Over the next few weeks Wales Arts Review will be looking at the #WalesinKolkata season put on by British Council Wales and Wales Arts International. To kick off our coverage, here is an introduction to what is going on for the second half of January as Wales takes to the “cultural capital of India”.
In January 2019, four Welsh artists and arts organisations travel to Kolkata, often referred to as the culture capital of India, to present their work in theatre, dance and literature.
The projects will present work at prestigious festivals in the city, undertake workshops with local schools, students and arts professionals and speak on panels and deliver lectures alongside leading Indian culture professionals.
#WalesinKolkata, the season of Welsh arts activity and collaboration, is supported by the British Council and Wales Arts International. This festival is a result of the relationships and networks formed by the 2017-18 India Wales season, a major programme of artistic collaboration between Wales and India, which has paved the way for lasting international cultural networks between the two countries.
Caitlin – Light, Ladd and Emberton
Light, Ladd & Emberton partnering with the Kolkata-based Pickle Factory Dance Foundation will perform their immersive dance production Caitlin, selected for the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2017. The acclaimed show, which will be staged at the Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan hall, chronicles the popular Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ tumultuous relationship with his wife Caitlin.
Throughout the festival Light, Ladd & Emberton’s performers will also undertake workshops, beginning with the students of Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan and then for theatre enthusiasts in Kolkata, where they will share their skills and creative knowledge. Eddie Ladd, one of Wales’ leading dance and performance artists who performs in Caitlin, will lead a panel discussion with Ayesha Jalal and Samantak Das on Troubled Geniuses: Dylan Thomas and Manto at the Kolkata Literary Meet, Victoria Memorial on the 26th January at 3.20pm.
Transporter – Theatr Iolo
Theatre Iolo, with their passion for delivering meaningful theatre for young audiences, is all set to enthral Kolkata with their production of Transporter, a spoken word odyssey from Catherine Dyson (pictured), capturing the journey of a young girl Maya. Again the company partners with Kolkata-based Think Arts, who work in arts with young audiences, who Theatr Iolo worked with when taking their expertise in theatre for babies to India for their #IndiaWales project.
They will hold workshops and performances at Birla Academy of Art and Culture and Modern High School for Girls. Theatr Iolo will be accompanied by their award-winning artistic director Lee Lyford and perform Transporter on 23 January at 6pm at the Junior Kolkata Literary Meet, Victoria Memorial Hall.
The Dylan Thomas Prize is the world’s largest financial literature prize and is based at Swansea University.
This year’s prize winner, Kayo Chingonyi is travelling to Jaipur Literature Festival to deliver talks and seminars. Accompanying him to India are Swansea University academics Dr Elaine Canning and Prof. Daniel Williams.
Prof Daniel Williams will deliver the Dylan Thomas lecture at the British Council in Kolkata. The session will also see a presentation by Dr Elaine Canning of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, enlightening the audience about the world’s largest literary prize for young writers. They will also undertake workshops and provide lectures about the life and inspirations of Dylan Thomas, at venues including the Kolkata Policy Library on 22 January, and South City International School. There will also be a lecture on Dylan Thomas and the similarities between Celtic and Indian work at the British Council library on 24 January. Later, the two scholars will head to the world’s largest literature fair, the Jaipur Literature Festival to inform attendees about its world-leading literature prize.
Renegade Wales – Gary Raymond
Gary Raymond, novelist and editor of Wales Arts Review, will also be part of the Wales in Kolkata delegation. He will launch an anthology of short stories by Welsh writers Renegade Wales: Revolutionary New Voices in Welsh Fiction in collaboration with Indian publishers BEE Books at the British Council and will also be present at the Kolkata Literature Festival at the Kolkata Book Fair on 2nd February. Gary will also undertake creative writing and publishing workshops at venues including the iLEAD Media and Management Institute on and the Kolkata Press Club, India’s oldest association building for journalists.
Over the next two weeks Wales Arts Review will be bringing you all the best writing from the #WalesinKolkata project.