Monday 15 August 2016

British Council Connect ZA is bringing together a range of fresh, innovative creative talent to this year’s Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival. Sponsored by the City of Johannesburg, this year the festival is concentrating on a new African vision of Community, Spirituality, and Femininity.

With everything from visual installations to live debates to virtual reality performances, we’re continuing the ethos of building community and sharing skills with innovation and digital as the core focus. We will work with creative and digital practitioners from South Africa and the UK to focus on new opportunities while plugging into a range of exciting events at the festival.

“I’m really excited about this programme and how projects like Creative Hustles, the Market Hack and Maker Library Network engage the youth, making industry experts from both countries and their technology more accessible. It’s all about sharing innovative tech with new audiences,” said Thato Noinyane, Project Manager, British Council Connect ZA.

We intersect with South Africa’s celebration of Women’s Month, as we profile and delve into the experience and work of women who are influencing the tech and creative industries in a big way. With a Creative Hustle, we look at how women are breaking boundaries in their mediums and explore the intersections between technology, creativity, and innovation. We also offer a Maker Library workshop aimed at mentoring young female engineers and programmers.

“Fak’ugesi has established itself as part of the cultural calendar in South Africa, so it’s great to be a part of the festival again this year. Some of the most exciting global advances are being driven by tech and creative invention. Linking the brightest tech and creative talents our countries have to offer benefits us all; in fact, it’s usually what stimulates the best ideas and innovation. British Council is here to help that collaboration take place.

Creative possibilities remain unfulfilled in the tech and innovation sector because women are massively under-represented in the industry. I hope this year’s focus on women will alert everybody that this must change,” said Tom Birtwistle, Deputy Director, British Council South Africa.

All the events are FREE and open for public participation. We’ve got events aimed at everyone, whether you are an interested newbie to creative tech or you’re an experienced programmer or engineer.

For the full programme British Council Connect ZA offers, visit the website.

Notes to Editor

About Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival. Fak’ugesi is slang for ‘switch on the electricity’ or ‘shine the light’. In their fifth year celebration, they are calling it the AFRO TECH RIOT and revving up a radical new African vision of Community, Spirituality, and Femininity.

About Maker Library Network The Maker Library Network (MLN) is a British Council project that connects designers and makers around the world, enabling the sharing of knowledge and skills and encouraging collaboration.

A Maker Library is a creative space for making, showing and reading. Each contains three key elements of a make-space, a gallery, and a library, connected to the global network via an online platform.

Connect ZA is a programme from the British Council that aims to build cultural connections between young people aged 18-35 in the UK and South Africa. The programme will include opportunities for showcasing, collaboration, innovation and professional development with a number of events and projects. The British Council will work in partnership with organisations and individuals, acting as a catalyst, a facilitator and partner, building sustainable relationships between the UK and South Africa.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

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