A cross-cultural partnership to encourage the Literary Arts in Singapore
Singapore, 30 November 2011 – The British Council and The Arts House announce a partnership aimed at encouraging growth of Singapore’s Literary Arts scene by developing and giving much needed exposure to local talent.
The partnership formalises The Arts House as co-presenter of Dickens 2012 in Singapore, an international celebration of the cultural and educational significance of the life and work of Charles Dickens to mark the bicentenary of his
birth. Activities will include the showcasing of film adaptations, exhibitions, public readings, immersive theatre, educational events, creative workshops and a writing competition.
The Arts House will also be official venue partner for the British Council’s Writing the City platform - an online community of new, emerging and established writers who get invaluable opportunities to take their writing
The partnership announcement kicks off with an open call for entries to the Dickens 2012 Creative Writing Competition. Taking inspiration from Dickens’ works and characters, the competition starts on 30 November 2011 and will be
open to entries in the four official languages; English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. The deadline for entries to the competition is 15 January 2012. Among other prizes, winners will have their work exhibited and performed at the Dickens
2012 launch event on 7 February 2012 at The Arts House, and featured on the Dickens 2012 global website: www.dickens2012.org and Writing the City: www.civiclife.sg/writingthecity.
The launch event will be followed by free-admission film screenings of adaptations of Dickens’ works, from classics to Asian interpretations, all taking place at The Arts House in February and March.
Kay Vasey, Director Arts, British Council Singapore said: “Partnering with The Arts House presents us with an invaluable opportunity to have a permanent home for all Writing the City events, ranging from Singapore writers’ gatherings and
performances to workshops and talks featuring leading UK writers. The team at The Arts House are a pleasure to work with and together we hope to revitalise and inspire the Singapore writing community.”
Adding, William Phuan, Director for Programmes and Marketing, The Arts House said: “With our new focus on promoting literary arts through a multidisciplinary approach, we are really excited to partner with the British Council on Dickens 2012
as well as Writing the City. We believe by working together we can make literary arts programmes like Dickens 2012 resonate better with local audiences, imbuing them with greater cross-cultural and cross-lingual flavour.”
Susie Nicklin, Director Literature, British Council said: “Dickens has found an audience in almost every country on the globe. To this day, the images of the UK held by thousands of people worldwide are of fog on the Thames, top hats and
street urchins. Our Dickens 2012 project will work on many levels, stimulating intellectual debate about Dickens’ international legacy but - equally importantly - engaging new audiences both with Charles Dickens and with the best of
contemporary Britain’s artistic talent. We will help people to connect these images from the past to the current reality of the UK through performance, creative writing, film and debate whilst celebrating our most famous novelist.”
Notes to Editors
Dickens 2012 is an international celebration of the cultural and educational significance of the life and work of Charles Dickens to mark the bicentenary of his birth. Dickens-related activity will take place all over the world under the Dickens 2012 banner to celebrate one of the world’s most inspiring authors and provide a legacy for future generations. Dickens 2012 has an expanding list of supporters, which includes names such as Simon Callow CBE, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Peter Ackroyd CBE, and is backed by the Mayor of London as a cultural highlight in 2012. Dickens 2012 is co-ordinated by the Charles Dickens Museum and Film London in association with the Dickens Fellowship. For more information, please visit: www.dickens2012.org
Writing the City is a community of new, emerging and established writers who share their work, give and receive feedback and get invaluable opportunities to take their writing forward. A panel of acclaimed writers, including Singapore Literature Prize winner Suchen Christine Lim and UK novelist Jeremy Sheldon, spearhead Writing the City. A series of short films offer an ideal starting point for discussions on the craft of writing and understanding texts. Lim and Sheldon explore ideas of character, a sense of place, memory, history and belonging and how they relate to creative writing. Each film is shot on location in Singapore by acclaimed Singaporean filmmaker Victric Thng and ends with a creative challenge. For more information, please visit: www.civiclife.sg/writingthecity
The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation, and has the arts at the heart of many of its projects globally. The creative industries have the power to shape people’s understanding of the UK, and we enable these collaborations between institutions and designers across the world. The British Council creates opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in over 100 countries in the arts,
education and English and in 2010/11 we engaged face to face with 30 million people and reached 578 million. We have 6,800 staff worldwide. Our total turnover in 2010/11 was £693 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was £190 million. The remainder was generated through trading activities such as English language teaching. For every £1 of taxpayer money invested we earn £2.65 in additional income.
The Arts House is a multidisciplinary arts centre, occupying the 182-year old building which was the former Parliament House and Singapore’s first Court House, which offers visitors a broad spectrum of activities ranging from contemporary arts and entertainment events to lifestyle and food & beverage options. Since its opening in March 2004, The Arts House has also been championing the Singapore arts and creative scene, playing consultative and developmental roles in bridging the connections between the arts and artists with various audiences including public agencies, private corporations and individual supporters of the arts as well. From 2011, The Arts House will focus on the development of Literary Arts, while supporting and presenting programmes and festivals that aim to give a wide and multidisciplinary experience to our audiences along the theme of "Writing our Worlds" this year.