Fak’ugesi is Jozis one and only African Digital Innovation Festival, which will be taking place in September. This year's theme is ‘Tap your Africa Source Code’. The focus this year will be on bringing to the table important African visions and futures, by tapping into the sources of African tradition and culture alongside technology, creativity, and innovation. Explore how local culture can move and change the future of technology. What would you call a vernacular algorithm? What is algorithm in IsiZulu? In 2018, Fak’ugesi calls on you to explore the algorithms, patterns and fractals of Africa! In digital art, music, games, VR, digital makers or the way you braid your hair.

The Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Residency

To support young digital creatives and innovators, the Fak'ugesi offers a creative residency, which was first established in 2014. This year's residency is Fak'ugesi's fifth and most expansive and it will be taking place from 8 August until 9 September. The Residency this year includes artists from Cairo, New Delhi, and Geneva, together with an artist from South Africa and another from Zimbabwe, supporting regional connection and networks in the digital arts.

“This year, we will see creative technologists dive deep into the algorithms, patterns and fractals of their indigenous cultures. Each will endeavour to respond to the 2018 Fak’ugesi Festival theme, in which we explore the role that vernacular and traditional cultures have in digital culture and practices,” says Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi Festival director.

According to Tegan, the Residency will receive support from Pro Helvetia and the ANT Fund via the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which has been supporting it since 2016. “We are excited to be collaborating with Pro Helvetia again and to be extending the Residency with them. The 2018 inclusion of North Africa, South Asia and Switzerland, alongside our annual SADC focus, is part of a 2018 programme by Pro Helvetia to celebrate the anniversaries of their offices, in Cairo (30 years), Johannesburg (20 years) and New Delhi (10 years).”

The head of Pro Helvetia’s Johannesburg office, Joseph Gaylard, said Pro Helvetia has chosen to invest in the Residency because it “brings a new generation of aspirant practitioners from these cities together with more experienced artists from India, Switzerland, and Johannesburg in order to plant new furrows of transnational connection and collaboration in the digital arts field beyond its traditional home in the Anglo-American-European world. We do so in the belief that this alternate geography will be an important source of new thinking and practice at the intersection of culture, art and technology in the coming years.”

The residents will be hosted by the brand new Tshimologong Maker Space and the Wits School of Arts Point of Order Gallery. There will also be a final exhibition that will open on the 4th of September at Point of Order Gallery.

The Residency will incorporate a special project by Swiss artist, Marc Lee, which focuses on language diversity in online media. Marc will act as mentor for the residents, and will also be offering a masterclass, open to the public on the 7th of September.

This year’s Fak’ugesi Residency artists include: Nkhensani Mkhari (Johannesburg), Joshua Chiundiza (Harare), Yara Mekawei (Cairo), Abhiyan Humane (New Delhi), Anoop Saxena (New Delhi), and Mathilde Buenerd (Geneva).

For more information on Fak'ugesi 2018 or the Residency, visit www.fakugesi.co.za


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