Open Call for Artists: The Colonial Legacies in Our Minds and Madness

20th August 2020

The Colonial Legacies in Our Minds and Madness

Hamwe Festival has issued an open call for artists to join a collective creative project tackling the issue of existing colonial legacies in mental health systems.

You may find the original link with further information copied below:

The text of the open call by the Hamwe Festival is copied below:

Hamwe Festival is a platform that brings together the health sector and the creative industries. Our goal is to generate new insights into global health challenges and corresponding solutions, using the unique and complementary vantage points of artists and global health professionals.

The festival is an initiative of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an independent, accredited university, training the next generation of global health professionals striving to deliver equitable, quality health services for all. At UGHE, we believe that building bridges across sectors is a necessity, not only to improve access to services and the quality of their delivery globally, but also to eliminate the gap between the most and least disadvantaged.

Hamwe 2020 edition will take place from November 11th to November 15th, it will be an exclusively online festival. The festival theme will be Mental Health and Social Justice.

As it is growing, the “Global Mental Health Movement” has engendered new reflections and research from scholars, artists and activists who question some of its approach and analyze inherent colonial legacies present in that field (Cooper, 2016). This year, Hamwe festival will propose discussions on these issues and invite the public to reflect with creatives and researchers on the existing colonial legacies in mental health systems and how it is a detriment to health of individuals and communities worldwide.

As part of this reflection, an event compiling spoken word, poetry and other performing arts creations will be organized: The Colonial Legacies in Our Minds and Madness. We’re looking for artists who can create engaging online work sharing stories, experiences or research findings on the colonial legacies remaining in mental health systems and the impact they have on mental health.

To inform artists in their creative process, we’re organizing a 3-day workshop with world researchers and artists, availability to attend this workshop will be based on a selection criteria.  The workshop will be conducted in English from the 6th to the 8th of October, during the afternoon Central African Time (CAT).

Performances will be shared with the public on the 15th of November 2020. Selected performers will have the option to conduct live performances or to pre-record their work.


  • Hamwe Festival is open to all. We encourage diversity and welcome applications from all nationalities, gender, ages and backgrounds.
  • We are interested in hearing from spoken word artists, poets, singers, more performing arts forms of expressions.
  • We welcome participation from individuals, groups and
  • Artists at any stage of their career are eligible (from beginners to more established practitioners). However, we will ask for excerpts of existing creations or performances and review them in the selection process.
  • All communications and activities will be conducted in English but performance in all languages can be accepted, as well as silent performances.
  • Availability for the preparation workshop the 6th to the 8th of October, during the afternoon Central African Time (CAT).

Selection Process:

Applications will be reviewed on the following criteria:

  • Submission of a fully filled application form (only in English) including all supporting documentation by September 13th.
  • Motivation to participate and evaluated level of interest in the theme
  • Quality and chosen themes of prior work, based on supporting material
  • Artists will be evaluated based on the information submitted.

Successful applicants will be notified by email by September 20th, 2020. Due to the volume of applications received, we are not able to give feedback on individual applications.


UGHE will provide a fee of 250 USD for each project selected and will provide all technical requirements and technical support for the project. Amount will be transferred to the project participant’s bank accounts at the end of the project

For any questions please email the Hamwe Festival at


Cooper, S., 2016. Global mental health and its critics: moving beyond the impasse. Critical Public Health 26, 355–358.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *