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Writers from Indonesia and Exeter unite on climate change project

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January 31, 2024 — by IDWRITERS

Last updated on January 31, 2024 at 12:03 am

Writers and artists from the Indonesian city of Jakarta and Exeter are set to come together as part of a new cultural project looking at climate change and its disproportionate impact on the Global South.

The two Cities of Literature have been awarded funding from the British Council’s Connections Through Culture programme. The money will be spent on a new project: Bridging Cities: Exeter X Jakarta.

Local artists and writers will be commissioned by the two Cities of Literature to create new work that examines the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the Global South and how to improve conversations around the intersection of climate change and equity.

As UNESCO-designated Cities of Literature, this grant will enable both cities to harness their literary distinction to foster international collaboration, explore literature’s role in climate action, and build lasting connections between Exeter and Jakarta.

Emerging writers from Exeter and Jakarta will produce new work and receive mentoring sessions with experienced writers. Each piece will be translated into English and Indonesian before artists are commissioned to respond to the written works. The resulting artwork and writing will be published in a digital publication. Excerpts will go on display at exhibitions in Exeter and Jakarta on International Translation Day, 30 September 2024.

The Connections Through Culture programme has provided over £645,000 in support for artists and arts organisations from across the United Kingdom and East Asia. In this grant round, the British Council is proud to be supporting 76 innovative projects from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

Anna Cohn Orchard, Executive Director for Exeter UNESCO City of Literature, said: “We’re thrilled to work with our friends and colleagues in Jakarta to provide new opportunities for local writers and artists. By pairing up writers from different cities, we hope this project will start conversations about climate change inequalities that will continue long after the project finishes.”

Laura Prinsloo, Focal Point for Jakarta UNESCO City of Literature and Chair of 17,000 Islands of Imagination Foundation, responded by saying: “We are excited to be partnering with Exeter City of Literature and its writers, artists and translators. I believe this is the start of long-lasting relationships and future collaborations, especially around climate change, a pressing topic both countries are concerned about. We invite you to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on our progress and to learn more about how you can get involved.”

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