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The British Council and the South African Department of Arts and Culture have launched the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a two year partnership to build lasting relationships in the creative communities of South Africa and the UK.

The Connect ZA programme will form part of the SA-UK Seasons which will see a shared series of activities, opportunities and communications. Connect ZA will continue to support connections between young people aged 18-35 in both countries with a series of arts projects in 2014 & 15. Projects will make use of advances in digital platforms to build networks of emerging creative talent in music, film, visual art and design.
Highlights of the Connect ZA programme this year include:
Developing connections between designers and makers during Cape Town’s tenure as World Design Capital through their Maker Library Network.
Supporting emerging entrepreneurs through our Young Creative Entrepreneurs scheme and a series of ‘creative hustles’, professional networking opportunities for young people.
Nurturing new voices in theatre through a year-long playwriting programme with the Royal Court Theatre and the Roundhouse through Talking Doorsteps, their innovative digital spoken word project.
Connect ZA are commissioning collaborative arts projects in public spaces across South Africa and the UK. In Johannesburg they are creating a major outdoor photography commission occupying public spaces in a partnership with Brighton Photo Biennial. In Durban, they will bring Hitchcock’s early silent films to life with a live score by a young British composer as well as with open air screenings by young British film makers on local beaches as well as the International Film Festival in the city.
The SA-UK Season is composed of four streams. The Seasons will jointly support projects of a collaborative nature between South Africa and the UK, a South African Season in the UK and the British Council project in South Africa, Connect ZA. The fourth stream of activity is joint projects endorsed without funding by the Seasons but which will benefit from the communication of the campaign of the Seasons. Both the British Council and Department of Arts and Culture will each contribute R2 million to the joint projects fund. A call to private businesses will also be made.
Minister Mashatile said “We are delighted to be launching the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, as part of our commitment to open up new markets, facilitate skills transfer and create sustainable livelihoods for all those within the South African arts, culture and heritage sector.  South Africa and the United Kingdom have strong bilateral relations, a shared language, similar legal and financial systems and common values. SA and the UK are also longstanding trade partners and have vibrant tourism industries. Showcasing our rich arts and culture, the Season will no doubt enhance our well established relations.”
Judith MacGregor said: “I’m delighted to launch with Minister Mashatile the UK-SA Arts and Culture collaboration Seasons through to the end of 2015. This marks the start of an exciting period ahead, where we will see South African and British artists showcasing their talents during the 20th Anniversary of Freedom and Democracy in South Africa. This season demonstrates the depth and strength of the relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom. I look forward to continuing and establishing new partnerships between our two countries and peoples into the next generations.”
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