Tegan Bristow holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, painting to be specific. In the Honours year of this degree she became very interested in computers and coding and started teaching herself how to code and work creatively with computers. This led her to a Masters Degree in Interactive Digital Media at Wits with the Digital Arts Division of the Wits School of Arts in 2007.
Following her graduation, Tegan was hired by Wits to run this same MA program, and has been running it and other initiatives in this field at Wits for the last ten years. In this time Tegan was also fortunate to develop her own creative career as an interactive digital media artists and as a researcher in the field. In 2012 she started her PhD focusing specifically on understanding and unpacking the role of culture and technology in Africa. This took her on a five year research trajectory that into exploring cultures of technology in Africa, with particular focus on Nairobi and Johannesburg as cases. This research led not only to her completed dissertation, but an important exhibition produced with the Goodman Gallery titled "Post African Futures" and further development of platforms for showing and engaging African Digital Cultures. Though still employed by Wits, she is since 2016 the Director of the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.
Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival
Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is a non traditional electronic arts or media festival. In this its objective is not only to showcase existing work, but allow the festival to become a location for making and interrogating digital cultures. The reason for this is that digital culture in Southern Africa and the region is still being negotiated in various cultures of technology and histories on the continent. The current locations for digital cultural practices, are therefore found in non-western digital repositories and in alternative cultural practices. The festival therefore not only allows for skills development and exchange as part if its aim, but acts as a location in which digital practices can be interrogated, questioned and collaboratively produced.
"Working with the British Council ConnectZA over the last three years had been enormously beneficial in helping not only build the foundations of what the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is today, but has additionally aided my role as both Director and curator within this field. I hold the Festival and what it explores as an important contemporary cultural development for South Africa and the region, and am honoured by the British Council ConnectZA attention to this and the shared vision of a future creative economy within the digital and technological in Africa." says Tegan.