British Council 75 years in the Netherlands

In 2020 the British Council is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the Netherlands. We have been here since 1945 and collaborate with Dutch organisations to foster connections between the Netherlands and the UK. We enable Dutch and British organisations and individuals to share their insight, expertise and knowledge, which results in bespoke programmes and partnerships to mutually benefit the Netherlands and the UK. 

We are delighted to be working with our partners this year to mark our 75th anniversary. Below is a selection of our activities in 2020, which are mostly held online. Take a look at the recordings and come back soon to find out about new activities that will be added throughout the year. Please join us online this year in celebrating our 75th anniversary!

Coming Together - poem by Eric Ngalle Charles

Cameroon-born Wales-based writer, poet, actor and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles wrote 'Coming Together' to celebrate our 75th anniversary:

Coming Together

Dutch Rhine and Thames entangled
ancient mystics unravelling
two rivers breathing life
a cultural bridge
you and I
from ruins of war
a new bond formed

And we, witnesses
crossing
like migrants birds
ideas like twigs between our beaks
flying back and forth

A bridge built
memories traverse
holding,
at times hiding
many footprints

Soldiers, saints and pipe pipers
feeding from ripe fruit trees
planted in 45

on the shoulders of these great rivers
voices shout:

We hold our hands together
facing blue skies
walking on the path you paved
75 years now
each step
a maiden voyage          

Eric Ngalle Charles

More Films For Freedom online screening

To mark Pride we held an online screening and panel discussion of The Men Who Speak Gayle. This short film was part of the the More Films For Freedom digital programme that explores LGBTIQ+ stories. Three films were made available online throughout the summer, when many Pride celebrations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way of linking and celebrating LGBTIQ+ communities everywhere.

FameLab Netherlands Final

The FameLab Netherlands Final was held online on 12 September 2020. The three-minute presentations from the finalists are available on the FameLab website. Liza Cornet was the overal winner of FameLab Netherlands and will represent the Netherlands at the FameLab International Final in November 2020. 

Fair International Cultural Cooperation - Language

We took part the gathering on Fair Cultural Cooperation looking the use of language, organised by DutchCulture and international partners. The outcomes and recommendations of the gathering will be shared in 2021.

European Literature Night

On 18 September 2020 the European Literature Night was held at de Brakke Grond. Wales based poet, actor and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles was part of the EUNIC Netherlands programmme that brought together both celebrated authors and promising literary talents from all over Europe. The full recording is available on the British Council website.

Addvantage digital event

In October we organised a digital event for teachers looking at internationalisation within the classroom with expert speaker Robert Willems and colleagues from the British Council. Roberto shared lots of tips and tricks, highlighted best practice to help implementation of internationalisation within the classroom. To celebrate our 75th anniversary we had a raffle with a great prize for one of the participants.

Sustainable Makers Award 2020

For the second year, the British Council is proud to support Worth Partnership Project, funded by the European Commission, to reward the best sustainable design project presented by a team of at least two European designers/SMEs and give them the opportunity to expand their reach, experience and network. The Sustainable Makers Award 2020 is looking for the best innovative ideas able to transform the industry and to create a durable impact in their community and ecosystem. 

The jury of the Sustainable Makers Award 2020 included Carole Collet (Director CSM LVMH Sustainable Innovation), Richard van der Laken (Founder and Creative Director of What Design Can Do) and Parvinder Marwaha (Design Lead at British Council).  In 2020, the jury awarded Haizea Najera - ALLCA (Spain) for her innovative rugs produced with recycled plastic bottles extracted from the sea and Aurore Piette - Maretech (France) for her innovative 3D printing method with materials proceeding from the oceans. 

The winners receive bespoke mentoring sessions to develop their initiative, a workshop with a leading design organisation in the UK and the opportunity to join the British Council’s Sustainable Makers Study Visit 2021, to meet and exchange with designers and experts specialising in circular design and sustainability. The award was handed out during the Dutch Design Week on 19 October. A recording of the award ceremony is available online.

Creative writing workshop by Eric Ngalle Charles

We organised a creative writing workshop for UvA students in October. The interactive workshop was led by Eric Ngalle Charles. Through a selection of personal stories and poems, Eric Ngalle Charles looked at how migration, memory, and language manifest themselves through contemporary voices. Students also had a chance to write and share their writing during the workshop. A recording of the workshop is available on our website