A Fresh Look for British Council Connect ZA

Following a successful three years as part of a SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, British Council Connect ZA is looking forward. The next phase of British Council South Africa’s Arts programme has begun with a refreshed visual identity of the programme to reflect the past, present and future connections between creative practitioners in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

‘It is so exciting that we get to continue to work alongside excellent SA and UK partners, participants and engage audiences for the foreseeable future. This is a direct response to the successes and desire for collaborative creative working between the countries,’ says Levinia Jones, British Council South Africa Head of Arts. The new look works alongside the global British Council ID while asserting the personality of the SA Arts offering Connect ZA.

What an excellent opportunity to tap into the creative genius of the partners we have worked with these past years, and we reached out to several both in SA and the UK to interpret the vision for the future. We are thrilled with the fresh look and feel.

Joburg-based Bubblegum Club was selected as the agency to create the refreshed identity into the future. Their proposal was successful as it innately understood British Council Connect ZA as both collaborator and audience. The British Council Connect ZA’s history with Bubblegum Club precedes its formation: founder Jamal Nxedlana has collaborated in his personal capacity and as a member of CUSS artist collective. Nxedlana adds, ‘Reflecting back on our involvement in various Connect ZA initiatives/programs we felt that the most genuine connections happened where there was an intuitive understanding, an ability to relate to, or recognise the other,’

A milestone in the relationship was Bubblegum Club producing the Innovation ZA digital film work, which was specially-commissioned to open the festival in August 2015. Their approach was grounded in the belief that it is both common experiences and our unique perspectives that connect us.

We began looking for ways to visually interpret and explore this idea, ways through which to express the idea of seeing something familiar but from a completely different perspective. Exploring different techniques and along the way found that it was the collaging of familiar imagery to create something completely new, which resonated most with people we showed the developmental work to.”

The process has been collaborative. The sort of relationship British Council Connect ZA strives to develop and maintain to while supporting partners. Stay tuned! On 12 May 2016 we announce our new programme as well as an exciting open call for projects!

The British Council Connect ZA is a cultural programme developed between the UK and South Africa. From 2013, the programme has supported cultural connections between young people aged 18-35 in the UK and South Africa with a range of arts projects and use of digital platforms to build creative networks through art forms including, fashion, music, film design.

Between 2014 and 2015 the programme fell under the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a project between the British Council and the South African Department of Arts and Culture. This was a multifaceted bilateral collaboration between the two nations, with a particular focus on artistic and creative capacity building and relationship development intended to raise cultural relations between the two countries.

As of April 2016, British Council Connect ZA continues to develop projects, reach new and diverse audiences for the arts and stimulate innovation, while inspiring connections between SA and the UK by enabling innovative creative content, collaborations and skills exchange. We do this through linking creative communities, partners and audiences between the ages of 18 and 35, both online and offline and across discipline.

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