The UK/Australia Season is a major new cultural exchange celebrating the diverse and innovative artist communities and cultural sectors of each nation. A collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Season is a vibrant programme spanning theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, architecture, music, literature, higher education and a public engagement programme.
Designed to strengthen and build cultural connections, the Season theme is “Who Are We Now?” and will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season launched in both countries in September 2021.
Big Village – Digital is a curated conversation, a manifesto for action for the future, supporting the development of global majority artists and companies.
Through a series of short films and public online conversations, Big Village – Digital will profile and celebrate the work of artists and companies outside of the unspoken cultural values that prioritise the canon of ‘literary theatre’ and historically the work of white writers. Big Village – Digital will collaborate with makers who are not only bringing new stories to our creative spaces, but are also pioneering new modes of articulation and expression, using populist art forms like circus and cabaret to create performances led by the body that challenge colonial and class-based notions of art.
About the artist
“Circus creates a democratic space to explore the extraordinary qualities that bind not divide us.” Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director
Upswing is an award-winning UK-based, contemporary circus company, which uses the human body as an expressive tool to entertain, inspire curiosity and ignite a desire to build connection. Upswing tells new stories in extraordinary ways – amplifying and celebrating the skills, creative talents and stories of diverse artists and communities. Difference and diversity is at the heart of its practice. Its creation process brings people together in movement, with ideas developing from the collision of different life experiences.
In addition to theatres and festivals, Upswing brings extraordinary experiences to places where people, who might not go to the theatre may go instead – a digital trail through inner-city streets, a circus takeover in a care home, a large-scale spectacle on a rooftop, or a bedtime story for families in libraries. It creates memorable, unexpected experiences for audiences.
Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director/Founder, UPSWING (UK)
Natano Fa’anana, Creative Producer/Co-Founder, Casus (AUS)