Nim BJ

Sawti, derived from the Arabic and Kiswahili for ‘my voice’, connects East African artists to their counterparts in the diaspora through conversation and collaboration. The project created art that positions itself within the long-standing traditions of language and locale within East Africa; focusing particularly on Sudanese and Tanzanian art. The work created by writers and visual artists will interrogate what it means to be East African locally whilst considering the multi-lingual heritage that remains evident within the shifts across national and cultural borders.

Produced and programmed by Sumia Jaama, Sawti is working in partnership with Nafasi Art Space, Roundhouse, Dar es Salaam Architectural Heritage, Dhow Countries of Music Academy, SOMA Book Cafe, Zanzibar Film Festival,  Autograph ABP, The Muse amongst many others. The work created and developed in these workshops, alongside online submissions is now available in our digital zine as well as a physical zine and includes poems, illustrations, pictures, videos and audio.

The physical copies were available at the launches in London, Zanzibar and Khartoum. 

Watch the Sawti Film shot by Amaal Said and Sumia Juxun in Tanzania to learn more about the artists, workshops and poems from this project.

Momtaza Mehri (SN), and Sumia Juxun (UK) collaborated and worked with artists to create art in workshops, at universities, galleries, libraries, bookshops and cultural centres, that will allow the artists to engage with art and resources available at these facilities then publish them in zine and digital forms. This collaboration will include R. A. P Party, Free Word Centre, Glasgow Women's Library, Dar es Salaam Centre for Architectural Heritage, Nafasi Art Space, Dhow Countries Music Academy, British Library and The Poetry Translation Centre. Zanzibar International Film Festival, Autograph Gallery

The British Council has awarded SAWTI the new Art new Audiences grant

The Literature team in the UK work together with the arts managers in British Council offices in more than 100 countries around the world to create programmes that help to build those important connections and increase mutual knowledge and understanding. We work with individuals and organisations from all parts of the UK literature sector and their international counterparts. Each programme is different, tailored to the priorities of the cultural relation of the country, but in all our programmes we focus on creating international opportunities for emerging and mid-list writers; building an international network for the next generation of literature producers; raising awareness of UK literature areas of strength that are less well known abroad.

Are you interested in Literature? Find out more about our work in literature here.