Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage, one of the UK’s leading arts development agencies, announces the launch of MY CITY, MY HOME, a major, specially commissioned, international writing competition for women and girls from diverse communities in Birmingham (UK), Bangladesh and Pakistan.
MY CITY, MY HOME is part of Transforming Narratives, a ground-breaking three- year project to establish Birmingham as a global centre for contemporary arts from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
MY CITY, MY HOME will reach out to emerging female writers from all three locations resulting in a publication of selected works, together with live readings at events in the UK and other countries.
Piali Ray OBE., Director of Sampad said: “The identity and role of women is as diverse across cities and countries as is 21st century society. Cities are a melting pot of cosmopolitan cultures yet, there is a distinctiveness and roots that connect to the past.
“By launching MY CITY, MY HOME in what is Sampad’s 30th anniversary year, we want to give women and girls the chance to tell their story. We need to hear it from them.”
The competition is open to women and girls aged 16 and over and can be a response to, or a reflection on the phrase MY CITY, MY HOME. Run online, women can enter a poem, short-story, or other prose. A maximum of two pieces of work can be entered and will be accepted in English, Urdu, and Bangla languages.
MY CITY, MY HOME will work with Project Associates in Pakistan and Bangladesh connecting online with diverse groups of women and girls in their countries and supporting them to participate.
Sophina Jagot, Transforming Narratives Project Manager added: “The Transforming Narratives programme is all about making connections between artists and creative practitioners in Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and it seemed to us now more than ever we needed to support the cultural sector in making those connections.
“Sampad’s MY CITY, MY HOME promises to make and develop many new connections with groups of women and girls creating opportunities for them to participate and create for themselves. We look forward to hearing their stories.”.
Closing date for entries is 30 December 2020. Winners will be informed between 22-26 February 2021 and will each receive £200.00. Publication of winning entries and further selected pieces will be launched in Birmingham, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in summer 2021.
Supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, British Council and Transforming Narratives, MY CITY, MY HOME, is part of Sampad’s Sakshi (meaning Witness in Hindi) strand launched in 2018. Running until 2022 Sakshi will deliver a series of projects which focus on girls and women, to involve them in creative projects and to get their voices heard through the arts.