The Bird Exchange of Art, Storytelling & Music

between Zambia and the UK through Art, Storytelling and Music.

Past, Present & Future...

The Livingstone Initiative has so far linked 18 Scottish schools and 19 schools in Livingstone Zambia through The Bird Exchange – an exchange of  real or imaginary paintings of migrating birds created by school children in both countries. This developed into an exchange of information about their different cultures, daily challenges and ways of life. 

The response to this project was so great that we decided to hold The Bird Exchange Exhibition of Art, Storytelling and Music in the Livingstone Museum, to showcase an amazing array of exhibits created by school children from primary, secondary and community schools taking part. The Exhibition was opened by H.E. The Acting British High Commissioner to Zambia, Sean Melbourne. 

We invited music teachers and pupils in Zambia to work on songs about life here in Zambia or about Livingstone the town through history or as it is today. These songs were performed at the Opening of the Exhibition on 17 March 2014. A special website – has been created to highlight the project. 

Livingstone schools submitted paintings, collages and stories to the exhibition, which was open to the public for one month. Prizes were awarded to the top three entries from each school.  Many of the Livingstone children had never before done any arts and crafts. A small grant from Scotland paid for art paper, crayons and paints and their exhibits were hung alongside paintings, stories and songs created by Scottish school children. 

The Gold Award winners from each Livingstone school won an exciting visit to the Zambezi Elephant Trails sponsored by Safari Par Excellence. Timid at first, the children were soon laughing, smiling, feeding and getting up close and personal with these friendly giants. 

All the artwork created by Livingstone children in the Exhibition has gone across to Scotland for distribution amongst Scottish schools and some will be displayed in an electronic virtual exhibition to go round all participating schools in Scotland.

For 2019, we are launching the 2nd Bird Exchange Project, this time the theme will be Bridging Cultures - Water & Environmental Green Action. We will be holding another exhibition showcasing artwork, stories, poems, songs and fabric designs created by school children in both countries. Once again, The British High Commissioner will be opening the Exhibition, which will run for one month at the Livingstone Museum, in the centre of town. Following the exhibition, the National Gallery of Zambia, will show a selection of exhibits at their Gallery on the edge of town.