The work created by writers 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. The art created will be collated in a zine through a submission basis in which artist will be given the opportunity to further explore these themes in workshop settings and readings at festivals and radio stations.
SWATI aims to create art that positions itself within the long-standing traditions of language and local in Tanzania and Sudan. They will ground their workshops in Swahili and Sudanese poetry alongside diaspora East African voices, highlighting the linguistic and stylistic diversity of the region's poetics. The forms explored will range from ushairi poetry (derived from the Arabic shi'ir) to utenzi and colloquial verse. From Shabaan bin Robert (often called the father of Swahili poetry) -to Taban Lo Liyong Mahjoub Sharif and Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, they will use poets to celebrate East African poetics as both a set of traditions and a window into questions of national identity and belonging.
They will publish the work created and inspired by the workshops in a zine (through submissions basis) that will be run in Libraries, cultural centres, galleries, Universities, Art and Literature Festivals and local book shops to pay homage and support the local communities of the artists.
Momtaza Mehri (SN), and Sumia Juxun (UK) will collaborate and work 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 SWATI 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.
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