UK Knowledge Exchange 2019

The INTERSECT programme aims to rebalance representation on stage, in art galleries, in publishing and on-screen by supporting a broad spectrum of programming decision-makers with opportunities to widen their professional networks, facilitate their vision, and collaborate on best practice.

The programme has brought together eight curators, publishers, producers and artistic directors from both the UK and Australia to work with each other in Knowledge Exchanges in both the UK and Australia and through a sustained peer-to-peer mentorship. 

 “By connecting programming decision-makers who have growing power and influence in the UK and Australian arts sectors, we hope to support platforms for art that reflect, resonate with and enrich our whole society,” 

“The UK and Australia have similar barriers to inclusion in the arts, and the INTERSECT programme is an important initiative to share leading practice and provide support networks between our countries,” said Helen Salmon, Director British Council in Australia.

The programme aims to strengthen international connections between those who are changing whose work is seen, what is seen, how it is seen and who sees it.

UK Knowledge Exchange 2019

Earlier this month, the Australian participants travelled to the UK to take part in the first of the programme’s Knowledge Exchanges. One of the unique aspects of the programme is that it gives participants an opportunity to introduce their working contexts to the rest of the cohort during their ‘host days’, sharing best practice from their collaborators who are making changes to the arts sector. 

“Exchanges like these allow us to not only understand a new context, but through this process we get to know the complexities of our own situation”, said Australian INTERSECT participant and curator, Tian Zhang. 

While in London the group also met with prominent figures working in diversity and the arts, including the Head of Global Equality, Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE, who leads the global diversity and equality strategy at the British Council. They also met with cultural historian and Director Autograph ABP, Mark Sealy MBE, and Hilary Carty, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme. Their schedule also included meetings with a broad spectrum of senior cultural leaders working in theatre, circus, television, and visual arts. 

Peer-to-peer mentorship

The INTERSECT participants will continue to work together on their individual and shared goals in a peer-to-peer mentoring programme over the next nine months. In early 2020, the group will come together again to share what they have learnt during the Australian Knowledge Exchange. 

  • Australian participants are artist and curator Genevieve Grieves, Independent curator and Writer Nur Shkembi, screen content maker and educator Pearl Tan, and curator and arts worker Tian Zhang.
  • UK participants are independent literature curator and producer Melanie Abrahams, director and founder of Upswing Victoria Amedume, director, producer and freelance editor Sharmilla Beezmohun, and director and performer Cheryl Martin.


INTERSECT 2019 UK Knowledge Exchange