From August 30 to September 8, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will return to Johannesburg to explore and celebrate technology and creativity by Africans.
The 2019 festival has cast its central theme as Own Your Force which invites digital makers in Africa to stake their claim on their talent, industry and creative economy.
Wits University’s Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, in collaboration with partners in the Braamfontein area will be at the heart of festivities with a programme promising to yet again transform Johannesburg into a celebration of technology, creativity and innovation from across the African continent.
Now in its sixth successful year, Fak’ugesi returns after programme directors took a break from annual programming, producing a smaller programme last year to focus on the festival’s vision and development.
Dr Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival Director, says attendees can expect a fresh and energised line-up that explores screen-based digital creativity in gaming, virtual reality, mixed reality cinema and animation – with special focus on cross-sector collaboration in the region for Southern and East Africa, addressing Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, protection of intellectual and creative property.
“Fak’ugesi acts as a platform that brings together diverse digital and technology sectors to collaborate and share skills in digital media and technology innovation,” said Bristow.
“This year’s theme centres on an African vision of the future of digital creativity by asking; who owns our digital value chain? How do we protect our creative and cultural equity in the digital world? How do we value our contributions to digital culture in an African economy? Where are the threats and the opportunities for culture and technology in Africa in a world driven by market interests?
A highlight is a conference developed in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut’s Creative Entrepreneurship office, which will bring attention to the challenges of creative and digital entrepreneurship within the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa.
Meanwhile, the annual Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Residency will bring together aspiring young digital artists from the SADC region. This year, the project expands as young Swiss artists collaborate with their SADC counterparts. Working with Pro Helvetia and the ANT Fund for Development and Co-operation (SDC), the residency serves to highlight and develop incredible young digital talent in Southern Africa and boost their careers as important digital creatives.
Along with supporting young up-and-coming digital arts via the annual Residency, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will be hosting a large contingent of African digital makers. In 2019, Fak’ugesi Festival will be working with the British Council Southern African Arts to bring up to 15 digital artists and story tellers from across the continent in the ColabNowNow project, a shared encounter with Fak’ugesi Festival’s sister festival Maputo Fast Forward in Mozambique.
Additionally, in partnership with the Tshimologong Precinct, Fak’ugesi Festival will also host the recent Digital Lab Africa competition winners from Ghana, Mali, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa to represent five creative digital start-ups in gaming, animation, VR, web creation and digital media.