the great african caravan
(GAC)

 

our philosophy

Considering changes, issues and challenges in the last decades as well as current events, borders in the physical and mental sense seem present everywhere. More important than ever it is now to connect humans beyond borders, to communicate and understand and respect each other. We however believe in a world that goes beyond borders of genders, ages, and ethnicities where people live together with empathy and love; a world where care and harmony are recognised and practiced as basic human needs regardless of the challenges or individual backgrounds. To bring us closer to this imagined world we strive towards, this project will use art as a tool to jointly stimulate dialogue-facilitation, conflict-resolution, and peace-building.

Collaborating with local institutions, social organisations, local artists as well as youth groups here is central to the process not only to design the efforts as inclusive, interdisciplinary, and versatile as possible, but also as we recognise the importance of centralising the work around the wisdom, knowledge, and ways of solutions locally and regionally present.

To incorporate the diversity of participants in this project, a common language is needed. Art as one of the most inclusive, holistic, and non-violent languages will thus be explored. Art in itself is a celebration of human capabilities. It enriches our lives and gives relief from its pragmatism. It helps to transcend the miseries of daily life and takes to the heights we aspire to reach. It is a medium to communicate ideas and beliefs, joys and sorrows, hopes and despair; it adds an extra dimension to our existence altogether. It is a tool to facilitate dialogue between communities, it is an instrument of interexchange of cultures and ideas, it is a way of communicating.

In light of current challenges it is the more important, by now even substantially significant, to find a way, a language to connect humans beyond borders and to communicate their views, issues, ideas, solutions, thoughts, and perspectives. What better way is there to directly connect with others than through traveling and diving into the new? Travel transforms the unexplored into mainstays of knowledge; it widens the horizons of thoughts and ideas; it boosts the exchange of culture and tradition; it helps to converse with the world; it merges our traces to that of humankind; it is one of the best ways for spreading message to masses; and it enables culture in its richest expressions to be shared and learned from. In short, it is an effective and outstanding way of connecting humans beyond borders.

This combination of art, travel, and social change is the center, the heart of this project while connecting beyond borders remains the leading aim.

 

Partners

UNESCO

Youth United Nations Organisation Tanzania

Youth United Nations Organisation Zimbabwe

United Nations Youth Association of Kenya

National Youth Council Botswana

Africa Unite

Commonwealth Youth Council

Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassador Network

African Artist for Peace Initiative (AAPI)

Theatre Company of Kenya

Pawa254

Soundz of South

Roots of Mozambique

REMI East Africa

Youth and Cultural Ministries of different countries

Theatre without Borders

Fekat Circus

Zimbabwe Poets for
Human Rights

Earuyan Solutions

How do we work?

In short, GAC will work on a number of SDGs by building an active & conscious artistic network and raising awareness among communities through dialogue creation and creative actions.

The project as a whole promotes and works towards peace, equality, and human rights. The Caravan will also meet with humanitarian organisations, youth groups and local artists in every country to work collaboratively on one contextually significant SDG in the respective country. GAC will then organise youth workshops, dialogues, and panel discussions focused on these themes. Additionally, we will create artworks that promote and raise awareness about SDGs in collaboration with local artists and community members on/throughout the journey.

GAC and the Global Goals

Throughout the journey the project aims to work towards the sustainable development goals and goal 4.7 particularly in various ways. Concretely, the GAC project will work on a number of SDGs mainly through dialogue creation, active sustainable action, and awareness raising. More specifically, the project as a whole promotes and works towards peace, equality, and human rights. In addition to that, in each country the Caravan will go to, a humanitarian organization, youth groups, and local artists will meet with the GAC team and work collaboratively on one contextually significant SGD. Concretely, youth workshops will be held, dialogues will be initiated, and panel discussions organized on the concrete SDGs while parallely artistic works will collaboratively be created to locally and internationally raise awareness and spread knowledge on the topic.

What are the objectives?

  • Expand the knowledge and conversation on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) into creative spaces

  • Seeking alternative bottom-up solutions to the global goals through using the arts

  • Increasing the exposure of local initiatives and solution approaches

  • Building an SDG focused network of artists

  • Enabling youth with skills for local problem solving and sustainable social change

  • Inspiring a culture of peace and action towards the SDGs in local communities

  • Re-emphasising the power of art and the role of artists in development

  • Promoting approaches to sustainable travels

How does this work in the 12 countries?

SDG per country

South Africa: Gender Equality and Reducing Inequality

Mozambique: Climate Action

Zimbabwe: Peace, Justice and Strong Institution

Zambia: Zero Poverty

Malawi: Reduce Inequalities

Tanzania: Industry, innovation, and and infrastructure

Rwanda: Good Health and Wellbeing

Uganda: Good Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Cities & Communities

Kenya: Life on Land, Climate Action

Ethiopia: Gender Equality

Sudan: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Egypt: Gender Equality, Peace, Justice & Strong Institution

GAC in practice

In each country, GAC will collaborate with at least 3 entities:

  1. Local humanitarian organisations which are responsible for deciding the locally specific SDG and guiding GAC in its approach to work towards that SDG.

  2. Local youth groups and communities who can benefit from the workshops and artistic work that GAC will realise in collaboration.

  3. Local artists which will engage in artistically discussing the local topic in collaboration with GAC.

Together these entities aim to:

  • Create dialogue. For that relevant organisations and stakeholders will furthermore be involved.

  • Raise awareness of the specific SDG and concerning topics related to it such as global citizenship. Creative collaborative engagements will be the means for that.

  • Work on community building and problem solving.

  • Train youth through workshops to ensure a sustainable engagement with the local SDG.

How do we do that?

With our artistic projects

The Lost Boy:

A comic and satire based stage theater production showcasing the journey of a young boy swimming through the pool of socioeconomic-cultural discrimination the society offers in its course.

The Forum Space:

Forum theater, a form of participatory art pioneered by Brazilian artist Augusto Boal, will be used as a tool to create a safe space for engaging with issues relevant to the audience with an effort to explore possible approaches to solutions.

Behind the Mask

A photo series fighting stereotypes and celebrating human diversity beyond the exteriors.

Documentary, A filmy way

  • The story of Yllka: Journey of a young artist hailing from Kosovo, a nation just out of war and independent since 2008, as she travels across borders of various nations.

  • The Story of the Great African Caravan: Capturing moments of human interactions beyond cultural, linguistics and other barriers to weave a picture of the possibility of a War-free, non-violent world where borders are just something to pass by.

  • Unchained: A series of documentaries celebrating human solidarity through collecting and sharing stories of passion, love, and efforts of people to build a peaceful and prosperous world.

Between Panels

This project will capture the journey through Comic Journalism, a medium providing the freedom to express complex situations in simple, engaging and easy-to-understand ways.

Beyond the Wall

A wall of expression which brings people (local artists, students, community people) together to work with hands, to immerse in the beauty of color, be in touch with their vulnerable self and experience the melting of borders standing between individuals and communities while painting stories on the wall.

Poetry

The personal experience of the journey as well as of the poetry workshops will be documented in the form of poetry.

Music Without Borders

This project is an inclusive and collaborative project between 3 artists from Uganda and Argentina that will use poetry, music and songs with social contents and topics related to sustainable development goals as a way to create dialogue and raise awareness.

Workshops

In each country along the way, GAC will, in collaboration with its partner organisations, be designing and implementing a series of workshops focusing on using art (theatre, wall art, music, poetry, photography etc.) as a peacebuilding tool, especially for youth.