During 2019 this fund supported six Welsh film, theatre and dance artists and arts organisations to travel to countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The countries they visited included Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
The visits helped to strengthen existing relationships between Welsh and Sub-Saharan Africa artists and arts organisations, to forge new connections and to promote understanding of the arts sector in Wales and Sub Saharan Africa.
In total 55 meetings took place across the six trips, with 85 new connections.
Many of these connections continue, new projects are being planned or already underway and there are many future possibilities.
Find out more about the projects
Cardiff Dance Festival: Senegal
In June 2019 Chris Ricketts from Cardiff Dance Festival travelled to Senegal to learn more about the dance scene in West Africa, its cross-sectoral influences and how these could enrich a choreographic lab and residency. He also met with potential collaborative partners and met with artists and choreographers that might take part in the choreographic lab and residency, either in their home nation or Wales.
The visit will help to shape the programme for Cardiff Dance Festival, which brings together dancers from around the world to perform at venues across Cardiff.
Griot Creative: Kenya
In March 2019 Hywel George from Cardiff based Griot Creative, an ethical film production and communications consultancy, visited Kenya. While there he learnt more about the creative sector, enhanced his knowledge of the country, and developed workshop ideas with partners and Kenyan artists: Babu Gee Omoisi Omong'are and MC Miggy Echambioni.
Griot Creative and their partners continue to pursue other film and media projects, including a new green impact investment opportunity that will create a sustainable model of development funding in Kenya. They also hope develop a musical collaboration project with their Kenyan partners,
Hide Productions: Nigeria
In spring 2019, Paul Whittaker and Tamsin Griffiths from Hide Productions travelled to Nigeria to learn more about the arts and education sector, Nigerian theatre and storytelling culture, and also to share their expertise and forge new connections with potential collaborators.
While in Nigeria they worked with Letterworks, a drama and storytelling organisation that offer creative writing and reading skill tutoring to children, young people and adults to help them tell their stories powerfully and effectively. They led a creative writing and physical movement workshop for children, and delivered youth drama training to Letterworks staff
Tamsin and Paul are hoping to work with Letterworks on a new project with young people in Nigeria.
Jukebox Collective: Ghana
Jukebox is a creative company based in Cardiff that delivers street dance education, performance and consultancy.
Jukebox were drawn to Accra, the capital of Ghana, because of its dramatic diversity and energy and wanted to meet potential collaborators, reconnect with existing contacts and create more connections between Wales and Africa.
They also wanted to explore the inclusion of a range of African dance styles and concepts into their work. They would like to stimulate a growing interest in Afrobeat and African dance in Wales and raise more awareness in Ghana about the cultural and creative developments in Wales.
They also aimed to challenge obstacles, such as obstructive immigration arrangements and visa requirements, that prevent dancers from Africa from travelling out of the continent and thus improving their craft.
While in Accra they met with over 15 individuals and organisations, that will enrich both sides and to make cross-pollination between cultures possible.
Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis: South Africa
Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis, based in Cardiff, are leading practitioners of theatre for babies and children. They visited South Africa to spend time with Play Africa, a social enterprise which works with children, and other programmes like Drama for Life and Market Theatre Laboratory.
While in South Africa, they spent a week in Gauteng Province to lay the groundwork for setting up an international project with ASSITEJ South Africa, part of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. The project will help to develop early years’ theatre and theatre for babies and enable practitioners to use their combined skills and expertise to mentor the next generation of theatre makers and to help them develop their practice.
Watch Africa Cymru: Tanzania and Kenya
Watch Africa Cymru is Wales’ annual African Film festival. In 2019, Watch Africa Cymru visited Kenya, and Tanzania to meet with their partners to develop a collaborative project called Safari Tatu which means three journeys in English.
Funded by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa Programme, Safari Tatu is a youth-led collaborative film production exploring what ‘coming of age’ can mean in Kenya, Tanzania and Wales. Working with Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania and Tuwatch Sinema in Kenya, they are training young people to produce three short films which will be made into a feature-length film exploring the similarities and differences in how young people in different places undertake their journeys into adulthood.