The UK/Ukraine Season of Culture was a bilateral cultural programme devised in partnership between The British Council and the Ukrainian Institute.
The Season was originally planned to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and strengthen cultural connections. However, due to the full-scale war in Ukraine, the Season’s original theme – ‘Future Re-Imagined’ – shifted to address the changed needs and priorities of the Ukrainian cultural sector. Two key priorities emerged: providing a platform for Ukrainian creative voices to express themselves and gain recognition, and fostering a stronger and more extensive artistic and cultural exchange between Ukraine and the UK.
To adapt, we crafted an even more diverse schedule of events: spanning from June 2022 to May 2023, the Season showcased artist residencies, talks, film, music, literature, drama, and dance across more than 20 cities in the UK, as well as through hybrid and online formats, totaling over 40 projects.
The Season seamlessly transitioned into EuroFestival, a two-week-long cultural festival that took place in Liverpool during the Eurovision Song Contest from May 1 to May 14, 2023. EuroFestival provided a platform for 24 brand new commissions, 19 of which involved collaborations between UK and Ukrainian artists. These creative partnerships breathed a unique cultural dimension into the Song Contest, transforming Liverpool into a hub of artistic expression.
Even after the Season closes in June 2023, the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute continue the work on the programme’s long-lasting impact. This includes supporting the partnerships established between Ukrainian and UK arts and cultural organisations through a grant support programme. Our ongoing efforts aim to sustain and nurture the connections forged between the two countries while further spreading creative voices from Ukraine.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.
The Ukrainian Institute is a public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Its mission is to strengthen Ukraine’s international standing through the means of cultural diplomacy. The Institute facilitates international connections between people and institutions and creates opportunities for Ukraine to interact and cooperate with the world.