Wits U brings digital festival back to Joburg

July 6th, 2015
Wits University will be hosting the second Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, with this year’s event focusing on digital innovation in Africa by Africans.

Wits University has announced that it will be hosting a second Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in conjunction with headline sponsor, the City of Johannesburg. Spanning over three weeks during August and September, the 2015 festival will be held at the Tshimologong Innovation Hub in Braamfontein and will include a spectacular audiovisual laser performance on the opening night.

Prof Christo Doherty, co-founder and Director of the Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival and Head of Digital Arts at Wits University says that the emphasis of the 2015 festival is on digital innovation in Africa, by Africans: “Africa needs innovation and the tremendous possibilities of digital will be the basis for an explosion of technological and artistic innovation. We are offering participants an excellent opportunity to learn, network and play again. The 2014 Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival was a great success and we are looking forward to another stimulating programme focused on digital innovation through the fusion of technology and creative arts.”


Prof Christo Doherty, co-founder and Director of the Fak’ugesi

Aimed at the youth primarily, as well as programmers, artists, digital entrepreneurs, gamers, musicians, 3D makers, dancers, choreographers, and hackers, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation festival is the perfect opportunity for anyone wanting access to inspiring digital innovation.

Doherty says that the 2015 programme will bring together top African, South African, and international talent: “Previously we have had excellent talent exchanges with the Goethe-Institut; British Council; French Institute, and Pro Helvetia and this year we have many exciting events lined up.”

The opening event at the historic Alexander Theatre will feature a live audiovisual laser performance by Robert Henke entitled Lumiere II.  Henke, brought to South Africa with the support of the Goethe Institut, is an artist working from Berlin in the fields of audiovisual installation, music and performance: “Coming from a strong engineering background, the beauty of technical objects fascinates Henke and developing his own instruments and algorithms is an integral part of his creative process.  We are extremely excited to host an artist of this calibre.”

“I am very excited to come to South Africa. It will be my first time and I only have a vague idea what to expect. Lumière is about rhythm, about perception of time, about repetition and change. A lot of music, which is important to me, has been hugely influenced by African music. The American minimalists inspire me, and also there is a connection between some types of early techno music and African rhythms and instrumentations. Thus, bringing Lumière to South Africa is in a way closing a circle, and then hopefully turning it into a spiral that repeats and evolves.” said Henke.

Dr. Norbert Spitz, Regional Director Goethe-Institut South Africa says: ”We are proud to continue our partnership with the Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival in 2015, by presenting an extraordinary audiovisual laser performance of Berlin based artist Robert Henke, which will explore the limits of what can be done with computer generated sound and laser technique. Additionally, and in line with our goal to strengthen pan-African dialogue through the arts, we are once more inviting digital artists and game developers from all over the continent to the 4th AMAZE Games and Playful Media Festival in Johannesburg, which will also be part of Fak’ugesi Festival.”

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will run from 21 August to 13 September in Braamfontein.

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