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Mobility Think Tank 2010
In the five years that followed its launch as the first arts mobility operator in Africa in July 2005, AMA allocated over 350 grants to artists and cultural operators active in African civil society. Through its support for a wide range of quality projects across sectors and disciplines, AMA not only became the key reference for mobility on the continent, it gathered a substantial amount of insight and information on the actuality of the African creative sector and on the complex reality that attaches to arts mobility.
In order to assimilate these insights and to channel them toward the strengthening of its own policy and action, AMA held the first African Mobility Think Tank in Tangiers, Morocco on 26, 27, and 28 November 2010. Structured as a two-day workshop, the Think Tank brought together fifteen cultural practitioners and professionals who are important stakeholders in the field of mobility, and opened the floor for them to discuss key issues, questions and challenges affecting arts mobility in Africa. Covering a wide range of topics, from visa questions to cultural policy to new information technologies, the six working sessions gave participants the opportunity to reflect on the fund’s first five years of connecting bridges in the African arts and culture sector, to collect and assimilate recommendations, and to nurture plans and perspectives for AMA’s future.
More specifically, the objectives of the Think Tank were the following:
1- Identifying and addressing the benefits of artistic mobility, as well as the issues, needs, and obstacles impeding its development, by:
• Analyzing current opportunities for and challenges to artistic mobility in Africa
• Documenting good practices in mobility within Africa, as well as good models existing elsewhere
• Devising concrete actions for enhancing and supporting mobility within Africa
2- Communicating the needs of artistic mobility within Africa to stakeholders on both the African and international levels, by:
• Bringing into focus the value and constructive role of artistic mobility in the creative African sector
• Raising the awareness of cultural practitioners and stakeholders about the transversal role of mobility
• Addressing mainstream mobility on the African policy level
• Creating an action plan for mobility addressed to AMA, pan-African bodies, individual practitioners and organizations, national and international institutions and funders.
The discussions held during the Think Tank not only allowed AMA to re-structure and re-focus its existing programmes, they also gave it the impetus to push forward with new initiatives that have been key in strengthening the ground for mobility in Africa. Indeed, some concrete outcomes of the Think Tank include: the launch of AMA’s new website (http://www.artmovesafrica.org/), the development of the Mobility Hub Africa (http://www.mobilityhubafrica.org/), and the development of reflections on measures to study and strengthen mobility and touring in East Africa, among others.
For more information on the Think Tank, please consult the links below: