A collaboration between the British Council’s in Motion grant and the Prince Claus Fund Mobility Grant in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prince Claus Fund and the British Council have always recognised the important role that artists and cultural practitioners play in society, and how important access to networks is for the development of careers. It was with this in mind that in 2019 we launched the _in Motion Mobility Grant, to support emerging cultural practitioners from the African continent to participate in professional growth and networking opportunities. Through this initiative, we supported 59 young artists and cultural professionals to attend cultural festivals, collaborate with peers abroad, participate in artistic residencies, etc.

This year, due to the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and because we prioritise the health and safety of our partners, funding for travel had to be cancelled. For this reason, we developed the “in Motion Digital Grant”. This grant is an adaptation of our previous collaboration tailored to the needs of a post-corona cultural society, in which the digital sphere has become increasingly important as a space to network and link up with like-minded organisations and individuals. Through this initiative, we are providing support to artists and cultural practitioners to engage in or set up digital initiatives.

In a closed-call process from 52 invited creatives from Sub-Saharan Africa, 8 projects were selected by a jury of British Council and Prince Claus arts managers.

The selected projects are:

Africa Podfest - Melissa Mbugua and Josephine Karianjahi (Kenya)

Africa Podfest exists to inspire and elevate African podcasters. We organize #AfricaPodcastDay (February 12), Africa Podfest - an annual gathering on podcasting and the Unconference on Podcasting series. These events showcase developments in African podcasting, convene players in the new media ecosystem and boost the production of podcasts in the region. We also do original research on the African podcasting ecosystem. This grant will support the next Africa Podfest 2021 is on February 12, 2021.

Contemporary Nights Collective - sarah bushra & dawit set0 (Ethiopia)

a digital initiative documenting the history of exhibition-making in Addis Abeba (<30 yrs) within the field of visual and performance art. the project is directed by online research within digital archives and a series of conversations with key players in the exhibition-making and performance production sectors. our initiative culminates into an online exhibition of posters - as an entryway to a larger archive-led showcase.

Potters Gallery Initiative (Nigeria)

Creative Digital Boot Camp to build the capacity of disabled artist in Nigeria to showcase their works at Abuja International Arts Ability Festival.

Poetra Asantewa on behalf of Tampered Press (Ghana)

The Tampered Workshop is a series of creative writing workshops designed to help Ghanaian and African writers harness their writing and become more capable and confident writers. It will also serve as a platform for writers to create community - learn from one another and from established writers.

Africans in Queerantine - Kyle Malanda (Malawi) & Kwasi Darko (Ghana)

A digital exhibition in March 2021 reflecting on how the lives of queer African artists have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic one year later. The project employs a virtual reality art space that invites and prioritises the voices of African artists on societal margins. A carefully curated exhibition that explores this monumental year in human history and how it affected and continues to affect health & religion, relationships, sexuality, afro-futurism, African thought and our renewed relationship with the digital, centering queer African narratives through a wide array of mixed medias including but not limited to photography, illustration & design, painting, sound and visual artistry.

The Dry Bones Are Rising Again - Rutendo 'The Queen' Mutsamwira (Zimbabwe)

The Dry Bones Are Rising Again is a mixed -- media documentary in honour and remembrance of Charwe Nyakasikana, a Zimbabwean heroine known and revered as Mbuya Nehanda. 122 years after she was hung and 40 years after Zimbabwe attained independence, her significance and heroism remain unerasable. Produced by Rutendo Mutsamwira in partnership with Ruramai Musekiwa

ANTI-MASS (East Africa)

ANTI-MASS, a queer-feminist collective based in East Africa, will collaborate with Never Normal Records, the USA on a musical release that explores the convergences and tensions between African and Afro-Diasporic sonic practices. This project will be the first of a series of artistic projects that aim to put African and Afro-Diasporic work in conversation with each other. Four artists from Uganda will be paired with other Afro-diasporic artists and will exchange samples, field recordings, techniques, ideas and files until a robust body of sonic works is realised. The main goal of this experiment is to see what happens when black sonic priorities are centred & accelerated.  

Art Meets (South Africa)

Our Project takes place as a series of 24-hour live mapping sessions connecting artists and art spaces within Africa in an effort to populate the Art Meets app. The conversations that take place in parallel will feed into the development of our digital infrastructure.