UK-Italy 2020: Being Present


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Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 00:00 to Monday, May 31, 2021 - 11:45

The UK-Italy Season is an exciting opportunity to strengthen and build new cultural connections between Italy and the UK. It will run from September to December 2020 and will focus on creativity, innovation and inclusion, under the theme Being Present. The development of the Season began with expressions of interest launched in early 2019 to the UK sector and the engagement of their potential Italian partners to create an exciting programme for autumn 2020.

While the UK gets ready to leave the European Union, the ‘British Family’ in Italy (British Council, British Embassy, British School at Rome, Keats-Shelley Association and British Institute Florence) is committed to demonstrating that culture continues to play a crucial role in the connections between our two countries.

The British Council has been operating in Italy since 1945 and has been central in facilitating UK-Italy cultural exchange in the arts, science and education. We have helped develop and nurture important cultural networks between artists, academics and institutions and recognize that, now more than ever, we need to work with our Italian partners to bring these stories to public attention.

Devised by the Season's Creative Director, Jean Cameron, the theme, Being Present, aims to be inclusive and innovative and send the message that culture is for all. It explores the potential of, and contrasts in, how we are present; relate to each other; and engage in culture in our rapidly changing countries and the wider world. It will:

  • consider who is present and who is absent
  • celebrate Anglo-Italian relationships historically and in the present
  • explore the impact of our presence on the environment
  • investigate the tension between being constantly switched on versus presence and mindfulness
  • look at how artists are asking audiences to participate and be present in new ways in their work
  • explore creative methodologies to widen access to arts and science

If you have any enquiries, please contact British Council at


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Taking place as part of this event: