Pro Helvetia Johannesburg is pleased to partner with the Afropixel festival of Kër Thiosanne in Senegal, in the context of exploring new and generative relationships beyond the traditionally Southern African scope of our work in coming years. We do so in ways that bring together our investments in intra-African networks with the facilitation of meaningful interface with the Swiss arts scene through projects rooted in knowledge exchange. This project is joint-supported with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Dakar Typo Remix Makers: Swiss design meets Senegalese street typography
Swiss typographer and designer Daniel Sciboz, collaborates with French and Senegalese designers, sign-writers, typographers, software developers and coders to develop a set of digital fonts, drawing on the visual culture of the streets of Dakar.
The project departs from the recognition of linkages and resonance between between modernist Swiss typography and the rich culture of hand-drawn typography in Senegal. An initial workshop in March explored the concept of parametric fonts, which allow designers to manipulate and play with the different elements from which fonts are constructed, moving away from traditional and rigid typographic structures by integrating hand-drawn approaches to the construction of letter forms. The results of the workshop will be developed as open source fonts that can be accessed by the creative community of Senegal and beyond.
A second series of workshops and public encounters in May will present the results of the first workshop to a wider professional network and the public at large, as part of the Afropixel festival programme, running alongside the Dakar Biennale. Workshops will take place in several locations around Dakar such as the Defko Ak Niep fablab, Kër Thiossane and in the mobile spacecraft platform that will tour Dakar during the month of the Biennale.
VR/AR workshops: Johannesburg and Harare travel to Dakar (and back)
As part of the Afropixel programme, Zimbabwean digital artist Kombo Chapfika collaborates with Johannesburg based technology studio Altreality (Gareth Steele and Rick Treweek) in the facilitation of workshops that equip participants to generate 360 degree video art pieces on the one hand and augmented reality artworks on the other. The professional relationship between Chapfika and Altreality was forged in the context of the digital arts residency of the 2017 edition of the Fakugesi festival.
Results from the two workshops will be shown both in Dakar in the context of the Afropixel programme and in Johannesburg later in the year as part of the Digital Imaginaries project of ZKM | Center for Art and Media, in collaboration with the Fakugesi festival and the WITS Art Museum.