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Ten (10) African writers and visual artists who will bring their creative ideas to the 20th anniversary celebrations of the African Union have been selected through the AU20 Artists and Writers Residency Program.

Following an Africa-wide call, 10 successful applicants were selected for the AU20 Artists and Writers Residency Program which received nearly 1,000 submissions in response to the call for applications open under the theme AU20 “Our Africa, our future”; 392 applications were received for the writers’ residency and 602 applications for the artists’ residency.

The five winning writers will be hosted by the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, while the five visual artists will be based at Loman Art House in Dakar, Senegal for the residency program .

Residencies will give artists the time and space to develop and complete their projects while being supported by mentors, workshops, resources and organized activities. The visual artists will participate in a three-week residency at the Loman Art House in Dakar, with a public presentation of their completed works on November 19. Writers will participate in a digital residency followed by a two-week physical residency in Accra. They will present their poems and short stories at LOATAD in Accra on November 26.

The five authors are:

  • Nour Kamel an Egyptian poet and editor with a passion for exploring her country’s relationship with the continent. His poetry will explore the different and different facets of identity and how Africans intertwine across nation states.
  • Sukoluhle Nyathi a creative writer, editor and data analyst from Zimbabwe whose short story will address Africa’s economic liberation as a unifying goal for the continent.
  • Tony Mohamma a Kenyan fiction writer and journalist who wants to tell a compelling African futuristic short story that transcends generational and national boundaries on the continent.
  • TJ Benson an award-winning Nigerian novelist whose short story will interrogate the alternative structures that have sprung up across the continent in response to COVID-19 and how they can provide relief in anticipation of future world events.
  • Musih Tedji Xaviere an award-winning Cameroonian writer whose short story is a futuristic piece that portrays Africa as a global superpower.

The five visual artists are:

  • Eza Komla a Togolese multidisciplinary artist whose work explores climate change and the valorization of waste into artistic masterpieces.
  • Ronald Odur an award-winning Ugandan artist who will use aluminum printing plates, copper wires and acrylics to create a sculpture that expresses the complexity of social and political interactions in Africa.
  • Natnael Ashebir an Ethiopian visual artist who uses painting, digital art, drawing and photography to explore urbanization and social structures.
  • Lerato Motaung a South African artist who uses the intangible to weave together the familiar and the imaginary to create a personal and intuitive evocation of the continent’s history.
  • Senami Donoumassoufrom Benin, which will use photograms, drawings and protean installations to explore identity, memory, heritage and history.

The AU20 residency program is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which has partnered with the African Union to support various initiatives to celebrate the implementation of African Union mandates and programs in the over the organization’s 20 years of operation.

Ms. Leslie Richer, Director of Information and Communications at the African Union, said: “The AU20 Artists and Writers Residency Program is an exciting part of celebrating the history of our organization because it puts forth the voices of those whom society has charged. with the preservation, celebration and amplification of the diversity of our African culture and heritage through their talent and creative skills, and also ensures their inclusion in the promotion of aspiration 5 of the development framework of Africa Agenda 2063, which envisages “an Africa with a strong cultural identity, a common heritage, shared values ​​and ethics.

Mr. Jide Okeke, Regional Program Coordinator at UNDP Africa, said, “Storytellers and creatives contribute to socio-economic development. They remind us of our collective history, reflect current realities and inspire the future. So we welcome creative voices as part of the AU20 celebrations. By developing creativity, we also create sustainable development for Africa.

The AU20 Artists and Writers Residency Program will culminate in a published anthology and exhibition at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, creating a platform for their work to be seen by leaders of African state and government as well as other African and international dignitaries. , citizens and visitors who frequent the AU Headquarters.

Distributed by APO Group for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Media Contact:
Michelle Mendi Muita,
UNDP, Regional Program Communication Specialist
[email protected]

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For more information:
Ms Faith Ochieng,
Communication Officer – Agenda 2063 Information and Communication Directorate
African Union Commission
E-mail: [email protected]
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Department of information and communication,
African Union Commission
E-mail: [email protected]
The Web: www.au.int
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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