British Council opens new cultural centre in Shivajinagar
Spread across 5000 sq ft, the new cultural hub will not only house the British Council library, but also a young learners' zone, cultural space for programmes and a cafe, transforming it into a fully functional co-learning space.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 15:03 IST
With a vision to bind UK-India relations through the art of storytelling on the ‘year of culture’, the British Council announced the opening of its new cultural centre on Sunday. The cultural centre inaugurated on September 3, will now be situated at Ramsukh House, Shivajinagar, providing a platform for a wide range of programmes and events, especially owing to the fact that 2017 is being celebrated as the UK-India ‘year of culture’.
Spread across 5000 sq ft, the new cultural hub will not only house the British Council library, but also a young learners' zone, cultural space for programmes and a cafe, transforming it into a fully functional co-learning space.
At the inaugural ceremony of the new centre, Alan Gemmell, OBE director India, British Council, said, "The Pune centre has been re-imagined as a cultural hub for events and programmes that celebrate the 70 years of relationship between the UK and India. Our world class library has also been revamped and offers vast digital resources to the Internet and technology-savvy millennials. The new centre will be an exciting focal point for our cultural relations work and will help people to engage in our range of products and services."
Like its other centres across the country, Pune’s library would hold the two tools of cultural exchange between the two nations- ‘Mix the Play’ and ‘Mix the City’, blending drama and music to enhance the experience of storytelling. ‘Mix the Play’ was in collaboration with Indian playwright Roysten Abel and British digital company Flying Object to take Shakespeare to young audiences through their smart phones. Mix the City on the other hand, is to enhance music skills and facilitate remixing of the distinctly diverse Indian classical music with western music and share those creations on social media. This project was in collaboration with Sonia Mazumdar of the world music label Earthsync.
The new library will feature over 10,000 books, DVDs, popular UK newspapers and magazines, in addition to digital access to 115,000 books and 14,000 journals covering a wide range of subject areas. Centre members will have access to British Council's online resources which includes over 4000 national and international newspapers and magazines, independent movies, learning games for children, software training, comics, audio books and academic journals from JSTOR.
The Young Learners' Zone is to provide interactive books for its learners and the premises will also feature programmes including films, workshops and a wider range of books for the young bibliophiles. .
Gunjan Narula, head British Council Pune center, added that the library would host new initiatives like Cafe Scientific, Techie club, workshops for Warli Painting and storytelling to cater to the new generation of Pune. “Pune being a city of science and technology, we wanted to have something here for the techies. So we are roping them in with eminent scientists, astronomers coming in. Also, we wanted to exhibit this UK-India bond for which we had a warli workshop, an art form of Maharshtra, whereby the children and adults were taught to paint scenes of London through Warli.”
Memberships of the existing British Council members will be automatically transferred to this new library where they will get access to the online library.