Calling all tech heads, gamers and music lovers! The Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival enters its last week next week – from 24th – 29th September – and as befits Africa’s largest festival of this type, it plans to go out in style with a special focus on gaming and beats.
With the theme of “Tap Your Afro Source Code”, this year’s festival is celebrating technology, creativity, art and innovation from across the African continent.
In its final week, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival explores music culture via the annual Beats Programme curated by WeHeartBeat, which will descend on the Tshimologong Precinct with a six-day takeover of Braamfontein’s tech hub. The program comprising of workshops, experiences and performances, facilitates the meeting of mind and spirit in an environment geared around the festival’s theme, “Tap Your Afro Source Code”.
The Fak’ugesi Beats Lab, running from the 24th to the 28th of September will host international electronic artists and explore the connection between music, technology and culture with local and international artists. The outcome from these sessions will result in an EP release, a short documentary and a live showcase performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on the 29th. The artists featured in the 2018 Beats Lab are S.Fidelity(Switzerland), Zikomo (USA), Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and South African artists Bonj Mpanza and Hlasko.
The programme includes panels on: ‘The Future of Music’ facilitated by Tefo Mohapi from iAfrikan.com and featuring guest panellists Riky Rick and Thibaut Mullings; ‘Managing Health Amongst Creatives’ featuring psychologist Thembi Mashigo and panel guests Ayanda Seoka, Mx Blouse and more. The day will include a Masterclass with Black Milk (USA), The Art of Remixing with Zikomo(USA) and close with a ‘Power of Collaborations’ session featuring Zikomo, S.Fidelity , Morena Leraba and Bonj Mpanza.
The last week of Fak’ugesi Festival also hosts a special session on the Future of African Gaming on the 28th and 29th of September. A full day on gaming, this will take place in collaboration with Red Bull Basement and focus on the theme of Tech for Good. The programme includes an Indie Games Arcade; a ‘Games for Good’ workshop focused games that address issues in South African urban environment.
You can also catch the A MAZE showcase, which presents creations that straddle the line between games and art from developers both local and international. Under the leadership of its creative director, Thorsten S. Wiedemann, linked the Johannesburg gaming scene to an international network of indie developers for six years from 2012 until 2017. A MAZE. / Berlin and A MAZE. / Johannesburg has inspired other projects like Super Friendship Arcade in Cape Town and Glitch Face in Johannesburg and was a huge impetus in the development of the Game Design programme in the Wits School of Arts – recently two of the school’s graduates released the first game on the Nintendo Switch
The week’s activities culminate in a celebration at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on Saturday 29 September, will the best in underground talent, both local and international.
Some of the artists performing include:
- Black Milk
- Morena Leraba
- Micr.Pluto + Hlasko
- Illa N + Langa Mavuso
- Rosie Parade
- Tha Cutt
- Tickets for Thursday 27 September are R50 per session and can be purchased via WeHeartBeat.
- There will be a limited run of R200 student tickets available for Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, upon presentation of a valid student ID.
- Workshop and student tickets can be purchased throughout the week at the reception of the Tshimologong Precinct.