespoke Brokers

Our Bespoke Brokers programme brings together cultural organisations, programmers and festivals in the UK and Europe to create opportunities for continued artistic exchange. So far this year we have sent Italian professionals to: The Great Escape Festival in Brighton - next year Italy is the country partner; performing arts festival Caravan - read about the experience - and to the film festival Sheffield DocFest

A shout out goes out to former delegate and award-winning festival Ypsigrock whose lineup in August this year featured lots of British musical talent including Penelope Isles, C Duncan and Self-Esteem (pictured above).

Circular Cultures

A project to create new networks across the UK and Europe for creative professionals passionate about sustainability and circularity saw two UK based artists: Eleni Michael and Kajaal Modi, team up to participate at BASE Milano’s Temporary Home residency . This was a huge success, with around 1000 daily visitors, queues to get in, and successful networks created. So watch this space as we look to continue our work in circular design! 

Jerwood Creatives: Over a week in July we hosted a group of creatives, ranging from set designers to sculptors and had a fantastic time introducing them to a whole range of Milan based creatives and organisations. Our fellows told us that they “gained a unique outlook and experience into the Italian cultural landscape.” – Duncan Butcher.  


Performing Gender - Dancing in Your Shoes 

This Creative Europe funded, three-year audience development project is aimed at developing a bond between cultural professionals and their local communities in the field of dance and performing arts throughout a discussion on gender in the European dance system. Partner Gender Bender organized a “summer camp” in Bologna earlier this month to support the exchange of experience. We have shared some pics throughout this newsletter for an idea of what happened so many thanks to photographer Anna Kushnirenko for her sharp eye!

Performing Gender Dancing in Your Shoes – Bologna Workshop - photographer Anna Kushnirenko 

Partner activity 

Kaleider – The Money – credit Prudence Upton

Meanwhile our partners are up to all kinds of interesting things. Prepare to get enough calendar inspiration to last you through till Christmas!


Interazioni30 September – 8 October, a festival of performances, concerts, films, workshops and more, around Rome. Anglo-Italian musician, poet and actor Beercock is among a stellar line up. 

UK artist Kaleider is making an appearance in Milan at BASE Milano’s Farout Festival with the installation The Time it Takes. Next stop is Teatro Sardegna with 2 works: Robot Selfie and the international hit showgame The Money: one table, a plate full of money, and 60 minutes to decide how to share it – things look interesting in the image above! 

Workshops and Events

Artlab provides opportunity for dialogue between stakeholders from the creative and cultural worlds alongside other sectors. Following the lab in Bergamo, the next stop is Bari/Matera (December 1–3, 2022). Workshops will look at the role of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

Visual Arts

Love arty lobsters? Have no idea what they are? Well, either way you’re in for a treat! Scottish artist Philip Colbert, who has created a global following for his hyper pop Lobster persona and is often referred to as “the godson of Andy Warhol” will unveil 12 new sculptures in Via Veneto in Rome on 6 October. The exhibition will last for 3 months and is free to the public. Learn more about his work here.

La Biennale di Venezia (ending 27 November): of course we have to mention Venice one last time where this year Sonia Boyce OBE RA won the prestigious Golden Lion award for her exhibition Feeling Her Way at the British Pavilion. Over 190,000 visitors have visited so far! We’re very proud of Sonia but also the other 5 UK artists we supported in bringing their work to Venice: 

  • Sonia Boyce has a solo exhibition in London at Simon Lee gallery 12 October – 19 November. 
  • P Staff will be in Vienna when he participates in Filmlounge. The event is takes place in Zentagasse on 1 October.
  • Ibrahim El-Salahi has a solo show, Pain Relief, until 30 October at Vigo Gallery, London
  • Marguerite Humeau has an upcoming group show in Paris, running October – December.
  • Marianna Simnett is currently participating in a group exhibition Espressioni con Frazioni at Castello di Rivoli in Turin. It closes on 27 November and you can take a virtual tour here
  • Emma Talbot will show at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy as part of her Max Mara Art Prize for Women commission.
Teatro Elfo Puccini – Alla Greca – photographer Laila Pozzo copyright Teatro Elfo Puccini

Offers and Opportunties 

  • The Cultural Protection Fund (CPF) protects vital cultural heritage at risk in conflict-affected regions and those affected by climate change and natural disasters. They are seeking proposals from Suppliers to design, develop, manage and deliver a new peer and collaborative learning programme, which will explore What Works in Cultural Heritage Protection until August 2024.  They are looking for a supplier/s with a wider range of experience, knowledge and skills. Either the lead applicant or at least one of the partner organisations must be based in a country or region where the activity is proposed to take place. For more information and to apply, visit the link  on In Tend. The closing date for submission of proposals is 13th October 2022. 
  • Membership to the British Council’s Digital Library - currently free of charge - will be extended for a 6-month period until 31 March 2023 so sign up now!
  • Teatro Elfo Puccini have a special offer for our readers and other friends of the British Council. From 21 October – 13 November you can see Steven Berkoff’s reinvention of the myth of Oedipus in his splendid parody Alla Greca (and in the image above).  More info and to book tickets.
  • Romaeuropa, 8 September – 20 November, returns with the 37th edition of its annual programme of contemporary dance, theatre, art, music, technology and events for kids. 80 different shows will take place in 18 venues across Rome, involving more than 400 artists from around the world. UK artists involved in the Festival this year are the dramaturg Alexander Zeldin and the musician Jesse Doon Kanda. A full programme of events can be found hereThere is 25% off for our subscribers using promotional code UK22!

That’s all from us and this newsletter :( !  

A new regional newsletter is on its way, giving you updates on all our exciting ventures across the European region​ but you will need to sign up for it in the link below.

We are now signing out now on the last Italy Arts and Culture newsletter and wish you all a fantastic Autumn/Winter season!

NEW! Arts&Culture Europe Newsletter - Subscribe now! 
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