The British Council UK/Italy 2020 Season is a digital-led programme of events, co-created with partners in the UK and Italy to support international cultural exchange for more resilient communities. Taking the theme Being Present, this crisis-responsive programme explores emerging opportunities for the culture sectors in Italy and the UK at a time when we are reassessing what Being Present means both in the physical and virtual spaces.

 Programme of events


17 September–15 November 2020 | Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home

Innovative British theatre company Forced Entertainment reimagines Shakespeare’s 36 plays and live streams them from the actors’ own kitchens to an online UK/Italy Season audience thanks to our partnership with Romaeuropa Festival.

A salt and pepper pot for the king and queen. A vase for the prince. A matchbox for the servant. A kitchen table for a stage.

In this ‘At Home’ edition of Complete Works, the dramatis personae of household objects returned to a domestic setting in a unique staging directly from the performers’ homes to yours.

Originally conceived in 2015, in Complete Works six performers create condensed versions of all of the Shakespeare plays, comically and intimately retelling them, using a collection of everyday objects as stand-ins for the characters on the one metre stage of a table top.

Complete Works has been performed in theatre spaces across the world as well as being webcast to thousands of international viewers, however, while a global pandemic has shut down stages everywhere, the piece finds an intimate new life by ‘coming home’. Rather than a table set against the red drapes of a theatre, the objects find their starting positions on Terry’s kitchen table or Jerry’s desk as if they’d just been taken down from the surrounding shelves and cupboards of each performers’ home.

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25 September–4 November 2020 | Culture Salons

The launch of the Culture Salons series as part of the Season marks an important step in securing the sustainability of the bilateral cultural relationship and will have a legacy beyond 2020.

Dates and times of the Salons:

Friday 25 September: 14.30–15.45 (CET)

Monday 19 October: 15.00–16.15 (CET)

Wednesday 4 November: 15.00–16.15 (CET)

Culture Salon 3 | New Business Approaches to Culture

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30 September 2020 | Next Generation Italy research launch: The World Remote

The Next Generation Italy report is part of the British Council’s Next Generation global research series that supports young people in becoming creative, fulfilled and active citizens.

Download the Next Generation report

1–3 October 2020 | Pontignano Conference 2020: XXVIII edition

The Pontignano Conference is one of the most important annual events in the UK-Italy relationship. From 1 to 3 October, delegates took part in workshops to lay the foundations for a prosperous, secure and sustainable future.

Alexander Whitley’s film Strange Attractor was screened LIVE at the Pontignano Conference 2020.

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1–4 October 2020 | Letterature, Festival internazionale di Roma: Insieme – Lettori, Autori, Editori

Manchester-based writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was one of the keynote speakers at the Palatine Stadium as part of this year’s Rome International Literature Festival entitled Insieme – Lettori, Autori, Editori (Together – Readers, Authors, Publishers).

Nansubuga Makumbi, a black female writer, was asked to reflect on the word ‘Power’ and her contribution to this conversation was based on her reflection of indigenous feminisms. The event took place during Black History Month and was live streamed on the Insieme Festival Facebook page.

4 October (18.30 CET): Online talk in collaboration with the Rome International Literature Festival

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2–4 October 2020 | Alexander Whitley: Chaotic Body

We were pleased to present the premiere of a new digital dance film from Alexander Whitley Dance Company, with the British Council supporting Romaeuropa in this commission of a new piece of work.

Created using motion-captured data, digitised sequences of choreography were transformed by digital artists who transmute bodily motion into alternative forms using 3D motion graphics software.

Chaotic Body 1: Strange Attractor

Chaotic Body is part of the Digital Body project by Alexander Whitley Dance Company. In this Digital Body project, launched in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Choreographer Alexander Whitley has been exploring how dance can exist in a purely digital form, delving into the seemingly limitless ways in which human movement can be visualised through the use of using motion capture and games engine technology.

This inquiry is being extended further in Chaotic Body, a triptych of films taking inspiration from chaos theory, the dynamic processes it describes and the associated geometric patterns found in nature. Created in collaboration with digital artists Uncharted Limbo Collective and composer Qasim Naqvi, this is the first in a series that will be released over the course of the next few months.

24 October: Romaeuropa Festival

2 October (18.00–19.00 CET): Q&A event with Alexander Whitley followed by a screening, available on the British Council Italy Facebook page

2 October: Live screening at the Pontignano Conference 2020

3–4 October: Strange Attractor was screened on the Romaeuropa Festival

The film is available to watch on demand on the Romaeuropa Festival website for the duration of the festival.

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10-11 October 2020 | OGR, Turin with Tramway, Glasgow: Twin city partnership

Celebrating the twin city relationship between Glasgow and Turin, Tramway (Glasgow) and OGR (Turin) collaborated on an ambitious digital partnership and exchange across both Tramway and OGR’s physical and virtual presentation platforms presented on 10 October as part of Continuum – an immersive day-long series of events programmed to celebrate OGR’s 3rd anniversary.

These two iconic venues collaborated for the first time for the UK/Italy 2020 Season. Together they co-curated a day-long programme featuring contemporary performance and moving image work by Glasgow-based artists Tramway for audiences attending the Continuum live events at OGR Turin, as well as simultaneously broadcasting experimental music and digital artworks from Glasgow on Tramway TV.

10–11 October (10.00–20.00 CET): Being Present | Screening of moving image work by Glasgow-based artists Tramway at OGR

Video by Urara Tsuchiya, LAPS, Poisonous Relationship, Claricia Parinussa & Rowdi SS, Christian Noelle Charles and FRAN.K, followed by a series of video curated by David Dale Gallery and Studio

10 October (time TBC): Digital programme broadcast on Tramway Instagram TV featuring a selection of the moving image works showing at OGR

10 October (16.00 CET): Bodies beyond straight composition... | Digital broadcast from OGR of a panel discussion featuring international artists including artist Romilly Alice Walden (booking required)

10 October (19.00 CET): Learning from the future by Colette Sadler | Live performance at OGR (booking required)

12–16 November 2020 | World premiere of Willie Doherty's new film

From 12 to 16 November Fondazione Modena Arti Visive will make available in streaming as a world preview the new film by Willie Doherty, commissioned for the WHERE / DOVE exhibition, co-produced by FMAV and National Museums Northern Ireland and produced with the support of the British Council as part of the UK / Italy Season 2020, which should have opened on 7 November at the Palazzina dei Giardini in Modena.
Waiting to know when the exhibition, the first solo show of the Northern Irish artist in an Italian institution, can be rescheduled, Fondazione Modena Arti Visive has decided to offer the public a free streaming vision of the new video work Where / Dove, which tells from two different points of view the same landscape between Eire and Northern Ireland, presented as an ambiguous, melancholy and perennially unstable space, suspended between the shadow of the past and the dream of the future.

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10–20 November 2020 | Scenes for Survival: National Theatre of Scotland with Triennale Milano Teatro

Scenes for Survival is a new season of digital artworks created in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland and BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine project. This is a co-curated selection of 55 films from the complete programme, chosen for Italian audiences.

10 November: Pre-screening talk, followed by a selection of films and Q&A session

11–20 November: New films released daily via Triennale Milano Teatro social media channels

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17 and 19 November 2020 | Panel discussion on Sound Values and British Music Takeover at Linecheck Festival during Milan Music Week

17 November: panel discussion on Sound Values – 11:00 12:30 am
Panelists proposed:  Black Music Collective | Kwame Kwaten – Ferocious Talent | Ammo Talwar – Chairs UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, CEO of Punch Records.

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19 November: In partnership with industry music platform Linecheck, and taking place during Milano Music Week, this online event will feature the latest UK music talent, with three bands performing live from London and content from the British Council’s global radio programme Selector Radio.

Take part to the event

30 November 2020 | Closing Plenary

The final event of the Season offers an opportunity to reflect on conversations held across the course of the season and to identify future opportunities for bilateral collaboration.

See also

External links