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#FromNowOn – getting here and going forward

- Wits University

This year’s Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is the first full in-person Festival since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fak'ugesi Festival 2022

From doodles to trash art, telling stories through VR, AR and all about XR, to Jamz, an innovative combination of an animation jam and video game hackathon, and ending with the first Fak’ugesi Awards for Digital Creativity happening on Friday, this year’s festival is a celebration of young Pan-African talent in the digital sphere to its fullest.

In its 9th edition, the festival is rooted in showcasing and developing skills in technology, art and culture in Africa. It continues to bring industry, researchers and African creators together to celebrate how technology enables creativity while zooming in on the ways this relationship shapes our lives.

Dr Rene Smith, Leslie Williams, Eduardo Cachucho at the 2022 Fakugesi Festival opening night

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Fak’ugesi Creative Director, Eduardo Cachucho, said he truly believes in ‘artists' capability to change the world', and he thanked his team of ‘incredible young people who worked tirelessly to bring this year’s festival to life.

Newly appointed Head of the Wits School of Arts, Dr René Smith, said that content remains paramount now more than ever. “It is where the synergies between the academic and industry intersect and form a number of possibilities. It is where critical practice and embodiment provide for a richer, a textured and an intertextual reference and experiences, and it is where diversity and inclusion can be realised.”

Lesley Williams, CEO of Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct where the Festival is taking place, said the creative and cultural industry was one of the most affected industries in the pandemic. “Livelihoods were shattered but it also challenged us to with a sense of urgency think about the full value chain of our work as digital creatives. One way we are going to sustain our livelihoods is by being entrepreneurial.”

Fak'ugesi Festival 2022

This year's theme, #FromNowOn, aims to showcase the creative climate of a new age after the positive (and negative effects) of the Covid-19 pandemic. it calls for a moment to pause and reflect on where we are today and takes a look into Africa's digital future.

Splitting the theme into "FromNow" and "NowOn", the Festival will firstly look at how we arrived at our current context and how we got here, and then the latter will investigate how we use what we know of the now and respond energetically with creative solutions to our new perspectives on problems and opportunities in society.

!! Still to come this week

Don’t miss the Digi Echoes: 100 Years of Wits History through AR & VR, a collaboration between the Film and Television and Digital Arts Departments in the Wits School of Arts showcasing five VR films and Augmented Reality experiences that aim to capture Wits University’s place in time from the 1970s to the 2010s. This ‘lookback’ digitally capture fragments of Wits’ history as the University celebrates its centenary this year. Fak’ugesi Explorer ‘Maya’ travels back in time, living an echo, of the past in order to find her way back to the present.

Visit the for more programme details.