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In September 2022, British Council Visual Arts offered grants of up to £10,000 to UK and eligible international biennials/festivals to showcase contemporary visual artists’ work. 13 projects were funded, enabling almost 50 visual and performance artists to participate in UK and international biennials.

You can find out more about the 22/23 Biennials Connect Grant recipients below:

· Art Speaks: Louder than Words, Marrakech and Casablanca, (Morocco) – artist Shiraz Bayjoo (Mauritius/UK) showcased a new work Pu Travers Sa Dilo (To Cross This Water) at the cultural programme in Casablanca.

· Biennale Jatim (Indonesia) – two UK based artists will be in-residence in Indonesia in 2023.

· Brazil Footprint 00 (UK) – artist Gustavo Caboco (Brazil) was in-residence in London where he presented school workshops. 

· Coventry Biennial (UK) – artist Can Altay (Turkey) will be in-residence in Coventry, producing new work for the upcoming biennial edition. Altay is working with local collaborators to realise the new piece which explores access to water, fountains, and regenerative futures. 

· Edinburgh Art Festival (UK) – Haven for Artists (Lebanon) were in-residence in Edinburgh. They created a welcoming space in the festival, were in conversation with Array Collective, and connected with local organisations and initiatives to deliver workshops.

·FutureFantastic, Bangalore (India) – BeFantastic (India) and Future Everything (UK) conceptualized a new and ambitious AI+Art festival as part of the British Council’s India Together UK Season of Culture. The Biennials Connect grant enabled five artists to meet in person and deepen their collaboration in Bangalore.

· Lagos Biennial (Nigeria) - artist Evan Ifekoya (UK) was in-residence at G.A.S. Foundation, Lagos producing a new immersive sound installation for the “Traces of Ecstasy" pavilion at Lagos Biennial in spring 2024.

· Lahore Biennale (LB03) (Pakistan) – in preparation for the production of new work for the 2024 edition, Lahore Biennale hosted a UK based artist in the city.

· Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (UK) - Unmute Dance Theatre (South Africa) produced and performed a collaborative dance piece with local dancers in Liverpool exploring lived experience of being d/Deaf, Disabled or Neurodivergent at the 2023 Biennial.

· PhotoKTM, Kathmandu (Nepal) – artist Monica Alcazar Duarte and photo-editor and curator Bindi Vora travelled to Kathmandu and share their work, ways of thinking and provide mentorship during the festival.

· Photoworks Festival (UK) – Photoworks partnered with YaPhoto (Cameroon) and FotoGarten (Thailand) to present work by Johny Pitts (UK), Harit Srikhao (Thailand), Antony Cairns (UK), Mohamad Abdouni (Lebanon), Charlotte Yonga (Cameroon), and Felicity Hammond (UK) in their itinerant festival in a box.  

· South London Gallery, Lagos, Peckham, Repeat (UK) - this major group exhibition showcased works by thirteen Nigerian and British-Nigerian artists, bringing together sculpture, photography, sound and film to look at the connections between Lagos in Nigeria and Peckham in south east London, highlighting the relationships, culture, shared history, communities and art that link the two places. The exhibition is co-curated by Folakunle Oshun, founder and director of the Lagos Biennial, together with South London Gallery. 

· Youth Biennial (Serbia) – Queer Youth Art Collective (UK) ran workshops with local artists in Belgrade and online with 10 local artists. Through these workshops artists discussed ideas for new artworks which are now being presented in the Youth Biennial.

About the Grant

Since 2016, Visual Arts has supported global biennials to facilitate relationship building as an investment that may lead to future activity through the Global Biennials Fund. The grant supported 70 UK artists at international biennials. This updated offer, Biennials Connect Grants, builds on the legacy work of the Global Biennials Fund and has been devised as part of the Visual Arts programme, Biennials Connect.

The grants will not only support global Biennials in their ambitions to work with UK visual artists, but it will also offer grants to UK organisations to support international visual artists as well. The grants will directly benefit the artists through the biennial organisers by facilitating opportunities for travel, networking, professional development and skills building.

The Biennials Connect programme promotes cross-cultural exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for artists and biennial organisers to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships across the globe.

Applications for the current round of Biennials Connect Grants are open until 23 October 2023. You can find out how by downloading the application information document attached to the right of this page.