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 racially minoritized communities and creatives 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 leading Black and African voices in Wales; we are united by our experience as African diaspora people in Wales, and share a passion for growing cultural links and mutual relationships between Wales/Cymru and the African continent. We want to tap into the potential of diasporic communities in Wales and 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.

Aims:

Black culture and creativity have always played a role in the sector, we are innovators and creators. However, too often extractive approaches to working with our communities led to art that wants to appropriate and only celebrate the fruit, but not the root of our cultures. Black art cannot be consumed apart from the struggle of our communities. We have to develop the cultural capital and ability to speak for ourselves within our communities, and to deepen understanding of Black Welsh culture across the sector. Through this project, we aim to help our communities to connect, and to flourish.

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.