The first ARTerial Network project arising out of the Gorée Island gathering, was an Arts Journalism Training Project coordinated by African Synergy, a Zimbabwean-based cultural collective.
Fifteen journalists (6 women and 9 men) from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Mali participated in the seven-day workshop which ran from 28 July to 4 August, using the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland as the backdrop.
The goals of the workshop - funded by Africalia and the Danish Centre for Culture and Development - were:
a. to raise standards and appreciation through on-the-job specialized training
b. to generate peer-to-peer contact by building and encouraging exchange
to motivate quality arts coverage within a pan-African ethos
An exceptional group of 6 mentors covered a number of journalism disciplines (especially print and film), according to their experience and track record.
All training was constructed around real-time production, actual writing and development of stories and production issues. As a result of the workshop, there are now at least fifteen journalists around the continent who can feed information to the ARTerial Network newsletter and website on a regular basis.
Given the success of this project, it is envisaged that follow-up training workshops will be held to provide more in-depth training, while similar workshops will be repeated in other parts of the continent.