Right To Speak

People sitting around a table with books and notebooks Photo: Alexis Brown ©Unsplash

The initiative highlights spoken word as a way to engage youth voices in Africa and Europe around issues of human rights and social justice. It is organized by the Goethe-Institut South Africa, partnering with Hear My Voice, the Center For Creative Arts, the Stand Foundation, General Representation of Flanders, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and Institut Francais Afrique du Sud.

The “Right To Speak” project runs from March to October 2022 . It leverages the power of digital to create spaces that enable young poets across oceans to speak, learn and grow together. Additionally, it supports and builds capacity for local organizations for sustained impact.

Poetry will be used as a vehicle to drive conversations around human rights between young people from Europe and South Africa, using various hybrid events and co-productions.

launch event

The digital launch took place on Human Rights Day, March 21 as part of the Time of the Writer Festival. This launch was streamed on the official Right To Speak Facebook page. You can view it here. The launch was hosted by Center for Creative Arts and was recorded at the Kwa-Muhle Museum in Durban.

Right to Speak has been collaboratively designed by the partners with the vision of creating an opportunity for poets and poetry organizations from South Africa and Europe to share experiences, support mutual learning and to build strong relationships. We seek to create performance opportunities and strengthen capacities in the sector. Our common vision is a creative exchange that inspires future collaborations. -Asma Diakité, Head of Cultural Programs at the Goethe-Institut

Who Funded this project?

The Right To Speak project is funded by the European Union National Institutes of Culture as part of the European Spaces of Culture. European Spaces of Culture (2019-2023) is testing innovative collaboration models in cultural relations between European and local partner organizations in countries outside the EU. At the heart of the project lies a new spirit of dialogue, in which equality, mutual listening and learning represent the core values ​​that help build trust and understanding between peoples. It was initiated by the European Parliament as a Preparatory Action and attributed to EUNIC by the European Commission.