Mobility grants for arts opportunities in the UK and Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

About the Programme

Connections Through Culture is a mobility grants programme run by the British Council in the UK and East Asia. The China programme has been supporting artists and arts professionals for more than a decade. In Taiwan, we started the first open call in July 2019. 

In August 2019, Connections Through Culture will be launched in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

This programme aims to develop exciting cultural exchanges and collaborations between artists, arts professionals and arts organisations, and to support long-lasting relationships between people from East Asia and the UK.

Celebrating the diverse cultural expression in both regions, the programme offers support, information, advice and networking opportunities for professional development. Grantees both from the UK and the East Asian countries benefit from the inspiration gained from exchanging ideas and sharing their cultural history.

Who can apply for the Connections Through Culture grant?

Applicants living in the UK or in any of the six Southeast Asian countries mentioned can apply for the grant. 

  • Artists 
  • Cultural and arts professionals
  • Representatives of art collectives, networks or organisations

Grants are offered to applicants working in the following areas: drama, dance, visual arts, literature, film, music, architecture, design and fashion.

What does Connections Through Culture offer?

  • Up to £2,500 development grant for individual artists or professionals from the UK wishing to visit any of the six Southeast Asian countries that are part of the programme
  • Up to £3,500 development grant for individual artists or professionals from any of the six Southeast Asian countries that are part of the programme wishing to visit the UK
  • Up to £5,000 collaboration grant for representatives of groups in any of the six Southeast Asian countries that are part of the programme wishing to visit the UK, and for representatives of groups in the UK to visit any of the six Southeast Asian countries that are part of the programme.

Criteria and decision process for Collaboration and Development grants

Applications will be evaluated by the British Council, drawing on input from your Southeast Asian or UK partners and contacts where appropriate. Applications will be scored on:

Evidence of activity outline and developed discussions 30%
Evidence of a sound partner  30%
Usefulness of the grant to further development of the activity 30%
Evidence of estimated cost breakdown and timescales 10% 

What other support can I expect?

The mobility, upon confirmation, is expected to be self-directed. However, British Council staff based in Southeast Asia may provide some logistics support subject to early notification and availability. Grant notifications, disbursements and monitoring will be done online. 

Please note that successful applicants will be required to share feedback on their visit.

Round 1 application (August–September 2019) for visits in first quarter of 2020

Collaboration Grants (£5,000) 

  • Contrasting the Market: Scoping and exchange trips between members of Friction Arts (UK) and art collective Lifepatch (Indonesia) for visual-performance projects in the community/shopping markets  
  • Musicity x Wonderfruit: first collaboration between London-based spatial-sonic practice Musicity Global with London-based independent record label Erased Tapes, and Thailand’s Wonderfruit Music Festival 
  • Nalitari (Indonesia) and We Are Epic (Epic Arts UK) exchanges for Inclusive Dance 
  • Visits of the Mat Tran Ensemble (Vietnam) to the Hijinx Theatre (Wales) and the Blind Summit Theatre (England), immersion in Arts and Disability organisations 
  • The Great Escape UK at the Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam: The Great Escape curator Adam Ryan speaks as part of the music production panel 

Professional Development Grants (£3,500, SEA grantees) 

  • Research on Fernando Zobel: Zobel Collection and Donation to the British Museum, Aprille Tijam (Ayala Museum, Philippines) 
  • The Inclusive Arts Initiative: The Role of the Expressive Arts in Intervention, Talent Development and Advocacy Building for People with Disabilities for July 2020 projects - UK visits to Imaginate, Project Ability, Oily Cart and Indepen-dance), Erny Ros Manlangit (Philippines)  
  • Archival Thinking: Building and Managing Digital-Physical Archives of Resistance, Research trip to several British library and archives, Nurul Nadia Binti Nasaruddin (Malaysia Design Archive) 
  • Artistic Exchange with Richard Chappell Dance, Exeter Phoenix, and DanceEast, Hwa Wei-An (Malaysia) 
  • PARARATRONIC electronic music project preserving elements of traditional Indonesian music betweenTesla Manaf (Kuntari, Indonesia) and Graham Daniels (Addictive TV, UK) 
  • International travel support for residency programme at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop – Workshop place as ‘social and online ecosystems’, Wiyoga Muhardanto (Indonesia) 

Professional Development Grants (£2,500, UK grantees) 

  • Participation in the 3rd Kamias Triennial: Sawsawan: Conversations in the Dirty Kitchen (Philippines, curated by Allison Collins, Patrick Cruz, and Su-Ying Lee), Sarah Rose (Scotland) 
  • Mapping cultural production in Southeast Asia: Research trips to Indonesia and the Philippines for future exhibition and programming, new commission and acquisition (for the Contemporary Art Collection, developed in collaboration with University of Salford), Marianna Tsionki (Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, England)  
  • Participation in the 3rd Kamias Triennial: Sawsawan: Conversations in the Dirty Kitchen (Philippines, curated by Allison Collins, Patrick Cruz, and Su-Ying Lee), Scott Michael Langley Rogers (Scotland) 
  • Power Plants: Research trip at Cemeti Institute for Art and Society (Indonesia), exploring the coexistence of nuclear energy within natural and political landscape, Lily Wales (England) 
  • Solidarity among indigenous nations: Research trip to connect with Malaysian indigenous film festivals, filmmakers and artists, Qila Gill (currently working with LUX on a proposal for next year's Native Spirit Indigenous Film Festival UK) 
  • Trance Masks Research & Development to produce “Shakespeare Demystified: A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, connecting with six KL Shakespeare actors using Trance Masks and Chinese Opera puppets at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Simone Tani (England)

Round 2 application (October–November 2019) for visits in second quarter of 2020


  • Philippines–England: Scoping trip and exchange with Lakes International Comic Art Festival in preparation for the 1st Philippine International Comics Festival, Paolo Herras/KOMIKET INC.
  • Philippines–England: Research trip and preliminary negotiations for a British-Filipino full length film, connecting with Rise Research, Baby Ruth Villarama 


  • Philippines–England: Exploring Artistic and Academic Collaboration: New Directions in Shakespearean Dramatic Creation, Judy Ick
  • England–Malaysia: Cosmopolitical natures - research and development trip to two Borneo villages, Ayesha Keshani
  • England–Indonesia: Noods Radio and Archipelago exchange for co-creation of radio programmes, Leon Pattrick
  • Philippines–England: Aliens of Manila: Research Trip, Spring 2020. Research trip for a potential public art project in Somerset courtyard for Spring 2021, Leeroy New
  • Vietnam–England: Research trip to UK art spaces and collectives for a Contemporary Art Archive in Vietnam, Nguyen Anh Tuan
  • Vietnam–Wales: Research visit and exchange with Welsh performance company ‘good cop bad cop’, Nguyen Duy Thanh

Current grantees should contact Randel Urbano to discuss postponement.

Future rounds are currently paused due to Covid-19. For further information regarding British Council’s response on Covid-19, please visit our website.

For more information, please contact with subject line: “CTC UK-SEA application”.