Friday, March 29, 2024

Call for Submissions - The Africa Migration Report: An Anthology of Poems

Forced Migration and The Arts, in collaboration with CivicLeicester and Regularise, is inviting and accepting poems on the theme of African migration.

We welcome submissions exploring any of the images, enslavement, issues, visa applications, deportations, time spent in immigration queues, triggers, drownings, borders you crossed, the histories, killings, borders that crossed you, causes, deaths, cases, brutalisation, armed conflict, lives, exploitation, hopes, births, dreams, criminalisations, demands, plundering, detentions, pillagings, realities, personal, family and community histories of migration,  the effect that funding from the European Commission and others is having on how African refugees and migrants are being treated on the continent, in deserts, at borders, in camps, in slave markets, in mass graves, at sea, in informal refugee camps, in roadside graves, on barges, on the streets, in prisons, for fleeing conflict and persecution, outcomes, futures that we are seeing, being, witnessing, experiencing, living, dreaming, feeling, hearing, screaming at, sensing, dying to get out of, dying to live, arrival, departure, journeying, memories, encounters, experiences, ... past, present, future ... around African migration.

We welcome submissions from writers of all ages, based anywhere in the world.

The provisional title of the anthology, Africa Migration Report: An Anthology of Poems is inspired by the 2nd Edition of the Africa Migration Report published by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Speaking at the launch of the report, on 26 March 2024, H.E. Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma, AUC Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development (HHS) described the report as a "joint initiative between the AU and IOM aimed at preserving historical perspectives, portraying the right narrative on African migration. While informing policy frameworks to support migration and human mobility on the Continent". 

We commend the AUC and IOM for the report and encourage the African Union to ensure they inform policy frameworks to support African migration, mobility and rights on and beyond the Continent. We stress that freedom of movement is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by all, including Africans.

We invite poems that explore the personal, familial, communal, continental, intercontinental, transnational past, present and possible futures of African migration across time and space, in and around this world and beyond.

What is Africa? Where is Africa? When is Africa?
What does it mean to be African? Who is African?
What is Africa and Africans' relationship or experience of or with migration?
What are the images, feelings, associations, realities, hopes, practicality, the day to day bits, dreams, pasts, presents, futures etc. of African migration? 
What are we seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing? What do we know? 
What are we not seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing, being, living, when, why and how etc.?
The African migrant, who is he, she, they ...? Whose mother, father, sister, daughter, friend, relative? What is the present of the African migrant's past? What is the future of their tomorrow?
Who else is the African migrant coming into contact with? Who or what are they encountering where, when, and how? What is happening on that contact? Why are things happening this way? Is this new? How long has this been going on?
How are African governments, the African Union, the European Commission, the United Nations (UN), International Organisation of Migration (IOM), NATO, ECOWAS, countries in Asia, North America, South America, Antarctica, Australia and the Caribbean, Africans on the continent, Africans in the diaspora, communities etc. ... how are they responding to African migration and migrants? What are the pasts, presents and futures of these responses?
What are Africans' experiences of migration on the continent and abroad?
What pasts, presents, futures, hopes, dreams, nightmares, joys, loves, memories, griefs, visions, seeds etc. are African migrants carrying, loving, singing, experiencing, living, gaining, losing, feeling, dancing, being, dreaming, moving through, reaching towards, living with, through, by, so etc.? What is happening to all this that they are carrying?

What are the pasts, presents and futures of African migration?

Please send the poems and short fiction to by 12 noon on Saturday, 25 May 2024, Africa Day.


● Poems should be 40 lines or less, and short fiction,100 words or less.
● The poems and short fiction should be on the theme, African migration.
● Submissions must be in English. In the case of translated work, it is the translator’s responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder of the original work.
● If submitting a poem or short fiction which has been previously published, please give details of where it has appeared and confirm that you are the copyright holder.
● Ideally submissions will be typed single spaced and submitted either in the body of an email or as a .doc attachment.
● Please include a short biography of 50 words or less. This will be included in the anthology if your poem is accepted. 
● You may submit a maximum of three poems or three pieces of short fiction or a combination of poems and short fiction. You do not have to submit all three at the same time, but the editors can only consider a maximum of three submissions.
● We welcome submissions from writers of all ages, based anywhere in the world.
● Please send the poems and short fiction to by 12 noon on Saturday, 25 May 2024, Africa Day.


[1] CivicLeicester, an indy publisher that uses digital and print technologies to highlight glocal issues, are publishers of poetry anthologies that include Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World (2023), Poetry and Settled Status for All: An Anthology (2022) and Bollocks to Brexit: An Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (2019).

[2] Regularise is a collective of humans made up of migrants, citizens and allies who are committed to centreing and amplifying the voices and needs of undocumented migrants. The collective was founded in late 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, to address the years of sustained hardships that undocumented migrants experience in the UK and continues to organise and campaign for justice and for the rights of undocumented migrants.

[3] Forced Migration and The Arts is a global network that brings together people with lived experience of forced migration, refugee and non-refugee artists, academics and activists from around the world. The network hosts monthly discussion panels around forced migration and the arts, and encourages mutual support and collaboration. A playlist of conversations we have hosted so far is accessible here. The Network is currently purely volunteer-driven. Donations are most welcome and can be made through BuyMe a Coffee.

[4] We are also drawing attention to Sunday Lawrence's appeal for support. Lawrence, a refugee from South Sudan, is a second year Law student at the International University of East Africa in Kampala, Uganda. Lawrence needs to raise €5,256 for tuition and sustenance so that he can finish his studies. Any and all support you can give him will be most appreciated.

This post was updated on 9 April 2024 to indicate that Forced Migration and The Arts is collaborating with CivicLeicester and Regularise on the initiative.

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