Arterial Network’s Artwatch Africa programme aims to assert, promote and defend artist rights and freedom of creative expression for artists and cultural practitioners in Africa. The Artwatch Africa project is premised on the understanding that freedom of expression is an essential condition for creative practice in the arts, and that to promote freedom of expression is to advance democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms on the continent.

Freedom of creative expression is only one dimension of artist rights; the broader  vision of Artwatch Africa is to (1) empower artists and cultural practitioners and (2) influence government thinking and society perceptions around artist rights, firstly as an extrapolation of human rights and in terms of relevant conventions, and secondly, for the establishing of an enabling environment for democratic arts practice in Africa – this refers to a broad spectrum of structural conditions in the arts and culture sectors such as equitable access to resources and opportunity, provision of infrastructure, intellectual property, legal support mechanisms, a proper place for culture in formal and informal education systems, acknowledgement of the diversity of cultural and artistic expressions and recognition of the intrinsic value of arts and culture in our societies. 

AuthorCato Litangen