New Narratives is a five-year programme that contributes to updating narratives of countries of Africa and the UK. We achieve this through a series of activities that stimulate dialogue and foster beneficial collaborations in arts, culture, and education.
To inform the programme's design, we commissioned M&C Saatchi World Services to undertake some research. This investigated perceptions and stereotypical narratives of countries of Africa and the UK, and how it affects UK - Africa relations. Employing evidence and recommendations from the research, we designed the programme around four guiding principles:
- Diversity: We will amplify and support narratives that demonstrate the diverse realities across the countries of Africa and the UK, prioritising race/ethnicity, gender, social class, and language.
- Mutuality: We will prioritise peer-to-peer engagement among young people all through the programme's cycle.
- Co-creation: The programme will use a ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ approach. This essentially means that we will engage and listen to young people at all stages of the programme.
- Partnerships: This will be at the heart of the delivery model. We will explore and secure a range of partnerships delivery.
The programme so far:
Last year, we brought together 39 young people from countries of Africa and the UK to take part in an experimental lab. The basis of the lab was to encourage collaboration and peer-to-peer learning between young people from both places. And expected outcomes tied around influencing new connections and reciprocal insights of both places.
We tasked participants with examining issues of outdated narratives between countries of Africa and the UK and prototyping solutions to develop plural and diverse narratives.
Youth Advisory Board
We have selected eight outstanding young people from countries of Africa and the UK to serve on the Youth Advisory Board. They will provide advice, insight, and recommendations on matters relevant to the programme.
We have partnered with Africa No Filter to amplify youth voices and promote diverse narratives.
Africa No Filter is working to shift harmful and stereotypical narratives about and within countries of Africa through research, grant-making, and advocacy. They empower narrative change-makers by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns.
We will deliver a series of online and offline activities open to young people from countries of Africa and the UK in the coming months. Check out the New Narratives creative video challenge for a chance to win £500.
Keep in touch
Keep checking back for our latest updates. You can also get opportunities and updates sent straight to your inbox when you sign up for our newsletter.
If you are interested in getting involved with the New Narratives project, please get in touch New.Narratives@britishcouncil.org