How Free is FREE? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa Twenty-five Authors, Fourteen Countries in One Original Compilation

CAPE TOWN: Arterial Network has released a free e-book compilation of poems, articles and works of fiction on the subject of freedom of creative expression in Africa.

Featuring contributions from 25 authors from 14 African countries, the e-book has been produced as part of Arterial Network’s Artwatch Africa project that aims to defend freedom of creative expression on the continent – and who better than the artists themselves to share their creative environment, their questions and their experiences.

Arterial Network Releases e-Book on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa

In September 2014, Arterial Network launched a call for contributions from writers, journalists and researchers from across the continent to share their opinions and knowledge on this broad topic. After two years of committed work, a collection of selected writings has been brought together to produce an original compilation titled,

How Free is Free? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa.

“The main objective was to give writers the opportunity to talk about what ‘freedom of creative expression’ means to them and in their own style,” explains Diana Ramarohetra, Project Manager for Artwatch Africa. “It is amazing to see that most of the time when we say ‘Freedom of Expression,’ people first think of journalism and forget that it also pertains to the arts and artists. It is our job to inform people about artists rights and help to build the infrastructure across Africa to defend them.”

How Free is Free? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa is above all a meditation on the artistic health of the continent, as lived and examined from twenty-five diverse, artistic viewpoints. This publication is a first for Arterial Network and it will be used as a tool to advocate for freedom of expression and creative arts in Africa.

The publication is available to download for free from the Arterial Network website , as well as various e-reader platforms, such as World Reader. It has been optimised for mobile, tablet and Kindle viewing.

The e-book was first launched at the Alliance Française Cape Town (South Africa) on the 14th of September 2016. The book was also launched during the Arterial Network Nigeria Closing Ceremony and End of Year Party that took place at Freedom Park in Lagos on Wednesday 14th of December 2016.

Arterial Network Steering Committee : Mamou Daffe (Mali) – Chairperson; George Camille (Seychelles) –

Deputy Chairperson; Daves Guzha (Zimbabwe) – Treasurer; Jahman Anikulapo (Nigeria); Ma Gloire Bolunda

(DRC); Limam Kane (Mauritania); Nathan Kiwere (Uganda); Pierre Claver Mabiala (Congo); Muzi Ntshangase

(Swaziland ), Ghita Khaldi (Morocco)


Aisha Dème (Senegal)

Albie Sachs (South Africa)

Ayoko Mensah (Togo/ France)

Azad Essa (South Africa)

Boubacar Boris Diop (Senegal)

Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe)

Edgar Sekloka (Cameroon/ France)

Elana Bregin (South Africa)

Ellen Banda-Aaku (Zambia)

Gaël Faye (Rwanda/ France)

Hamadou Mande (Burkina Faso)

Jane Duncan (South Africa)

Jesmael Mataga (Zimbabwe)

Koleka Putuma (South Africa)

Lauren Beukes (South Africa)

Michèle Rakotoson (Madagascar)

Dr. Mohamed Abusabib (Sudan)

Prof. Patrick J Ebewo (South Africa)

Phiona Okumu (Uganda/ UK)

Raimi Gbadamosi (Nigeria/ UK)

Saad Elkersh (Egypt)

Sade Adeniran (Nigeria)

Sami Tchak (Togo)

Sylvia Vollenhoven (South Africa)

Yewande Omotoso (Barbados/ Nigeria)

To read the free e-book in English, click here . Click here for the French version.


Arterial Network is a dynamic, civil-society network of artists, cultural activists, entrepreneurs, enterprises, NGOs, institutions, and donors active in Africa’s creative and cultural sectors.

Established as a member-based, non-profit organisation, Arterial Network operates all across the continent, and is led by an elected Steering Committee which represents the five regions of the continent. Its Continental Secretariat is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Artwatch Africa is a project of Arterial Network that aims to assert, promote and defend artist rights and freedom of creative expression for artists and cultural practitioners in Africa.