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Community-Led Strategies for Creative and Heritage-Based Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa

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With the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), we at AHRC are pleased to announce a Network Plus call in collaboration with The Antislavery Knowledge Network of the University of Liverpool, University of Ghana, University of Nottingham and University of Hull.

Applicants are invited from NGO, University, Research Institutes, Arts or Cultural Organisations, or Social Enterprises working in ODA countries to submit bids which will address how slavery is a core development challenge in sub-Saharan Africa via innovative approaches from the arts and humanities to deliver community-engaged antislavery work.


Focusing on the idea of activated community memory, the project champions the use of arts and humanities as a resource for social change. One of the core aims of the network is to explore the ways in which participatory arts-based strategies, rooted in heritage and memory, can empower Global South communities to play a central role in tackling contemporary slavery.

The call invites applications relating to three overarching themes:

  1. Voices for Freedom
  2. Liberating Heritage
  3. Picturing Emancipation

Each is designed to encourage projects to develop innovative, interdisciplinary and rights-based challenges to slavery and related forms of exploitation (including child labour and forced marriage).

Voices for Freedom will centre on narratives and the lived experience of slavery, calling for projects to imagine new and challenging ways to collect, record and archive testimony from individuals and communities in the area of focus.

Liberating Heritage will call for projects that connect space, place and memory around slavery with contemporary human rights and development challenges.

Picturing Emancipation will seek projects that utilise visual arts and photography to expose and reflect upon the experiences and legacies of slavery and efforts to resist and overcome its consequences.

About the funding

We have two types of funding available:

  1. Medium-sized grants - £5,000-30,000
  2. Large grants - £30,000-100,000

We anticipate funding around 15 projects, and will seek to make a mixed portfolio of awards.

Awards can be for between 6 and 18 months in duration and must begin by the end of 2018.

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 15/08/2018

Funding decisions issued by 1 October 2018.

How to make an application

For more information on this award and to download an application pack visit:

Further Information

About Network Plus

The project is one of a group of international academic networks funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by universities based in the UK. They have been set up to conduct collaborative arts and humanities-based research into some of the world’s most pressing development challenges.

The five networks will be funded using more than £9 million from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), using the AHRC’s ‘Network Plus’ model. This is designed to bring together a wide range of UK arts and humanities research expertise with researchers and non-academic partners in low and middle income countries. 

About the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in 2016 to address complex global development challenges and support collaborative research that will improve the economic prosperity, welfare and quality of life of people in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).

For more information visit our GCRF page.


Helen Bryant, Project Administrator for Network Plus, University of Liverpool

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