Respond to this call using the Google Form HERE

THEME: Our Right To Be Right.

International Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out a broad range of fundamental rights and freedoms to which all of us are entitled. It guarantees the rights of every individual everywhere, without distinction based on nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.

Although the Declaration is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.

There is a need for creatives to come together and add their voice in the fight for the enjoyment of human rights by all. African states are known for being selective in the application of laws and have been found wanting especially on following international protocols. 

This years’ Human Rights Day comes at a time when the world is still battling with Covid19 where there are restrictions for travels. Word Smash Poetry Movement will host an Online Festival for SADC Poets to converse and perform poetry that will reflect the human rights situations in their various countries. The 10th of December falls on the last day of the commemoration of 16 Days of activism against gender based violence, hence the interesting part. The Festival will host 30 Poets on various platforms from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Live to talk about the human rights situations in their countries and also perform.

Poets are a mouthpiece of society and poetry has been part of our daily activities since time immemorial. Poetry is in our dance, poetry is in our food, poetry is in our music, poetry is in our speeches, and poetry is in our culture hence we intend to use poetry to speak to human rights. Word Smash Poetry Movement will convene the Virtual Festival with the intention of amplifying human rights abuses and celebrate human rights realisations from the SADC region. 

SADC region has had many challenges on human rights protection. There are Human Rights violations in Mozambique in the Capo Delgado area, we have witnessed abuse of human rights in DRC, we have seen the concealing of information on Covid19 in Tanzania, Zimbabwean LGBTQI+ population has been not spared the violations (, churches mobilize to ban Somizi from Zimbabwe, we see in Zambia the continuous agitation to force citizens to uphold Christian values against the Bill of Rights. All these small pockets but many other unrecorded ones deserve to be amplified.

Abuse of Human Rights has widened the inequality gap. The festival will use poetry to speak to the ugly inequalities.


  1. Be a poet and or Human Rights Defender 
  2. Be living (currently) in one of the SADC countries
  3. Be able to access internet and video recording equipment during the Festival
  4. Be above the age of 18 at the time of the Festival or can be consented by an adult above the age of 18 if you are 16 years at the time of the Festival
  5. Be able to recite in any of the SADC languages


Participation in this Festival is free.  We are working towards providing a $200.00 support for each participating poet; this will be possible in collaboration with the poet. We will support successful poets with letters for them to solicit for funding within their countries and also link successful poets with potential partners within their countries, however, if a poet succeeds to find their own support, it will be reported as is and very welcome.


Respond to this call using the Google Form HERE by 19 November 2021

Response Date

24 November 2021

Festival Dates

10 December 2021

For inquiries: or 

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