By Our Reporter
The Pan-African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF) initiative will be launched in Lagos Nigeria on June 27th 2022
PANAF was established in November 2021 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.
In Nigeria SELAM has partnered with Creative Artiste Network. This partnership will allow the two organizations 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, policy support and lobbying, research, workshops, and report publication as well as monitoring, and documentation of violations, all with the goal of forming alliances for knowledge exchange and cooperative advocacy campaigns.
“This partnership 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,” Selam regional programme director Lucy Ilado said.
“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. Engaging with lawmakers on the significance of recognizing and defending the rights of all artists to create and disseminate their work without fear of retaliation is one of the things we are most looking forward to.”
The Partnership between Selam and Creative Artists Network will further strengthen the advocacy efforts of PANAF in Nigeria and the sub region. Statistics over the years has shown that there is an holistic need to address the censorship challenges encountered by creatives in film and music through their works.
The Rwandan and The Gambian chapters will also launch in the Month of June as the Nigerian launch. The PANAF chapters in Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, and Ethiopia were launched in May.