British Council 75 years in the Netherlands

In 2020-2021 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 2020-2021, 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!

75 NL-UK Stories

We are celebrating our 75th anniversary as British Council in the Netherlands in 2020-21 by sharing 75 personal stories from people who have a special connection with both the UK and the Netherlands. Read the 75 NL-UK stories and join us in celebrating our 75th anniversary. Keep an eye on our website as we'll regularly be sharing new stories from people from different sectors.

European Literature Night 2021

On Saturday 19 June 2021 at 20:00 (CEST) the European Literature Night will be presented at De Balie and livestreamed for an online audience as part of the EUNIC Netherlands programme. Trinidadian born British writer Monique Roffey will be part of the programme that this year takes place beyond one single night.

FameLab Netherlands 2021

Follow FameLab, the world's leading science communication competition that aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective. If you think you can explain a scientific concept to a general audience, in just three minutes, then why not enter FameLab Netherlands? Check our FameLab website for more information.

British Council Conference for Teachers

The online edition of the British Council Conference for Teachers will held in the autumn of 2021 and will focus on continuing professional development (CPD). By transforming the quality in the classroom through investing in CPD, teachers achieve the best for your learners. Throughout the morning there will be several workshops highlighting best practices, as well as hands on tips and tricks to help formulate and implement professional development plans. More information will be available in due course.

Women's Day - celebration and panel discussion

We celebrated International Women's Day on Monday 8 March with an interactive panel discussion. A diverse panel from different sectors discussed gender equality in the workplace and female leadership, and celebrated women’s achievements. The panellists also touched on how working in lockdown amid the pandemic is affecting working women, with many having to simultaneously juggle career and childcare while working from home. The panellists expressed different views and personal experiences and shared practical tips.

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
like migrants birds
ideas like twigs between our beaks
flying back and forth

A bridge built
memories traverse
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 2020

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 represented the Netherlands at the FameLab International Final in November 2020. 

Fair International Cultural Cooperation - Language

We took part in the gathering on Fair Cultural Cooperation looking at 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 2020

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 programme 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 2020 we organised a digital event for teachers looking at internationalisation within the classroom with expert speaker Roberto 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 proudly supported 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 looked 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 received 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 2020. 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 2020. 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