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Fak’ugesi Festival 2020 is Powering Up Africa’s Resolution

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The Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg has announced that its 2020 Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will be live online with an empowering “Power to the Pixel” theme in September 2020.

In its seventh year, this digital-only approach aims to serve a regional African audience through a programme designed to empower digital creatives to shape the future of digital platforms. The Festival will invite African digital creatives to tap into its network and power the African industry to not just survive but thrive.

Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director, says that this year’s Festival will power up the resolution of African Digital Creativity to ignite imaginations, hardwire local talent, transform digital experiences and secure future livelihoods beyond the face to face: “This year we explore the power of the smallest unit, the pixel, to shape the reality we experience, bridge divides and bring focus to our digital creativity. Bringing power to the pixel, we up Africa’s resolution with #POWERTOTHEPIXEL.”

Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Innovation Precinct says, “The Fak’ugesi Festival 2020 programme will be live and online in September and developed in partnership with Tshimologong’s Digital Content Hub. It will also have the support of Agence Française de développement (AFD), Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and partners across the region who are still to be announced.”

Bristow says: “Our first call to action for the African digital creative community is the annual poster illustration competition. Aimed at digital artists and digital illustrators across the continent and using the theme of #POWERTOTHEPIXEL Powering Up Africa’s Resolution, we invite Africa’s digital creatives to join the list of extraordinary artists who have brought the vision of the festival alive over the past few years.”

Winners receive a cash prize and will take their illustration forward with Fak’ugesi Festival and be exclusively profiled to the African digital art network and community. Digital creatives can apply at www.fakugesi.co.za.

Past winners include: Sindiso Nyoni  in 2017, Sonwabo Valashiya in 2018 and Leigh le Roux in 2019, whose work was digital augmented by poetess Miss Emmah

A central development for Fakugesi Festival 2020 is an Africa-wide Digital Art Curator Bootcamp. This seven-day, online experiential bootcamp, aims to power up curatorial focus of curators, producers and advocates of digital creativity in Africa. The bootcamp will also offer an opportunity for curators across the continent to send proposals for the commission of five online #POWERTOTHEPIXEL exhibitions.

“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 art curators. We are extremely excited about launching this as a part of our new online approach,” says Bristow.  Interested curators can apply at www.fakugesi.co.za.

The online approach of the Fak’ugesi Festival also promises increased international engagement for regional artists. This year, a new partnership with Austrian Art Electronic, has been formed to develop the profile of digital creatives in Africa.

One of the largest and longest running electronic arts festival’s in the world, Ars Electronica Festival 2020, will be partnering with Fak’ugesi Festival as part of  the Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD) at the Vrystaat Arts Festival in the development of Pan-African Virtual National Arts Festival at the end of June, in a project titled ‘Virtual Black Out: Experiments in the Future of Form’ bringing together digital artists with theatre makers to take a bold step into rethinking digital “space” making for virtual performances.

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/kAEJqN5V3Uw

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