British Council has launched Connections Through Culture (CTC) – a bilateral grants programme designed to seed exciting cultural exchanges between artists and arts organisations, and nurture cooperation and long-lasting relationships between the United Kingdom, and for 2020-2021, five Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The application round opens from 16 October to 8 November 2020. Artists, arts professionals and art group/ collective representatives from the five Southeast Asia countries and the UK are eligible to apply for the online grant valued from £2,500 to £7,500. Successful grantees of the 2020-2021 round will be announced in late November 2020.
The programme’s objective is to support exchanges and collaborations between the UK and Southeast Asia. Prior to Covid-19, this would have most likely involved international travel.
However, the CTC grants will be used to develop and strengthen new and existing relationships between the UK and Southeast Asia, by providing funding to allow conversations to happen and for the possibilities of online collaboration to be explored.
The grant may be used to fund for platforms and conversations to meet with specialists, peers in the field, and other participants based in the UK and in Southeast Asia between January to June 2021.
Current grantees include Elaine Foster who collaborated with Anthony Chong (Malaysian Deaf Educator), Sheena Baharuddin (Malaysian Multimedia Poet) and Ana Jonessy (Malaysian Sign Language translator) to create cultural exchange, sharing and learning opportunity to share experiences around Deaf people and the Deaf experience, Deaf arts, sign languages and poetry.
There will be a series of online knowledge-sharing workshops, composing and designing of a multimedia poem incorporating Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysian Sign Language, English and film video, a manual for teachers for Malaysian Sign Language using poetry, and an online or physical event either in Malaysia or the UK to share and promote poetry in translation, Malaysian Sign Language and deaf culture, poetry education, deaf poetry/ arts, disability and access in the arts.