In its seventh year, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will take place online in October 2020. This approach aims to serve a regional African audience through a programme designed to empower digital creatives to shape the future of digital platforms. With the usual mix of residencies, exhibitions, workshops, conferences, games and hackathons, The Festival will invite African digital creatives to tap into its network and power the African industry to not just survive but thrive.
The continent-wide Digital Art Curator Bootcamp is a new central development of the Fak’ugesi Festival 2020. Festival director Tegan Bristow says: “The focus will be on digital and interactive digital arts for online engagement. The bootcamp will be run with a select and stellar group of local, regional and international digital art and digital arts curators and we are extremely excited about launching this as part of our new online approach.” Hosted via Zoom over seven days in August, the online experiential bootcamp aimed to power up the curatorial focus of the young curators and assist them in developing proposals for online exhibitions. Assessed by a panel of judges, five curators’/collective’s proposals were selected to be commissioned for this year’s online festival. The exhibitions will open online on 20 October 2020. ANT Funding will support a regional curator’s commission.
MEET THE CURATORS
Elisabeth Efua Sutherland (Ghana) works from a mixed background in cultural event programming, arts education, theatre and performance as well as experimentation in new media, visual arts, and digital technology. She is increasingly interested in interactivity, video, sculpture and texture in making performance/performative objects. Efua is the founder of artist-led space Terra Alta, as well as the co-director and co-founder of the Accra Theatre Workshop.
Xopher Wallace (South Africa) is a visual artist who expresses his creativity through photography and augmented reality. With mixed reality as a key interest, he strives to link the real world and his imagination.
Faye Kabali-Kagwa (South Africa, Uganda) describes herself as an arts coordinator and culture writer with a growing interest in curation. She is an interdisciplinary practitioner with a strong focus on identity, migration, accessibility, and public engagement. In 2020 she began exploring WhatsApp as a medium for storytelling and debuted her first WhatsApp production The Shopping Dead at the virtual National Arts Festival 2020. In 2019 Faye was recognised as a Young Cultural Innovator by the Salzburg Global Seminar.
Pre-Empt Group (South Africa) is a multidisciplinary collective comprised of artists Phumulani Ntuli, Mbali Dhlamini and Themba Khumalo. Phumulani holds a MFA – Arts Public Sphere from (ECAV) Ecole Cantonale D’Art du Valais in Sierre-Switzerland and his work spans artistic research, sculpture, video installations and performative practices. With an MA from Wits University, Mbali’s multidisciplinary practice incorporates visual, tactile and discursive investigations into current indigenous cultural practices. Themba graduated as a printmaker from Artist Proof Studios and is interested in exploring different mediums in his work such as printmaking, charcoal drawings and painting.
Nkhensani Mkhari (South Africa) is a multidisciplinary artist and curator at BKhz gallery. Their broad praxis spans visual arts, performance, installation, publishing, sound design and new media. With a keen interest in the intersections between art and technology, they describe their artwork as multi-modal material-semiotic metaphors.