PANAF confirms the launch dates for five countries

PANAF Launch_Web Image torsdag 5 maj 2022 / / Taggar:

The Pan-African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF) will be launched in eight African countries
between May and June 2022.

PANAF was unveiled in November 2021 by Selam in response to the need of an active and inclusive
regional voice in the creative sector that could raise awareness of incidents of artistic freedom
violations and collaborate with artistic rights advocates in regional and national advocacy efforts. The
project is being implemented with the help of other partners in Nigeria, Gambia, Mozambique,
Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia, with plans to expand to more countries and regions
in the future.

PANAF and partners will work together to develop a unified voice for artists, and cultural producers
advocating for artistic freedom in the music and film industries. The project will include capacity
building, lobbying, research, cultural policy development, workshops, conference and report
publication as well as monitoring, and documentation, all with the goal of forming alliances for
knowledge exchange and cooperative advocacy campaigns.

“In light of recent worries about artistic freedom, this is extremely vital and ambitious,” Selam
founder and executive director Teshome Wondimu said. “Music and culture serve as bearers of
identities and reflect the social fabric of our countries. Music and culture are vulnerable as a result of
their status, since they are easy to condemn and turn into targets for symbolic politics.”

“Together with our partners we shall explore every option to foster creativity and the protection of
creative works, as well as engage relevant country policy makers toward creating an enabled
environment for artists – this, we believe, is the most essential area of concern.”

Selam regional programme director Lucy Ilado said: “This network is extremely important as the
space for free thinkers on the continent continues to dwindle; artists are finding it increasingly
difficult to practise any of the creative arts that require conscious use of skill and creative imagination.
We hope to have positive conversations with legislators on the importance of respecting and
protecting the freedom of all artists to produce and disseminate their work without fear of retaliation.
We can’t celebrate African creators’ achievements across disciplines without acknowledging the works
we can’t enjoy due to censorship in the arts and the internet – or the many more works that can’t be
envisioned or made because of these restrictions.”

Below are the launch dates for May 2022

05.05.22 – Ethiopia
06.05.22 – Uganda
09.05.22 – Mozambique
11.05.22 – Zambia
12.05.22 – Kenya

Dates for June will be announced soon!

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