From 6 to 16 September, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will once again transform Johannesburg into a celebration of technology, creativity, collaboration and innovation from across the African continent.
With its bold theme of ‘brave tech hearts beat as one’ the 2017 festival is centred on pioneering uniquely African technology and creativity in an electrifying ten-day programme to showcase the power of innovative collaboration.
The Tshimologong Precinct located at 47 Juta Street in Braamfontein will be at the heart of festivities to include opportunities for attendees to meet, play and share at a variety of seminars, talks, exhibitions, workshops, hack-a-thons, music, films, artists, games, innovation riots and much more.
Now in its fourth successful year, Fak’ugesi was originally founded by Prof Christo Doherty and Tegan Bristow from Wits Digital Arts, together with Prof Barry Dwolatzky from the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). From the isiZulu term meaning “add power” or “put on the electricity”, Fak’ugesi acts as a platform that brings together diverse digital and technology sectors to collaborate and share skills in digital media and technology innovation.
In the spirit of exploring the importance of technology across sectors, from engineering, to gaming, to music, to public life and social development, the primary sponsors for Fak’ugesi 2017 are the Tshimologong Precinct, Ericsson, IBM Research | Africa and Red Bull. Secondary sponsors include UN Habitat, City of Johannesburg and Maxum Digital (Innovation Hub). They are joined by the festival’s cultural partners Pro Helvetia & ANT Fund, British Council ConnectZA, French Institute, Canada 150, University of Dundee, Wits School of the Arts, NEoN Festival and Weheartbeat.
2017 Festival Director, Tegan Bristow, says this year’s Fak’ugesi Festival promises to deliver an exceptional line up geared towards bringing tech innovation to people in a fun, accessible and playful way. “Some incredible highlights at this year’s festival will include the Fak’ugesi Conference, the hugely popular Making Weekend, as well as our annual Market Hack event at the Nieghbourgoods Market in Braamfontein. We’re also thrilled to announce an exciting new curatorial partnership titled Fak’ugesi Beats, a beats, music and technology focus curated by We Heart Beat, who will go on to lead festival finale Beats Bloc Party as part of their larger program.”
Just some of the key events in this year’s ‘brave tech hearts beat as one’ Fak’ugesi Festival include:
8 September: Digital Africa Exhibition Opening & Festival Launch
8 to 10 September: Making Weekend, a free workshop programme to promote and celebrate skills development and skills exchange in the digital and technological space, catering to a variety of ages and experience levels. This will include a special focus on community driven urban design via Mixed Reality and Minecraft with Ericsson, UN Habitat and the City of Johannesburg.
11 to 13 September: Daring Curating, International Forum for Art and Technology in Africa, drawing the festival’s theme of bravery and collaboration, this forum brings together practitioners at all levels of professional experience to debate issues around curating Art and Technology in Africa.
13 to 16 September: A MAZE, welcomes African and international game developers, digital artists, forward thinkers, entrepreneurs, and digital activists to South Africa to exchange tools, skills, and ideas in the fields of independent games and playful media.
14 September: Fak’ugesi Conference, this unmissable one-day event will highlight the important conversations on the role of collaboration and interdisciplinary practice for creativity, technology and innovation in Africa.
16 September: Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, curated by We Heart Beat and featuring ColabNowNow by British Council ConnectZA together with Canada 150.