The Art of Cultural Exchange

Translation and Transformation between the UK and Brazil (2012-2016)

Paul Heritage, Ilana Strozenberg (Eds.)

by Jerry Brotton (Queen Mary University of London, UK), Ana Claudia Souza , Eliane Costa (Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Brazil), Faith Liddell OBE , Graham Sheffield CBE (British Council), Gus Casely-Hayford , Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)), Ilana Strozenberg (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil), Luiz Eduardo Soares (Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Brazil), Teresa Guilhon , Madani Younis , Marcos Barbosa (Escola Superior de Artes Célia Helena, Brazil), Martin Dowle (British Council), Mércio Pereira Gomes (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil), Paul Heritage (Queen Mary University of London, UK), Simon McBurney OBE , Andre Piza (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

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'The Art of Cultural Exchange' is an extraordinary collection of accounts, analyses and reflections on cultural exchange between Brazil and the UK, collated and edited by Paul Heritage and Ilana Strozenberg. It includes project examples, essays on the theories of exchange and the dynamics of interculturalism, and detailed interrogations of the potential benefits and pitfalls in collaboration between countries. It is unusual in including contributions from project creators, managers, artists, educators and academics, in diverse chapters that jump across a vast range of registers, from the technical and discursive, to the more creative.
'The Art of Cultural Exchange' is an honest account of divergent points of view, and how in bringing them into different processes of encounter and exchange, we might be challenged and changed because of them.

James Thompson
Vice President - Social Responsibility/Professor of Applied and Social Theatre
The University of Manchester

'The Art of Cultural Exchange – Translation and Transformation Between the UK and Brazil (Brazil-UK, 2012-2016)', edited by Paul Heritage and Ilana Strozenberg, brings us a clarifying map of the exchanges produced between Brazilian and British artists and institutions in recent years. Throughout the book, we see the potentialities that artistic and cultural translations carried out in diverse and even unequal contexts offer to oxygenate creative reflections and processes, methodologies, resources of diverse natures and especially to enrich ideas and worldviews, to transgress contexts and cultural beliefs.

Marta Porto,
Former Secretary of Cultural Citizenship, Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Brazil

Can cultural exchange be understood as a mutual act of translation? Or are elements of a country’s cultural identity inevitably lost in the act of exchange? Brazil and Great Britain, although unlikely collaborators, have shared an artistic dialogue that can be traced back some 500 years. This publication, arising from the namesake research project funded by the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, seeks to understand and raise awareness of the present practices of cultural exchange between Brazil and Great Britain in relation to their historical legacy. Presenting five case studies and eight position papers, this research-based project investigates how artists interpret, transmit and circulate ideas, ideologies and forms of knowledge with specific reference to the production of new ‘translations’ produced from and, where possible, between peripheral territories.

Written in accessible language, the case studies describe the experience of artists, managers and cultural leaders dealing with important challenges in the creative sector regarding the translation of creative and learning arts methodologies. Projects investigated are at the forefront of social arts collaborative practice, representing internationally influential initiatives that have had a demonstrable impact not only in urban centres and peripheries but also in isolated areas of central Brazil and the north of England. The position papers commissioned by the research from Brazilian and British academics and cultural leaders provide a remarkable variety of social, political, anthropological, historic and artistic perspectives of cultural exchange projects offering valuable experiences for those working in research, policy and for creative practitioners.

Authors in alphabetical order
Graham Sheffield

Martin Dowle

Paul Heritage

Part 1. Reflections on Cultural Exchange

Culture, territory and cyberspace
Eliane Costa

Global Interests in the Shakespearean World
Jerry Brotton

Not to be tamed
Madani Younis

Every man is an island, every culture is a continent, and the historical process is hyperdialectical
Mércio P Gomes

‘In the Moment’: Three Countries in Five Scenes
Faith Liddell

Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford

The Possible Other
Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda

Things Think of Us. Translation, festa, social movements, violence and art
Luiz Eduardo Soares

Part 2. The Art of Cultural Exchange: Open Endings

The Art of Cultural Exchange: Open Endings
Ilana Strozenberg with the collaboration of André Piza and Ana Claudia Souza

Part 3. Mapping

Mapping Cultural Exchanges between the UK and Brazil (2012-2016)
Teresa Guilhon

Part 4. How to (Ex)change: Five Lessons in Cultural Translation

4.1 Brazilian Shakespeares
Paul Heritage and Teresa Guilhon

4.1.1 As they like it? Shakespeare in Brazil- an introduction
4.1.2 Trajectories: making Shakespeare in the favela of Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro
4.1.3 Shakespeare to the rhythm of the berimbau: rehearsal notes from a Brazilian production of Macbeth directed by RSC Associate Artist, Greg Hicks
4.1.4 Shakespeare: a Brazilian classic

4.2 Image and Territory: Photography and the Reinvention of Place
Ilana Strozenberg, Ana Claudia Souza and André Piza

4.2.1 Introduction
4.2.2 Imagens do Povo/Images of the People: an introduction to the issues, questions and pleasures of photographing Rio de Janeiro – from the periphery to the centre
4.2.3 Photography, aesthetics and politics: The creation of the Imagens do Povo: School for Community photographers
4.2.4 Finding the local: a narrative account of a six-week residency by a photographer from a Rio favela on an East London estate
4.2.5 Looking through other people’s eyes: interviews with photographers Ratão Diniz and AF Rodrigues

4.3 Music and Methodology: Exchange Experiences in Educational Arts Practices Between São Paulo and Gateshead
Ilana Strozenberg, Ana Claudia Souza and André Piza

4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 Rigour, technique and flexibility: Guri Santa Marcelina meets Sage Gateshead
4.3.3 Social Pedagogy, flexibility and transparency: Sage Gateshead talk about their experience of working with Guri Santa Marcelina
4.3.4 Harmony is polyphonic: Interview with Katherine Zeserson

4.4 The Agency and Agência de Redes para a Juventude: Translating a Creative Entrepreneurship Methodology for Young People Between Rio de Janeiro, London and Manchester
Ilana Strozenberg, Ana Claudia Souza and André Piza

4.4.1 Introduction
4.4.2 Different cultures, the same potential
4.4.3 A Brazilian methodology in the UK: translation in practice

4.5 Village Encounters: from the Amazon to Broadway
Paul Heritage

4.5.1 Introduction
4.5.2 Dear Pero Vaz…
4.5.3 We Only See What We Want to See. (Simon Mcburney) (Complicite) Writes of his Meetings With indigenous Peoples in Brazil
4.5.4 Stage and Screen: The Village Reinvented


Paul Heritage is Professor of Drama and Performance at Queen Mary University of London and Artistic Director of the arts research centre People’s Palace Projects. As a producer he has worked with major UK arts institutions to bring leading Brazilian companies to British audiences, including Grupo Galpão at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Grupo Piolin and AfroReggae to the Barbican Centre and Nós do Morro to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Heritage was also Executive Producer of Rio Occupation London, a major project within the London 2012 Festival and co-curated the Olympic and Paralympic Cultural Forum in Rio de Janeiro as part of British Council’s Transform programme. In 2004 he was made a Knight of the Order of Rio Branco by the Brazilian government.

Ilana Strozenberg is a Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s School of Communication and Convener of the Advanced Programme in Contemporary Culture (PACC-UFRJ) at the School of Letters. She has a PhD in Communication and Culture, with an emphasis on Social Anthropology. Her recent research interests focus on cultural differences in Brazilian urban contemporary contexts, their relationships with the media and their impacts on the traditional socio-political hierarchies. She is Content Director at O Instituto de Projetos e Pesquisa (O Instituto), a social organisation dedicated to research on urban culture.

Cultural exchange, cultural translation, social capital, Brazilian Culture, arts methodology, social transformation, periphery, mapping, cultural policy, arts policy, Milton Santos, qualitative research, Olympic games, London2012, Rio2016, Mario de Andrade, practice-based research

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The Art of Cultural Exchange

Book Subtitle

Translation and Transformation between the UK and Brazil (2012-2016)





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


13 B&W

Publication date

March 2019