A man stands in front of pieces of dyed silk as part of a making workshop
A craftsman examining his handiwork ©

Simon Mills

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will commence on 15 May 2021, running for 12 months. The 365-day cultural programme will reflect Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives. Coventry is known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, peace and reconciliation, innovation, and invention, and now a City of Culture. The British Council is the International Partner for UK City of Culture 2021.

The Global Makers workshops and writers’ residency, in association with Haus of Kraft, connects sustainable fashion and craft practitioners from around the world with the community of Coventry, through the shared act of making.

Focusing on processes inspired by nature, a series of workshops led by international designers will provide a space for community members to co-create new works together, as well as share knowledge and experience.

The Global Makers workshops and writers’ residency are led by the British Council’s Architecture Design Fashion and Literature teams in collaboration with the Coventry City of Culture Trust, as part of the Haus of Kraft programme.

The key focus and ethos are around bringing together isolated elders in Coventry with newly arrived communities. This will be supported by fashion student mentors from Coventry University and led by Fablab. The programme will connect different generations, community members, creative practitioners, and students to collaborate and co-create new work inspired by nature and sustainable fashion crafts.

Haus of Kraft will consist of three phases:

  • The first from August through a collaborative exploration of Coventry’s natural landscapes.
  • Phase two will run from November to February, with a focus on textile waste
  • Phase three will take forward 30 makers from these groups to design a final collection. The British Council will support at least three digital workshops from international designers and an international writers’ residency, which will feed into research & development processes through creative writing and inspire the final collection.

The programme aims to inspire creatives to connect with new audiences locally and internationally, enhance creative skills of participants through knowledge sharing and deepening action around global waste distribution and fast fashion.

Additional partners included in the programme delivery are: Chrysalis Craft Coventry (Seyedeh Naseriniaki); FabLab CoventryCoventry UniversityCarriers of HopeCoventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC); Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG); Wildlife TrustCrafts CouncilAge UKHealth Exchange and All the Queen's Men.