The Pan African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF) has launched its own website where artists and other cultural professionals can stay up to date on its latest activities, which include research, capacity building, lobbying, and advocacy for the advancement of artistic rights.
The website, which is available at www.panaf.org, is a digital platform for African artists to participate in social-political discussions
without fear of repression as well as to network and exchange ideas.
PANAF in a statement said it will also use the platform to share information, including violations of artistic rights, and to promote socially conscious artists and content that is unlikely to be supported by
The website has a user-friendly browsing experience and includes five key sections:
- The About section, provides a summary of the PANAF project and its partners.
- The Project section contains detailed information about activities and publications that have been carried out in all of the focus countries. This section will also support studies and research from other organizations with a similar interest
in the subject matter.
- The Chatroom section, which is a space for creatives to hold discussions about artistic rights, good governance, and other
social political issues without fear of being profiled.
- The In-focus section features interviews with artists on topics ranging from their work to the state of affairs in their respective countries.
- The Membership section, which through free registration, will grow into a pan-African network of artists, civil society
organizations and culture producers across all art forms and organizations.
PANAF was unveiled in November 2021 by Selam with the support of the Swedish Arts Council 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.
The project is being implemented with the help of partner organizations working in the culture and civil society space from Nigeria, Gambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda,
Selam founder and executive director Teshome Wondimu said that the network will enable them to build membership as a solidarity movement that is much needed on the continent.
“Once we have strong membership on the platform from the national level, it will be very easy to mobilize lobbying and advocacy campaigns,” he said adding,
“The network may appear to be a simple act of solidarity however, the impact can be enormous. We are confident that we can take this lobbying to the regional level, and that in the future, any artist who becomes a victim will not have to fight for their rights alone, thanks to the network.”