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September 18 2015

Artwatch Africa Ambassadors Artists Committed to Freedom of Expression

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No Freedom, No Expression!


Arterial Network and its Artwatch Africa project will bring together committed artists for the launch of its Artwatch Africa Ambassadors project.   


Arterial Network is a dynamic, pan-African civil society network comprising artists, activists, organisations and institutions engaged in the African creative sector. 


Artwatch Africa

Set up in 2013, the Artwatch Africa Project has as main objective to promote and protect artists' rights and freedom of expression in Africa.  During the year 2014, Arterial Network trained over 300 artists and cultural activists on artists' rights through its Artwatch Africa project. These 3 days of training served as an opportunity for various actors of the artistic and cultural sector to debate on issues relating to Human Rights but more importantly to discuss the stakes and challenges which artists must address when practising their profession.


12 musicians are coming together to workshop issues pertaining to artistic rights and freedom of expression. Didier Awadi (Senegal), Ade Bantu (Nigeria), Zeynab Abib (Benin), Soum Bill (Cote d'Ivoire), artists of the Balai Citoyen led by Smockey from Burkina Faso, Alif Naaba (Burkina Faso), Josey Priscille (Cote d'Ivoire), Phéno Bi (Niger), Master Soumi (Mali), Sissao (Burkina Faso) and Mareshal Zongo (Ivory Coast) will be collaborating for the first time to outline common aims and strategies when championing freedom of artistic and creative expression on the continent.


From 4 to 5 March 2015, these artists, called "Artwatch Africa Ambassadors", will set up a focus group and try to identify the challenges to be overcome so that artists be considered, heard and respected as such on the continent. The aim of this meeting is to reinforce presence and involvement in the struggle for freedom of creative and artistic expression on the continent and to also provide them with tools that will assist in the defence of freedom of expression such as interviews, concerts, their grassroots presence and field action.


This 2-day session will be concluded with a concert by Smockey as he launches his latest album. Smockey will be leading with his fellow hip-hoppers, members of the "Balai Citoyen" (Citizen Broom collective), during an exclusive concert scheduled for 5 March, in the ruins the National Assembly of Ouagadougou.


This historic workshop will give the Artwatch Africa Ambassadors a unique opportunity to unite their voices and record song on freedom of expression, an initiative of Didier Awadi.


It is well worth noting that these artists aren’t solely dedicated to freedom of expression, but are consistently committed in their contribution to the artistic and cultural sectors for a prosperous ECOWAS region.

See likk for more details:


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