A video from a recent meeting of the Cross Party Group on culture is well worth spending time with, writes British Council Scotland's Kate Burwell.

When talking about our work, words like ‘internationalism’, ‘strategic’ and ‘partnership’ can feel a bit grey. They’re not as compelling as ‘travel’, ‘now’ and ‘fully-funded’ - words we’re all pretty happy to hear under most circumstances. 

That said, no amount of text can match spoken testimony. That's why I'm recommending readers of this post to spend some time with the latest video from the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Culture.

As well as featuring our very own Head of Arts, Norah Campbell, speaking about the value of international working, we hear the story of Jo Clifford’s plays enabling social change in South America. That while simultaneously being shown in Japan, a feat particularly impressive for works which have either been banned or nearly binned for 18 years. These things can take time.

Fiona Miller brings alive the value (and potentially informs UK age-related social policy work) that Tricky Hat have grown from exchanges which began on British Council visits to Japan and through invaluable Momentum partnership  meetings in Scotland. 

With contributions from Festivals Edinburgh, Celtic Connections, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Culture Summit and, not least the exquisite music of Talisk, representing the transformational nature of collaborative international working, this is one video that’s not just for the policy nerds.

To paraphrase Julia Amour, Director of Festivals Edinburgh: ‘Internationalism and culture are at the heart of our nations’ values for all of our lives’, and its visceral impact can be heard in the engaging reading by author Kevin MacNeil at the start of the film. 

With partnership work sometimes taking years to grow fully, these things do take time. Just as well then that we are, and always have been, in it for the long-haul.

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