By Madiba Singhateh
The Gambia Press Union (GPU), on Friday March 1st 2019, held a two day workshop on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information for artists, filmmakers, theatre associations, producers and promoters.
The workshop is in line with the implementation of a two-year project on ‘Enhancing Media-Governance for Freedom of Expression in the Gambia’. The project which was launched in April 2017, is funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). The two day workshop seeks to demystify the current conception that equates the promotion of free speech, to incitement of violence. The workshop aims to encourage artists to write and build up songs, theatres, plays, poems and films around free speech.
Speaking at the workshop, Lamin Jahateh, Program Manager at the GPU, said at some point, people think freedom of expression and access to information is an issue for Journalist alone; that information is beyond the media and journalist; that it includes artists and promoters.
Jahateh said artists are part of the media; that in other countries, artist are very vocal with freedom of expression and access to information, and Gambian artists should not be left behind. Jahateh said the media and artists all have a common goal: to promote free but responsible speech. Hassoum Ceesay of the NCAC, also spoke at the workshop.
The program was chaired by Khaddijah Jawara of the GPU.