Influencing Policy for Better Change.

International Development & African Diaspora

Madaraja/Pont/Bridges

How can we imagine equal and decolonised arts when dominant cultural narratives continue to shape our experiences and collective imagination? We are going to work with creatives in Wales and Africa to establish de-colonised vehicles or bridges for culture, combining digital and traditional tools and drawing on African and diasporic cultures. Acting locally but thinking globally, we will build bridges 'pont' in Welsh and 'madaraja' in Kiswahili that link Wales and the African continent.

This project brings together Welsh creatives of all ethnicities (with emphasis on Black voices in Wales) and those in the African continent to explore how bridges and cultural links can be built to foster mutual relationships between Wales/Cymru and the African continent. We want to tap into the potential of diasporic communities in Wales and creatives from other communities to build bridges and promote the self-representation of people of African descent in the sector, changing narratives about the continent and about who we are.

Jukebox collective will be one of our key creative collaborators. Jukebox are developing strong links to African youth movements and have developed best practice in using digital tools to host classes and share experiences between young people on the continent and in Wales.

We are estimating that each collaborator will reach 50 people through safe space workshops and activities giving a total of 1000 reached. They will do this by:

 

  • Forming and active and growing community of creatives, leaders and change makers
  • Engaging communities in workshops, creative activities, co-creation and debate. -fostering and empower art and creativity from the community
  • Foster collective action and the creation of new work in diverse media
  • Connect to white-run institutions to collaborate, challenge, run takeovers and events
  • Bring showcases to the community
  • Exploit digital technology to connect and foster knowledge-exchange with creatives and change makers from the continent
  • Grow sustainable and long-term networks
  • Organise events in real life, within existing restrictions and health guidelines
  • Imagine a decolonised Wales from the perspective of minoritized communities and that of African collaborators, moving our identity from a ‘tolerant nation’ to a nation that celebrates its diversity and global cultural allies.

 

 

 

 

Open call commission for artists, creatives and activists

“Language, any language, has a dual character: it is both a means of communication and a carrier of culture”

Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʾo

About the project

Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel are inviting artists to help us explore Afro-Welsh cultural connections and explore how ideas, creativity and learning can flow between Wales and African countries without false hierarchies.

Our vision is to grow globally connected exchange of art and culture and the voices of African and Welsh creatives.

We are interested in building direct bridges between creatives, cultures and languages. We will explore hierarchies of language and explore the potential of visual, poetic and creative tools, dance and gesture to convey narratives, emotions, memories and culture.

Opportunity

We are looking for Welsh and African artists, creatives, performers or activists (individual or collective) who want to grow new networks, build connections, collaborate internationally and create new platforms to connect and share.

We will work together to develop online as well as real-life activities and art. Successful applicants will receive creative and strategic mentoring to enable them to explore new collaborations, ways of working and expression and to collaborate on the creation of new and experimental work. Importantly, they will also learn from each other.

We are looking for artists that want to be part of a journey and evolve together, rather than for completed ideas and work.

Artists are invited to work in the media of their choice. Keeping in mind the project will be showcased in Wales and African countries, toured and disseminated online and in real life, we are especially interested in art which can cross boundaries, which is digital or can exist in multiple formats.

Eligibility

Anyone from any background is able to apply. We encourage applications from artists at any stage of their careers.

In line with the aims of the project we encourage applications from people of African descent (Including diasporic communities, such as Afro-Carribean people and all those with personal or cultural ties to Africa or residing in an African Country). We are also keen to hear from Welsh speakers, and artists who identify as Welsh or are living in Wales.

Budget

Commission fee: £1500

This is a one-off fee

Small additional budgets required for production, materials, and shoots can be negotiated with creatives as required during the project.

Selection process

Proposals will be short-listed by Watch-Africa, Jukebox, the Sub-Saharan Advisory Panel and leading diaspora author Mola Eric Ngalle. We are a consortium of Black organisations and creatives based in Wales and will be looking for proposals that investigate Wales, Africa and her diverse cultures and diaspora. We are looking for proposals that resonate with the project brief, original ideas and voices and potential for collaboration between the selected artists. Short-listed artists will be interviewed before a final decision is made.

Proposed Timeline

Due to the nature of Covid 19 timelines are subject to change but, we are hoping the work will be available for display with an indicative timetable as follows:

August 2021: short-list interviews and final artist selected

September 2021: start of artist cohort meetings and workshops

October 2022: creative collaborations

2023: creative showcases in Wales and Africa

How to apply

Please send a short cover letter that outlines your ideas and interests, as well as a short introduction to yourself and your creative work to ophelia@ssap.org.uk

Please feel free to include a link to your portfolio or images and examples of your work.

If you prefer to send a video or audio recording this will also be accepted in place of a written application.

The deadline for applications is midnight GMT on Sunday 01/08/21

Additional information

We want the application process to be as equitable as possible and we pledge to make reasonable adjustments to this process in order to achieve this. Please get in touch if there are any adjustments we could make or additional support we could offer in order to help you apply. We will come up with suitable alternative options together.

This project is a collaboration between Watch Africa Cymru, SSAP and Jukebox collective funded by the Arts Council of Wales – asante/diolch for helping to build bridges.