“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.” —Zora Neale Hurston
To resist the silence around sexual violence and the normalisation of rape culture in institutions of higher learning, Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) under the Tuwezeshe Akina Dada project, invites all students in those institutions (universities, vocational institutions and other tertiary institutions) to submit works of fiction or non-fiction in the form of short stories, poems, comic strips, and/or any other tangible forms of art on the theme “combating sexual violence at institutions of higher learning”.
This initiative is part of AMwA’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign aimed at raising awareness about violence against women and girls. Women and girls’ experiences of sexual violence have remained the stuff of gossip and silent whispers within corridors. Laden with shame and victim blaming, the experiences remain rumours, further entrenching the culture of silence as there is no accountability. The documentation of women and girls’ experiences through art and creative writing seeks to spark a conversation about violence and its impact on women and girls. It also aspires to build a tribe of solidarity as readers see their experiences reflected in the stories told.
To promote originality and creativity AMwA urges you to make a submission that tackles this problem through a number of lenses. For example, the piece can be about the vice/situation of sexual violence itself, the survivor of the vice, the perpetrator, the aftermath, the response from the wider community, and so forth. Shortlisted entries will be published on AMwA’s website and in a journal for distribution during and after the campaign period. The publication will be distributed at several institutions of higher learning.
*Suggested word count for written submissions is between 600 and 1000 words.
*Shortlisted candidates will receive a modest honorarium.