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The British Council is calling for applications to its Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) Cultural Exchange Program 2021. If you are an artist, art organization, arts professional, or creative sector researcher, you are invited to apply.

This program is intended to drive cultural exchange between the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the United Kingdom. Through it, the British Council intends to build new narratives between countries in SSA and the UK, and support professionals engaged in the arts across the region.

The targets of this program are individuals and organizations working in Architecture, Design and Fashion, Film, Literature, Music, Theater and Dance, and Visual Art.

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Individuals and organizations in the fields listed above can apply for grants in one of three categories:

Research: Grants to research the creative sectors between the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and publish research outcomes in a blog, photoblog, event, diary, or film. Grants of up to 5,000 are available to partnerships for this.

New Connections: Grants that support collaborations between artists, art professionals, and their partners in Sub Saharan Africa and the UK. This particularly targets individuals and organizations that haven’t previously worked internationally and are open to making new connections. Grants of between 5,000 and 10,000 are available to partnerships for this.

New Art Co-Creation: Grants that support collaborative projects on a larger scale. This targets individuals and organizations that have already worked with their partners. The grant will support public-facing projects. Grants between 20,000 and 30,000 are available for this.


•Applications from artists, festivals, cultural professionals, and creative sector researchers are welcome

•Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years

•Projects involving or working with women or the disabled will receive special attention; projects not I this category are also welcome

•Art forms covered include Visual Arts, Literature, Film (including Gaming, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality), Music, Theater and Dance, Architecture, Fashion, and Design

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One partner (based in the UK or Sub-Saharan Africa) can apply on the partnership’s behalf by filling an online application form on the British Council website.

The deadlines for the three grant categories are as follows:

New Connections: 8 September 2021

New Art Co-creation:  8 September 2021

Research: Rolling applications until 1 February 2022

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview which will take place at the end of September 2021.

Successful applicants will be contacted by the end of October 2021, and all candidates will be notified of their application status in November 2021.

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This article was first published on 11th August 2021


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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