Africa No Filter launches the Emerging Scholars Fellowship program to explore evidence-based narratives about Africa.

Africa No Filter launches the Emerging Scholars Fellowship program to explore evidence-based narratives about Africa.

Poverty, poor leadership, corruption, conflict and disease are the frames that spring to mind when many people think about Africa. Is there more to these outdated stories, are these stereotypical narratives of a continent and its people who lack agency, need fixing and are dependent on wealthy countries the prevailing ones?

The Africa No Filter Emerging Scholars program is looking for scholars to explore African narratives across a range of storytelling mediums across Africa, with comparative studies looking at Africa in France, UK, China, India, and United Arab Emirates. 

Each scholar will be awarded up to $7000 to conduct their research. They will also have access to training, networking opportunities, mentorship and other resources. The Fellowship is part of Africa No Filter’s broader research agenda aimed at making African narratives evidence based. The research, which is co-funded by Facebook, will be conducted across mainstream media, social media, popular culture, the arts, donor publications, and educational materials.  

The program will unpack the prevailing Western narratives about the continent which depict Africans as lacking agency, dependent on wealthy countries and in need of fixing.  

Priority will be given to scholars in Africa and from the diaspora. To qualify, applicants should be PhD students, Post-doc researchers or junior academics who have been in this role for less than three years. In addition, applicants should be based at a recognised academic institute. 

Scholars should be the fields of media, communication, journalism studies, filmmaking, photography, literature, visual arts, music, and development communication. Other scholars will be considered if they can demonstrate capability in line with the research program. 

The Fellowship program will be guided by five academic advisors. Johanna Blakley is the managing director at the Norman Lear Center; associate professor of international affairs at The New School Sean Jacobs is also the founder of Africa is a Country; Winston Mano, who is  the principal editor of the Journal of African Media Studies and a senior research fellow at the University of Johannesburg, is also a Reader at the University of Westminster, UK, and member of the Communication Research Institute’s Global Media Research Network; and Lynete Lusike Mukhongo, who is the visiting assistant professor of communication and digital media at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at Moi University in Kenya.

Rebecca Pointer – research consultant for Africa No Filter – leads the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. She will also serve as an academic advisor. She is enrolled for a PhD at Wits School of Governance, and her work background is in research and development communication.

Click here for more information on the application process and the Africa No Filter Emerging Fellows program.

If you have further questions, please contact Rebecca Pointer at research@africanofilter.org

Applications must be submitted by Friday 13 November  2020.  The Fellowship will be granted in December 2020, to be completed by 31 July 2021.