April 1, 2023

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African writers and visual artists to celebrate 20 years of the African Union

Addis Ababa, 15 September 2022: Ten talented pan-Africanist writers and visual artists will help the African Union mark 20 years of leading the continent’s development, unity, and peace.

A partnership between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a call for applications to ensure creative voices find a space in the public awareness campaign marking the 20th anniversary of the AU, known as AU20.

Under the theme “Our Africa, Our Future”, two residency programmes powered by Africa No Filter will offer the space, time, resources and support needed to produce a broad spectrum of fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry, as well as paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, digital art, video and graffiti.

Visual artists will be hosted at the Loman Art Gallery in Dakar, Senegal, while the writers will be hosted at the Library of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana. Residencies are scheduled to take place in November 2022 and are open to African citizens from all member states of the African Union. 

In this regard, Leslie Richer, Director of Information and Communications at the AU Commission, said, “The writers and artists will depict their vision of the continent or their country within the context of the successes of the AU in its 20-year history. They will also show how art and literature have, and can play, a role in fostering African prosperity, integration and peace.”

The artistic outcomes of the residencies will be featured in two public events to showcase and discuss the written and visual works, an e-book anthology as well as an exhibition at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

They will also be amplified through the African Union’s digital platforms. 

Jide Okeke, Regional Programme Coordinator at UNDP Africa, said: “The AU20 project is in line with the African Union vision of elevating citizen voices in the continental and global arenas in pursuit of sustainable development. Storytellers and artists have the power to connect citizens to institutions. We hope this partnership with the AU will bring the African Union closer to the African people.” 

Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter, said: “Africa’s creative community is one of its most influential. We’re excited to work with artists to ensure that African creative voices are properly heard and reflected in all activities marking the 20th anniversary of the AU.” 

Apply for the residency programmes: 

The application deadline is 30 September 2022. 

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