From 6 to 16 September, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is back in Johannesburg to celebrate technology, creativity, collaboration and innovation from across the African continent. The highly anticipated 2017 festival will officially open with the launch of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Exhibition on 8 September and close with the Festival Finale – Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party.
For the first time in 2017, the festival will have a dedicated New Media and Technology Art Exhibition focusing on the very latest digital practices. Opening on the 8th, the exhibition will run for the duration of the festival to showcase a collection of works that will include the work of Fak’ugesi Resident Artists from the SADC region (supported by Pro Helvetia and the ANT fund); Dananayi Muwanigwa and Kombo Chapfika from Harare, Zimbabwe and Julia Hango of Windhoek, Namibia.
On show will be a selection of VR Films from Kenya and Senegal from “New Dimensions” presented by Electric South and the Goethe-Institut. Included is the VR work of Kenyan photographer Ng’endo Mukii, who produced a poetic city symphony on Nairobi in the VR piece “Nairobi Berries”, consisting of her lyrical voice-over alongside surreal, layered images of the city. Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane presents a magical 360 piece, in which a little girl is chosen to discover the invisible Dakar. Kenyan The Nest Collective created an interactive work set in the distant future titled “Let this be a warning” when a group leaves the Earth to create a new colony. The exhibition will further debut a brand-new collaboration between songstress Nonku Phiri and All Hail the Honey’s Rendani Nemakhavhani. This will be presented alongside works by artists Tabita Rezaire (supported by Goodman Gallery), Brooklyn J. Pakathi, Rick Treweek and Anthea Pokroy.
The opening event will feature a special one-day-only showcase of “Painting with Music” by Yann Seznec and Cukia Kimani in partnership with the British Council ConnectZA. Each of these unmissable exhibition events will take place at the newly built Accelerator building within the Tshimologong precinct. The Fak’ugesi Festival launch and exhibition will this year coincide with the Joburg Art Fair, a happy coincidence ensuring that Johannesburg will be buzzing with arts, creativity and inspiration.
After 10 days of festivities with plenty of opportunities for attendees to meet, play and share at a variety of forums, talks, exhibitions, workshops, hack-a-thons, music, films, artists, games, innovation riots and much more, the festival will conclude with the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party. Taking place on 16 September, this important finale event brings together the very best outcomes from the Fak’ugesi Festival labs and workshops, with an afternoon and evening of interactive installations, animations, game arcades, including content from A MAZE Johannesburg.
The festival’s grand finale is guaranteed to impress even further with a musical lineup curated by the pioneering Weheartbeat, who present headline acts such as trap-house-jazz polymath Masego, ‘beatstrumentalist’ MNDSGN, and the Afro-electric Zaki Ibrahim and Fak’ugesi Beats Lab luminaries Hannath Faith and Evil Needle.
2017 Festival Director Tegan Bristow says, “Fak’ugesi is not just a festival where you can come to see and hear, but a festival that is a location for learning, making, developing and innovating. As always, the festival will be at the cutting edge of collaboration, innovation and creativity and we look forward to welcoming everyone for another successful year.”