This year the global theme for International Youth Day is "Youth Building Peace" and is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.
The current generation of youth are the largest in history and in South Sudan represent at least 70% of the population. Considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is therefore a demographic imperative.
The #Anataban Campaign was founded by a community of young South Sudanese creatives who are tired of war and bloodshed in their country. The founding members include musicians, actors, comedians, scriptwriters, fashion designers, visual artists, graphic designers, among others, with a goal of being positive influencers. The campaign was established a few weeks after the conflict in Juba in July 2016, and thus out of frustration and anger the artists established the campaign #Anataban which in Arabic simply means “I am Tired”.
#AnaTaban’s event on Saturday 12 August was held on stage at the Youth Centre in Nimra Talata in Juba and, in spite of the rain and cold weather, drew a crowd of several hundred, mostly young people. It featured the performances of South Sudanese artists including singers, rappers, comedians and actors. The performers showcased their talents and expressed their feelings of frustration with the current challenges facing South Sudan and their desire for change. Students from a selection of secondary schools in Juba made up much of the audience at the event, and also participated in some of the performances including showcasing their acting and singing talents. The involvement of school students was a crucial part of the event and the artists directed their words to the young people concerning their hopes for a positive future for South Sudan.
As a follow up to this public event, #AnaTaban will be holding focus group discussions with youth in secondary schools in Juba at #AnaTaban school clubs to promote the active involvement of youth in matters of peace and security in South Sudan.
#AnaTaban are also planning more public events under the #BloodShedFree2017 this year and UNESCO will be pleased to further showcase their activities in the coming months.
Secondary school students join in the performance during #AnaTaban’s International Youth Day event