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Crossing Borders Initiative
Institution: British Council
Theme: Citizen Engagement
Implementation Date: Oct 07, 2006
Summary: Crossing Borders is a cross-cultural distance-learning scheme linking young African writers to experienced United Kingdom mentors and developing their work through e-mail tutorials. Over 100 African writers from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are enrolled, working in poetry, fiction and children’s literature with approximately 30 mentors drawn from a wider range of cultural backgrounds in the United Kingdom.

The web site is a crossroads on the information superhighway, which allows participants to communicate. Contemporary writers from varied cultural backgrounds can discuss the genesis, technique and cultural context of a piece of their own creative work. Instead of a pedagogically narrow or orthodox approach to writing, mentors and writers create a flexible and heterogeneous resource reflecting a multiplicity of literary practices and cultural influences.

Impact: The cross-cultural developmental dialogue between Africa and the English-speaking world through writers from both horizons stimulates the sharing of thinking, values and solutions, facilitating mutual understanding and complementarity. African writers have developed greater skills and have learned different techniques that have enhanced their work. The emphasis is on building a new international community of African writers, sharing their new works with a wider audience. As a result, more literary works by African writers will be published and disseminated.
Source: British Council
Project Home URL: http://www.crossingborders-africanwriting.org/

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