Abu Dhabi, 16 February 2016: The British Council today announced the spring season’s performances and events as part of the year-long UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration.
UK/UAE 2017 is a cultural exchange programme between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, which celebrates the long-standing relationship between the two countries and looks to strengthen existing cultural and economic ties. The programme is supported by the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign. It will be taking place throughout 2017 and will include such events as musical performances, craft showcases, masterclasses and educational workshops.
With a rich programme spanning the arts, literature, education, society, sport, science and trade, UK/UAE 2017 will explore the themes of community, inclusion and the next generation, in line with UAE Vision 2021. Throughout the year, the British Council will work with a wide range of British and Emirati partners, strengthening existing relationships and creating new collaborations. Top UK institutions and creative practitioners will partner with their UAE counterparts, showcasing British and Emirati talent to engage and inspire audiences across the UAE.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development said, “The UK/UAE 2017 initiative is cultural diplomacy at its best, using the creativity and passion of our brightest talents to forge a new and lasting collaboration and engage and inspire future generations. I look forward to seeing the public engage with the programming and am confident that we can further build on the friendship and mutual understanding between our two nations.”
Gavin Anderson, Director UAE, British Council said, “The UK/UAE 2017 programme is a celebration of our two countries’ historically close relationship, and the current lively state of cultural and economic exchange. We look forward to highlighting our strong ties and exploring new ways to collaborate and grow together.”
The UK/UAE 2017 spring season was announced at an event with the programme partners at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in Abu Dhabi.
HMA Philip Parham, British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, commented, “I am proud of the depth, breadth and strength of the ties between our countries, people, businesses and institutions. Those ties have deep historic roots, but are also modern, creative and dynamic. The Year of Creative Collaboration is an opportunity to inspire the next generation and pave the way for our two great nations to grow and develop further together.”
The spring programme includes: Cultural Excellence Fellowship programme; Capacity Building for Researchers at Heriot Watt University, Academic City; an extensive education and outreach programme to support the performances of Madam Butterfly and La Bohème from the Welsh National Opera and to accompany the six performances by the BBC Proms with BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers at Dubai Opera; a dedicated Science Strand at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; UK based artists commissions at Sharjah Biennial 13 Tamawuj; Fantastic Mr. Fox production; Crafts Council and ‘Britain Takes Shape’ exhibitions at Design Days Dubai; DEAL Live by Blooloop Experience Economy Conference; Science Collaboration Symposium: Smart Cities at Masdar Institute of Technology; Accessibility & Inclusivity for Museums workshops; The Shakespeare Globe Storytelling Workshops; Anish Kapoor: The Creative Act panel discussion; Shakespeare Under the Stars: Macbeth; Think Science: Sugar Science workshops and a Musician in Residence programme.
The curatorial approach to the UK/UAE 2017 programme asks questions regarding the role of culture in future societies. Structured into four main enquiries, it looks at the future of heritage, concepts of future in science and imagination, the future of audiences, and the future of the business of culture. Exploring the ways in which cultural heritage and creative expression when shared between nations can inspire innovation across different sectors, developing and shaping the societies of tomorrow, UK/UAE 2017’s programme will stimulate and inspire the next generation and identify sources of future collaboration between the UK and the UAE.
UK/UAE 2017 is organised by the British Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.