Fak’ugesi African Digital Residency goes Trans-Continental in 2018

The Fak’ugesi Digital African Residency, a creative residency to support digital creatives and innovators, has announced its fifth and most expansive artist residency yet. The Residency is running from the 8th of August until the 9th of September this year.

Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi Festival director, says that this extended Residency is an exciting one: “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 play in digital culture and practices.”

Bristow says the Residency has and will continue to receive ongoing support from Pro Helvetia and the ANT Fund via the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC): “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, forms part of the 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, outlines the motive force behind Pro Helvetia’s investment: “The Residency brings a new generation of aspirant practitioners from these cities together with more experienced artists from India, Switzerland and Johannesburg. The aim is 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 future.”

First established in 2014, 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.

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

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

a collage of the different Fa'ugesi 2018 Residents

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

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

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