Art Moves Africa – Retracing Roots and Tracing New Routes: Mobility and Touring in North Africa

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

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9<br />

Introduction<br />

IN —<br />

TRO —<br />

DUC —<br />

TION<br />

<strong>Art</strong> <strong>Moves</strong> <strong>Africa</strong> (AMA) is an <strong>in</strong>ternational notfor-profit<br />

organisation that aims to facilitate cultural<br />

<strong>and</strong> artistic exchanges with<strong>in</strong> the <strong>Africa</strong>n<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ent. AMA offers travel grants to artists<br />

<strong>and</strong> cultural practitioners liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>Africa</strong> to travel with<strong>in</strong> the <strong>Africa</strong>n cont<strong>in</strong>ent <strong>in</strong><br />

order to engage <strong>in</strong> the exchange of <strong>in</strong>formation,<br />

the enhancement of skills, the development of <strong>in</strong>formal<br />

networks <strong>and</strong> the pursuit of cooperation.<br />

AMA was first launched as a program<br />

by the Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF) <strong>and</strong> a<br />

group of <strong>Africa</strong>n organizations. It was designed<br />

to facilitate <strong>and</strong> encourage the mobility of artists<br />

<strong>and</strong> cultural operators with<strong>in</strong> the <strong>Africa</strong>n cont<strong>in</strong>ent.<br />

In 2001, YATF participated <strong>in</strong> meet<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong><br />

Egypt, Kenya <strong>and</strong> Zimbabwe, together with different<br />

organizations <strong>and</strong> cultural activists from<br />

<strong>Africa</strong> <strong>and</strong> the Arab world. The meet<strong>in</strong>gs were<br />

aimed at l<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g organizations <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>dividuals,<br />

<strong>and</strong> creat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formal cont<strong>in</strong>ent-wide networks.<br />

The participants agreed that one of the major<br />

obstacles for artists <strong>and</strong> cultural professionals<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong> was the persistent lack of funds specifically<br />

allocated to support travel. AMA was<br />

launched <strong>in</strong> July 2005.<br />

Over the last 14 years, AMA has allocated<br />

809 grants to artists <strong>and</strong> art practitioners<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>. A wide range of<br />

projects has thus been implemented to develop<br />

the <strong>Africa</strong>n creative sector. AMA has produced<br />

regular evaluations <strong>and</strong> collected statistics of<br />

applications received <strong>and</strong> of grants allocated to<br />

<strong>Africa</strong>n cultural practitioners. Moreover, it has<br />

commissioned <strong>and</strong> published three studies on<br />

mobility <strong>and</strong> tour<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> East (2011/2015) <strong>and</strong><br />

Central <strong>Africa</strong> (2015), as well as a guide to cultural<br />

mobility fund<strong>in</strong>g opportunities to/from <strong>Africa</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> collaboration with On the Move (2015/2018).<br />

These <strong>in</strong>itiatives have helped AMA to develop<br />

its <strong>in</strong>terventions as a grant-mak<strong>in</strong>g organization<br />

<strong>and</strong> to identify needs with<strong>in</strong> the <strong>Africa</strong>n artistic<br />

mobility sector.

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