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African Women Playwrights Network talks digital

The 2018 African Theatre Association (AFTA) International Conference was organised to open up discussions on how Africanist scholars, practitioners and theatre companies perform the notion of a Global African identity.

At the conference, Dr. Yvette Hutchison of the University of Warwick discussed the use of digital as a platform for engaging  playwrights across Africa.

Dr. Hutchison took an example from the African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN), a joint programme between the University of Warwick and Every1Mobile to showcase how digital can be used successfully to engage people across the continent and drive conversation and knowledge sharing between them.

AWPN was developed as a pan African digital community which allowed female practitioners involved in creating oral and/or physical performances and playwriting to come together to share their creative practices with one another as well as engage with researchers.

The network had three primary functions:

Facilitate women creative practitioners from Africa or diasporas increasing their visibility and connectivity beyond their specific regions, to access work and artists nationally and internationally,

Highlight events in which our creative practitioners are involved or may be interested,

Facilitate critical engagement, via forums on topics based around both researchers’ and community’s issues.

The online platform which ran over a period of 23 months witnessed over 10,000 sessions, involving hundreds of registered users from 21 countries.