09 Jun 2023
Through our partnership with British Council New Zealand and the Pacific, seventeen artists from Aotearoa are heading to the Edinburgh Festivals in Scotland this August.
The Edinburgh Festival Intensive programme will take a mixture of theatre and performing artists, alongside visual and literary artists.
Natasha Beckman, Director of the British Council New Zealand and the Pacific, says the return to Edinburgh is so important to help restore relationships after the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to announce the 17 New Zealand artists that will be able to soak up all that Edinburgh’s festivals offer. Our work is to build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide, and to create reciprocal opportunities that are rewarding.” Says Beckman.
The Edinburgh Festivals Intensive programme provides artists with a chance to experience the festivals first-hand, build networks and understand what’s required to perform at Edinburgh – the programme is about learning and gathering experience and that could enable artists to go and perform or exhibit at the festivals in the future.
It’ll be the first time Sherilee Kahui has been to the festival, her production, Mokomoko, is currently playing in the Kia Mau festival taking place in Wellington now.
When asked why Edinburgh is the place to go, she says, “It's the biggest festival in the world! Imagine being able to represent wāhine Māori and have our stories resonate with people from other cultures. Mīharo!”
The opportunity, she says, means Creative New Zealand sees the value in supporting indigenous artists to take their mahi to the world.
Eddie Elliot, whose dance performance, Waiwhakaata, has just started at the Kia Mau festival says the opportunity for artists to attended Edinburgh is important because the “festival offers the opportunity to push boundaries”.
“I think the opportunity for me to attend the Edinburgh Festivals Intensive will be a transformative experience, I get to explore further as an emerging choreographer and not only gain cultural relationships but really dive into conversations about how other cultures are embed or fused into their artistic practice,” says Elliot.
The programme takes both first timers (teina artists) and those who have travelled to Edinburgh before (tuakana artists). Two of the participants from New Zealand, one writer and one visual artist, have been selected to participate in the Momentum programme, which is delivered by Festivals Edinburgh and is supported by the British Council Scotland, and Creative Scotland, with additional support from City of Edinburgh Council and EventScotland.
Claire Mabey is a writer and the director of the Verb Festival and she’ll be heading to Edinburgh under the Momentum programme. She says the opportunity is timely, post COVID-19.
“It's a huge boost after a tricky time. The chance to reconnect with colleagues and meet new ones which is always where the magic happens and how opportunities and collaborations are born... it’s a chance to see a lot of writers and connect widely across the industry” says Mabey.
Tuakana writer and performer, Karin McCracken says going to Edinburgh will allow her to link up with presenters and venues to push forward her company’s international strategy.
“There's no better place to get eyes on a new work than Edinburgh Fringe. We've built Heartbreak Hotel for touring, and we know our best shot at taking it further afield is platforming it at the biggest arts market in the world. Plus, the energy at the Fringe is really motivating and propulsive, and you're surrounded by artists you admire. It's a magic month” says McCracken.
List of delegates
- Alice Canton
- Amit Noy
- Ana Scotney
- Arlo Gibson
- Cian Parker
- Eddie Elliott
- Sherilee Kahui
- Vanessa Immink
- Helena-Jane Kilkelly
- Joel Baxendale
- Julia Croft
- Karin McCracken
- Leo Gene Peters
- Sacha Copland
- Stella Reid
- Claire Mabey
- Taarati Taiaroa