Fak’ugesi Festival Adds Power To Africa’s Digital Arts Scene

The Fakugesi Festival, a celebration of innovation in digital technology, arts and culture in Africa, is back for its 8th year from the 14th to the 24th of October. This year’s event will be a hybrid featuring project showcases, exhibitions, and insightful discussions with Africa’s top digital artists in Gaming, Immersive art, Animation, Music and Maker Culture. This will be an online festival with in-person workshops, and activations taking place in and around various sites in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.  

The festival attendees won’t have to endure a handful of Zoom panels.  It will be an immersive, multifaceted virtual experience, including workshops, a conference, screenings and exhibitions, a new virtual expo, and a full slate of awards for vibrant young creators breaking the mould in digital creativity.

Fak’ugesi Festival Curator, dillion s. phiri says, “Technology and creativity are at the epicentre of society right now, and for a while to come. Africa needs to embrace and celebrate how far we’ve come and how these two innovative spaces are shaping our daily lives. The Fak’ugesi Festival is about showcasing some of the best work created where these fields intersect on the continent. We have a variety of content and a high calibre of talent in Africa and are excited about the future that tech and creativity make possible.”

Founded in 2014 as a collaboration between Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and the Wits School of Arts, Digital Arts Department, the festival has, over the past 7 years, been a great gathering for creatives using technology and has reached 6000 annual participants. The festival has featured some of Africa’s globally renowned digital artists such as Bokang Koatja, Animator and Development artist, Multi-disciplinary artist, Natalie Peneng as well as Xopher Wallace, Creator, Visual artist and AR Designer. 

The name Fak’ugesi means “switch on” or “add power” in urban Zulu, and was initially named by the late Shonisani Lethole, a kind, generous and inspiring entrepreneur, and remarkable contributor to the creative industry. 

Over the years, the focus has been on digital creative industry work, ideas and critique have also attracted a growing audience of regional and international curators, producers, festival directors and creative industry professionals, interested in new work and new talent across Africa. 

Outside our annual festival programme, the Tshimologong Precinct works on year-long industry engagements and incubations hubs. 

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