Partner South East Asia was a series of online forums by the British Council providing participants with a better understanding and knowledge of the arts and culture ecosystems of SEA countries. 

The Vietnam session focused on three UK-Việt Nam collaborations covering music festivals, theatre and sustainable design. It also took the audience on a tour of Việt Nam’s cultural landscape from north to south, in the context of arts and culture.  

Donna McGowan, Country Director Việt Nam, British Council, introduced the organisation’s role in fostering UK-Việt Nam connections. As the organisation celebrates its 30-year presence in the country in 2023, it will continue to facilitate arts and culture connections and network-building between the UK and Việt Nam.   


  • Adam Ryan, Head of Music, The Great Escape Festival
  • Donna McGowan, Country Director Việt Nam, British Council
  • Ellis Wrightbrook, Senior Producer, Hijinx Theatre
  • Lola Lely, Designer, Artist, and Founder of Lola Lely Studio and Wax Atelier
  • Mai Thang, Programmer, Music and Conference, Monsoon Music Festival
  • Nguyễn Phương Thảo, Head of Arts Việt Nam, British Council
  • Nguyễn Quốc Trung, Music Composer, Producer and Director of Monsoon Music Festival
  • Nguyễn Thị Mộng Thu, Social Affairs Manager, Tòhe
  • Nguyễn Vũ Tú Hằng, Manager, Hanoi Grapevine
  • Phạm Trang Mỹ Linh, Artistic Director and Founder of Mắt Trần Ensembles
  • Vũ Thảo, Founder and Creative Director, Kilomet 109
  • Trương Uyên Ly, Director, Hanoi Grapevine

Highlights in Vietnam

  • This session explored the connections between the UK and Việt Nam through three artistic collaborations, and a tour through Việt Nam’s cultural landscape. 
  • The collaboration between Việt Nam’s Kilomet109 and UK’s Lola Lely Studio connected designers and artisans in both countries for an exchange of cultural heritage and craft skills. 
  • The Monsoon Festival in Hà Nội is the result of a connection with the Great Escape in Brighton. The British Council invited Nguyễn Quốc Trung and Mai Thang to the music event in the UK. Inspired by their experience, the duo went on to organise the Monsoon Festival. 
  • Mắt Trần Ensemble and Tòhe from Việt Nam collaborated with Welsh based Hijinx Theatre on Eye See Ai, an augmented reality experience that connected artists, viewers and locations in both countries. Eye See Ai challenged people’s perceptions of what disabled artists can produce.
  • From north to south, Việt Nam’s six cultural cities have their own unique cultural identity and strength.