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July 2017


World Fringe Day: celebrating 70 years of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Tuesday 11 July was World Fringe Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Fringe story began when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited and were barred from performing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. Instead of packing up and leaving, they performed on the fringe of the Festival - and so the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was born.

The spark that was ignited in Scotland's capital in 1947 has since spread across the world, with more than 200 Fringe festivals now in existence, from Australia to France, Canada to Prague, South Africa to Brighton, China to Brazil, and everywhere in between.

On 11 July, Fringes from around the world came together to reflect on the collective power and reach of the fringe movement. We joined our friends at the Adelaide Fringe Festival — the second largest fringe in the world — to celebrate with at a traditional Scottish ceilidh supported by the GREAT Britain campaign.

Heather Croall, Director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe says: "The global Fringe movement continues to grow from strength to strength, so it seems only fitting to introduce a worldwide day of celebration, where everyone that has been involved in or enjoyed attending a fringe festival can reflect on what fringe means to them."

Year upon year, Fringes around the world provide platforms for hundreds of thousands of artists and performers to present their work and make cultural connections that transcend national boundaries. We asked fringe-goers to tell us what they love about the Edinburgh Fringe. Watch what they told us in this short video.




'David Hockney: Words & Pictures' opens at Tweed Regional Gallery

An international exhibition of works from one of Britain's most influential artists has opened at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah, NSW.

Drawn from the British Council Collection, the exhibition presents four major suites of artists’ prints produced by Hockney from 1961 – 1977: A Rake’s Progress; Illustrations for 14 Poems by C.P. Cavafy; Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and The Blue Guitar.

United by their reference to historical works of literature and art, the prints were produced during the first two decades of Hockney’s career when he established his international reputation as a Pop artist.

The exhibition is enhanced by a display of Hockney’s works on loan from the artist’s brother, John Hockney.

David Hockney: Words & Pictures runs until 17 September 2017 at the Tweed Regional Gallery and will be touring to the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, Katoomba, in October. 

Find out more

Explore the wonders of the human voice at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

The power and elusive nature of the human voice is something that's interested vocalists, anthropologists, artists, scientists and philosophers alike.

From 11 August, you can delve into vocal tracts, restless minds and speech devices at an immersive exhibition that blends science, theatre, video and sound.

Designed as an acoustic journey, This is a Voice invites you to discover how meaning and emotions are conveyed through the patterns of rhythm, stress and intonation.

The exhibition, on at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, presents works by artists and vocalists, punctuated by paintings, manuscripts, medical illustrations and ethnographic objects.

This is a Voice is a Wellcome Collection exhibition produced in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, supported by the British Council.

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Once-in-a-lifetime experience for Australian journalism students

Last week, Scotland welcomed 100 of the brightest young journalism students from across the globe at a once-in-a-lifetime journalism and media event in Edinburgh.

Suka Junin from the University of Technology Sydney and Riley Wilson from the University of New South Wales were selected to join Future News Worldwide (FNW) after an international call-out earlier this year.

During the two-day event, the pair heard from some of the best in the news and current affairs industry, including CNN, Reuters, the BBC, Google News and Facebook. Topics under the lens included the power of storytelling and the challenges facing journalism in the digital age.

"Being at the FNW conference and among future leaders from 42 different countries was motivating and grounding," says Riley. "I believe the future of news is in great hands if my peers are anything to go by."

Read more about Suka and Riley's experience on our website.

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International Literature Showcase

Last month, Women in Literary Arts Australia founder Lefa Singleton Norton joined the 2017 International Literature Showcase in Norwich, UK, hoping to learn more about the challenges women face in the literary sphere around the world.

A partnership between Writers Centre Norwich, British Council and Arts Council England, the International Literature Showcase presented the best of contemporary UK literature. It brought together a community of literature professionals from around the world to share best practice, form partnerships and create new projects.

"The International Literature Showcase gave me an invaluable view into the experience of women writers in many different contexts," says Lefa. "From Northern Ireland to Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Ukraine I learned just how much we have in common. Vitally, I also learned what different communities of women are doing to overcome challenges in their local contexts."

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ACCELERATE alumnus Alick Tipoti's works light up Sydney Opera House

World-renowned Torres Strait Islander artist and 2011 ACCELERATE participant Alick Tipoti is one of five incredible Indigenous artists whose works are being projected onto one of Australia's most famous landmarks in celebration of Australia's First Nations history and culture.

Animations inspired by the works of Tipoti, Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Lin Onus, Frances Belle Parker and Minnie Pwerle light up the Opera House each night in a new, seven-minute projection called 'Badu Gili', meaning 'water light' in the local Gadigal language.

The projections were launched at the beginning of NAIDOC week, and appear on the famous Opera House sails at sunset and 7pm every evening. The location of the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, has been a gathering place for community, ceremony and storytelling for thousands of years.

Visit the Sydney Opera House website

Largest ever Australian delegation to attend 20th anniversary Edinburgh Showcase

Next month, 15 leading festival directors and theatre producers from Australia will be travelling to Scotland to attend the British Council’s biennial platform of contemporary UK performance, the Edinburgh Showcase.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Showcase. The special anniversary programme includes 30 extraordinary productions, representing the very best of contemporary theatre and dance and the breadth and diversity of British performing arts. 

The Edinburgh Showcase is the single biggest opportunity for UK theatre and dance companies to introduce their work to international promoters. Watch this short film for a taste of what happened at our last Showcase at or visit out website find out more about the delegates attending this year.

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