New UK-GCC youth initiative uses art to build bridges

A new collaboration between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will create opportunities for young artists to foster new connections. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 01 July 2020

New UK-GCC youth initiative uses art to build bridges

  • The initiative will pair an artist in the UK with one based in the Gulf to create new collaborative work

LONDON: A new collaboration between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will create opportunities for young artists to foster new connections while bridging the divide caused by coronavirus travel restrictions.
The Connect ME initiative, launched by the Arab British Centre in partnership with the British Council, will provide digital residency opportunities for young artists from GCC countries and the UK.
The initiative will pair an artist in the UK with one based in the Gulf to create new collaborative work that considers how digital tools can encourage connectivity across borders.  
“Now more than ever, we want to support emerging talent and offer opportunities to artists to develop their practice, create new collaborative work, and make new connections across borders,” said Amani Hassan, program director of the Arab British Centre.
With a focus on building ties between creative communities, the program will “serve as an opportunity for artists across the UK and GCC to build new friendships, and confront the universal challenges facing emerging creatives the world over,” she added. 
Artists aged 18-30 from any discipline can apply for the program, and their art can be “anything from an augmented reality experience to a short film, a zine, (or) a live performance,” the Arab British Centre said in a press release.
The only stipulation is that the art must be delivered to the public digitally and must be capable of stimulating international connections and creativity.
If successful, applicants will receive £1,000 ($1,229) in funding, as well as a host of mentoring and educational opportunities.
Cultural exchange remains a cornerstone of the UK-GCC relationship, with various initiatives already active and creating deeper mutual understanding through artistic collaboration.


India coronavirus cases hit 2.5 million

Updated 15 August 2020

India coronavirus cases hit 2.5 million

  • India is behind the United States and Brazil in the number of cases
  • Subways, schools and movie theaters remain closed

MUMBAI: India’s confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 2.5 million with another biggest single-day spike of 65,002 in the past 24 hours.
India is behind the United States and Brazil in the number of cases.
The Health Ministry on Saturday also reported another 996 deaths for a total of 49,036. The average daily reported cases jumped from around 15,000 in the first week of July to more than 50,000 at the beginning of August.
The Health Ministry said the rise shows the extent of testing with 800,000 carried out in a single day. But experts say India needs to pursue testing more vigorously.
India’s two-month lockdown imposed nationwide in late March kept infections low. But it has eased and is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas.

The new cases spiked after India reopened shops and manufacturing and allowed hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to return to their homes from coronavirus-hit regions. Subways, schools and movie theaters remain closed.