Sawti, derived from the Arabic and Kiswahili for ‘my voice’, intends to connect East African artists to their counterparts in the diaspora through conversation and collaboration. The project aims to create art that positions itself within the long-standing traditions of language and locale within East Africa; focusing particularly on Sudanese and Tanzanian art. The work created by writers and visual artists will interrogate what it means to be East African locally whilst considering the multi-lingual heritage that remains evident within the shifts across national and cultural borders.
Produced and programmed by Sumia Jaama, Sawti is working in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library, Nafasi Art Space, Roundhouse, Dar es Salaam Architectural Heritage, Dhow Countries of Music Academy, SOMA Book Cafe, Zanzibar Film Festival amongst many others. The work created and developed in these workshops, alongside online submissions, will be published in a multi-lingual zine to be available (both digitally and physically) Autumn 2019.
Founded by Sumia Jaama and Momtaza Mehri. Sawti is funded and supported by the ‘British Council’s East Africa Arts’ Programme. Under the programmes, New Art, New Audiences grant an open call for 18-35 year old artists, art organisations and art collectives from cities within England, Ethiopia, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Scotland, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Wales.