Wednesday 06 June 2018

The British Council in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be implementing CATALYST, a three-day ideas lab workshop from the 13-15 June at the UWI St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop aims to harmonise cultural activity in the region, by highlighting the cultural, scientific and social dimensions of co-operation between the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean.

Including 37 key policymakers and speakers, creative practitioners, festival organisers, academics, representatives from donor agencies, independent consultants, and others speakers, the project Catalyst identifies the need to enhance the common vision between the EU and the Caribbean through sharing research, activities and learning from best-practices. Through the voice of the practitioner, there will be an opportunity to analyse the efficiency of international donor agencies.

“It is envisaged that CATALYST will provide an opportunity to get high-level decision-makers, funders and creatives in the same space to discuss how funding and technical assistance actually affect their work in the creative ecology. This information will then be used to hone a more coordinated, inclusive and evidence-based approach to the sector’s development. The UWI looks forward to collaborating with international agencies such as the British Council, regional actors and cultural practitioners in the service of converting this most important of regional assets into real developmental energy,” shares Dr Suzanne Burke, Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the UWI, St. Augustine Campus.  

Echoing similar sentiments is Simon Dancey, Global Director for Cultural Skills at the British Council. “I am delighted to be part of CATALYST; a key opportunity to unite cultural activity in the Caribbean. This ideas lab gives us the much-needed chance to identify and consolidate the common vision between the EU and the Caribbean, encouraging a dialogue around the cultural, scientific and social dimensions of the relationship. We will do this through the voice of the practitioner, by sharing invaluable research and activities.”

Other outputs of this unique workshop include: addressing cultural policy issues in the Caribbean and contributing to better working values, analysing strategies in the field of culture, evaluating grant strategies in the field of cultural co-operation, identifying the transformation of the paradigms of cultural policy, and stimulating dialogue between the cultural and funding sector.

Notes to Editor

About the UWI

The UWI is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in research, knowledge creation and innovation on matters related to the Caribbean and small island states. It aims to provide a high-quality teaching and learning environment, facilitate critical thinking, and produce graduates who are equipped to innovate regionally and impact globally. The University has collaborative links with over 160 universities globally. 

In its commitment to enhancing Caribbean development, UWI’s focal areas are linked closely to CARICOM’s development priorities. They take into account region-wide areas of concern such as environmental issues, health and wellness, cultural industry development, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. UWI St. Augustine is the ideal institution for local and international students with an interest in Caribbean society.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.