Culture preserves and promotes a country's heritage and national identity.

The cultural industries and creative economy contain huge potential to Malawi's development, helping to raise the country's regional and global profile and attracting tourists and even investment. A culturally vibrant society increases stability and well-being and presents a balanced profile of a country. Culture is also a tool for innovation that can lead to inspire and inform other sectors such as science, technology and civil society.

Scotland's tourist industry is valued at over £4.3 billion with its creative industries estimated to be worth over £2.8 billion. Scotland is a master storyteller, promoting its history and people through films, books, poems, art, music, events and festivals. Bringing artists and creative practitioners together from both countries will yield exciting results. If Malawi can further develop its creative sector to tell its own story, there could be wide ranging benefits for the country's cultural development and economic growth.

There are a great number of existing cultural links between Scotland and Malawi, and much of our shared history is built on cultural exchanges. Find members working in the cultural sector listed further down this page.

Member Case Study

Lake of Stars Festival

Lake of Stars promotes Malawian arts and tourism through international interaction and exposure. They organise festivals on the shores of Lake Malawi and run events in Europe and across Africa.

Reviews from the Lake of Stars festival:

“A three-day act that unites both mainstream and niche Malawi acts with some of the most exciting contemporary African musicians around.” The Mail & Guardian.

“One of Africa's most respected music festivals.” CNN.

“The ability of this festival to inspire young people who attend is pretty special.” Vice Magazine.

Member Case Study

I Love Scolawi

I love Scolawi is a cultural exchange art project that Jenni Gudgeon ran between Auchtermuchty, Scotland and Blantyre, Malawi. It uses a technique Jenni’s developed to etch (scrape) designs into the top layer of photographs to create complementary double images.

Adults and children in Scotland and Malawi attend workshops to etch what they love about living in their country onto photographs that were taken in the other country (Malawians etch onto Scottish photos and Scots etch onto Malawian photos).

By superimposing the two cultures the strong relationship between our two countries is highlighted, along with the common bond of human experience that bridges the cultural and geographic divide.

Watch a video of I Love Scolawi in action

Scolawi 5
Member Case Study

Malawi choir performing at the Edinburgh Tattoo

In August 2018 SMPs members the Janet Chesney Trust and the Mary Erskine School supported the choir in their twin school in Malawi, called the Edinburgh High School (Mzuzu), to come to Scotland and perform every night in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The choir were watched by hundreds of thousands throughout the month-long run of the show and then by millions worldwide through various television airings.

While in Scotland the choir met the First Minister at a reception. They broke out, unprompted, to sing ‘Flower of Scotland’, and got the warmest of hugs from the FM!

Watch this video of the event hosted by the SMP to welcome the group to Edinburgh.