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UKMX2015

The Dual Year of the UK and Mexico in 2015: A retrospective

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2015 was the Dual Year of the United Kingdom and Mexico.

UKMX2015 was a celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange between our two nations. This Dual Year helped open doors in the areas of art, education, science, innovation, trade and investment.

It gave a unique opportunity for cultural collaborations that enriched relations at all levels of society and government, in the private sector as well as for individuals, in order to build a prosperous future for coming generations.

Scroll down to explore some of our favourite moments:

Arts and Creative Economy

Inked, Damien Jalet, Aakash Odedra Company, Festival Cultural de Mayo, Guadalajara.

Scarification and tattooing have been used since ancient times as markers of identity and experience. In Inked, which was choreographed by winner of the Laurence Olivier Award, Damien Jalet, the body becomes a place of transformation, a marked envelope, folded and metamorphosed by its path through ritualised space.

Our art programme emphasised modern forms of cultural management.

The programme explored the issues of public space, new audiences, emerging artists, social inclusion and the connection between art and new technologies.

It reaffirmed the importance of gender equality, regional diversity and the cooperation between public and private institutions with creative communities in both the UK and Mexico.

 All City Canvas, Condesa, Mexico City.The renowned English street artist D*Face marked his first visit to Mexico with a huge mural tribute to the Day of the Dead in Mexico City. His aim was to encourage the public to observe their environment critically, and reflect upon the society's obsession with celebrity, fame and materialism.

 All City Canvas, Condesa, Mexico City.

The renowned English street artist D*Face marked his first visit to Mexico with a huge mural tribute to the Day of the Dead in Mexico City. His aim was to encourage the public to observe their environment critically, and reflect upon the society's obsession with celebrity, fame and materialism.

Our art programme included an exhibition by the British artist Michael Landy, a show by Basement Jaxx, the British electronic music duo at the Plaza Condesa, and a presentation by one of the most important orchestras in the UK, the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Palace of Fine Arts and National Auditorium in Mexico City.

We aimed to challenge the perception of national identity in a contemporary and global context, and promote and contribute to shared prosperity, mutually strengthening cultural relations between the UK and Mexico.

Squidsoup: Submergence, Museo JUMEX, Mexico City.

Squidsoup: Submergence, Museo JUMEX, Mexico City.

As a result of the success of the Dual Year of the UK and Mexico, many of the initiatives will continue in 2016.

Keep scolling down to continue exploring our favorite moments of the Dual Year:

Education, Science
and Innovation

We put together a programme specialising in education which presented opportunities for mutual academic recognition, joint research projects and the exchange of knowledge between both individuals and institutions.

Both the UK and Mexico were able to find innovative solutions to local and global development issues, in the public sector and private solutions alike.

Inspiring Minds, Mexico City.Inspiring Minds is an event that encourages young students to pursue a career in science and technology. This year's event showed our audiences  how fun and exciting these careers can be, and promoted the creative and innovative ways that engineers, scientists and artists have found to make a positive impact in the world.

Inspiring Minds, Mexico City.

Inspiring Minds is an event that encourages young students to pursue a career in science and technology. This year's event showed our audiences  how fun and exciting these careers can be, and promoted the creative and innovative ways that engineers, scientists and artists have found to make a positive impact in the world.

Scientific exchange focused on key areas of specialised research, such as medical sciences, engineering and physical sciences.

RCUK (Research Council United Kingdom) supported joint research investigations, and promoted innovation through a series of events, mainly supported by the Newton Fund.

Continue exploring the highlights of UKMX2015 below:

Guadalajara International Book Fair 2015 (FIL)

Little Boots, FIL 2015.

To mark the Dual Year, and following the great success of Mexico having been the guest of honour at the London Book Fair (LBF), the United Kingdom was the Guest Country of Honour at the world's second largest literary fair: FIL.

'We all talk culture'

The Mexican audiences enjoyed an extensive cultural, artistic, educational and commercial programme that showcased the best of British literature, academia, visual arts, performing arts and cuisine.

Random Dance, Company Wayne McGregor.The ForoFIL programme represented a great opportunity to express, through the performing arts, a portrait of a modern society. It evoked a spirit of history, transmitted through digital art and innovation, transporting viewers to the plural and multicultural music and contemporary dance scenes in the UK.One of the greatest strengths of this programme was the diversity; different musical genres, nationalities, abilities and ethnic groups were represented in artists such as Jazz Jamaica, Graeae Theatre, Spector, Little Boots, amongst many others.

Random Dance, Company Wayne McGregor.

The ForoFIL programme represented a great opportunity to express, through the performing arts, a portrait of a modern society. It evoked a spirit of history, transmitted through digital art and innovation, transporting viewers to the plural and multicultural music and contemporary dance scenes in the UK.

One of the greatest strengths of this programme was the diversity; different musical genres, nationalities, abilities and ethnic groups were represented in artists such as Jazz Jamaica, Graeae Theatre, Spector, Little Boots, amongst many others.

The city was filled with music, art, film and theatre.

We sought to create a dialogue between the traditional and the contemporary, emphasising new forms of expression aimed at social inclusion and the promotion of diversity, gender equality and tolerance.

In conversation with Irvine WelshThe delegation of UK authors at FIL presented the best of 21st century British literature. Prominent authors such as Irvine Welsh, Sir Andrew Motion, Sally Gardner, Owen Jones, Philippa Gregory and Jeanette Winterson were part of a delegation of 29 writers who took part in the fair.

In conversation with Irvine Welsh

The delegation of UK authors at FIL presented the best of 21st century British literature. Prominent authors such as Irvine Welsh, Sir Andrew Motion, Sally Gardner, Owen Jones, Philippa Gregory and Jeanette Winterson were part of a delegation of 29 writers who took part in the fair.

For nine days the city of Guadalajara was home to a British delegation of 200 writers, editors, musicians, dancers, academics, artists, scientists, a chef, and a even lamb, all of whom came to share the diversity of the British culture with the Mexican public.

The UK pavilion was specially built for FIL and was the predominant icon of the British presence at the fair. It was hailed by Raul Padilla, the president of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, as the best pavilion FIL had ever seen. 

The UK pavilion was specially built for FIL and was the predominant icon of the British presence at the fair. It was hailed by Raul Padilla, the president of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, as the best pavilion FIL had ever seen. 

Trade and Investment

Feria de las Culturas Amigas ('Fair of Cultures and Friendship')

The business programme presented a brilliant opportunity to generate greater interest in products and services from the United Kingdom and Mexico. The programme consisted of a series of events and activities with the aim of strengthening trade ties between the two countries.

A significant number of British business delegates visited Mexico to participate in different events related to the energy and engineering sectors, amongst others.

This bilateral effort contributed to the growth of the domestic economy at the same time as helping to achieve economic goals.

We hope for a significant change in the trade and investment relations between the UK and Mexico so that both countries can reach their full potential in the coming years.

Our attention is focused on the strong key sectors of both nations, bringing innovative oil and gas companies to Mexico.

Founding Sponsors

The Dual Year of the UK and Mexico 2015 would not have been possible without the support provided by our founding sponsors: Diageo, EY, HSBCand Shell.

Thank you for joining in on a year full of celebration!

Find out more

Did you enjoy the Dual Year of the UK and Mexico in 2015? Relive the best moments on Instagram.

Find out more about upcoming cultural, educational and business exchanges between our two nations by visiting the British Council Mexico website.

You can also visit the British Embassy in Mexico website.