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African Cultural Fund makes new call for funding for African artists

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of African Cultural Fund (ACF) has launched its 11th call for proposals from cultural operators and practitioners across the continent.

The exercise is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to support professionalism in the creative and cultural sectors of 54 African countries.

Earlier this year, the ACF announced a selection of 31 African artists under the ‘Special Covid-19/Individual Artists’ grant.

However, this new funding window is primarily aimed at individuals and registered companies in the performing arts, film production, audiovisual and visual arts that have been greatly impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Hamed Adedeji, a Lagos-based photographer and documentary filmmaker, said supporting African artists by African sponsors is essential in telling the story of Africa. Adedeji pointed out that this is important in building cultural capital for Africans.

“There is always an agenda for any international organization that comes up and artists need to play the game to some extent,” added Adedeji.

Abolore Sobayo, a recent applicant for the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, shares a similar sentiment with Adedeji.

“ACF looks for projects that have positive stories because many of the stories you hear about Africa are not from Africans.”

Quoting the hunter and lion analogy, Sobayo casually said that if you only hear it from hunters, hunting proverbs will always be one-sided.


he said: “ACF is trying to bring our storytelling through an African perspective to a global audience, which is very interesting.”

Sobayo runs the Jelosinmi Art Center in central Lagos, where she hosts book readings for prominent Nigerian authors.

He also organizes artistic exhibitions and curates creative works.

African Cultural Fund

In solidarity with artists at various stages of their careers, the African Cultural Fund will seek interest in original proposals related to artistic creation or innovation projects, and proposals involving the physical or digital dissemination of projects in Africa. I have.

The call, which closes on September 22nd, has a budget cap of €8,000 per project and is available in English and French.

All successful applicants are expected to complete their project within four to six months after receiving the grant.

Anne-Marie Aplogan (Benin)

Sobayo said he plans to apply for a grant. He says he is considering submitting a proposal for a memory bank called ‘Kolo’, which draws inspiration from traditional clay and was used to save money in ancient times.

He says Africans have a lot of oral narration about history and culture that needs to be properly archived.

In addition to preserving Nigerian oral traditions, Sobayo also encourages the continued use of African languages ​​in everyday speech and incorporates them into contemporary artistic expression to help end African languages. want to prevent it from happening.

“There are issues associated with decolonizing our minds,” he concluded. “We teach a foreign language as the first language, which may kill our local language in a few years.”

for the love of writing

Sobayo says it is imperative to thank the writers who have written Nigerian stories, documented our present and perhaps prepared for our future.

He explained that writers need a space to share their creativity, and affirmed that engaging these writers should make them feel special.

Read also: South Africa’s Best 2022 Amapiano Artists

Recent invitees to his reading events included famous authors such as Samuel Osadze, Laura Awaranti Ekgo, Femi Morgan and Cora Tumbosun.

The Jelosinmi Art Center’s philanthropic department aims to bridge the gap between authors and readers, especially those from poor backgrounds.

Outside of her fashion career, Sobayo began her artistic journey in her second year of school by founding a creative clothing company and has been involved in various international cultural initiatives.

In 2019, she completed her Art Residency at United World College in Phuket, Thailand.

Sobayo’s art has been installed and exhibited in Lagos, New York and Helsinki. His flair for bright colors soon caught the eye of Nigerian celebrities, and their patronage took him far beyond the coast of Yorubaland.

He once represented Nigeria at an international trade fair in Dakar, Senegal. He has carved out a niche for his company through his contemporary use of indigenous fabrics. Adire quickly became the brand’s signature, and over time he not only used it to create wearable outfits, but grew into fabric design and production.

Maria Siga (Senegal)

Sobayo now runs training seminars and hands-on workshops for young people and students during the long summer holidays. His business expanded further. He designs and produces avant-garde costumes for cultural institutions, theater producers, and related aesthetic performances.

“The African Cultural Fund is focused on Africa and the African continent and seeks to use its funds to advance innovative projects.”

Sobayo makes further comments comparing methodologies. “Loeb’s fellowship focuses on the United States and other people doing creative things around the world. Doing so may exclude Africa,” he added.

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