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A Cultural Economies Conference will take place on 5 and 6 September 2019, presented by the Goethe-Institut South Africa in Johannesburg’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, as part of the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival running from 30 August to 8 September 2019.
The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will explore and celebrate technology and creativity by Africans for Africa. This year, the Festival has cast its central theme as ‘Own Your Force’ which invites digital makers in Africa to stake their claim on their talent, industry and creative economy.
In the spirit of this year’s Festival theme, the Cultural Economies Conference will
bring together a spectrum of contributors within the cultural and creative industries (CCI). From practitioners to policy makers, the programme will critically engage with the ecosystems and economies of local and continental CCI contexts.
The Cultural Economies Conference will feature future-focused and solutions-driven
sessions that unpack the possibilities that tech and innovation offer the creative sector, with interrogation of topics such as the changing nature of storytelling and blockchain as highly anticipated highlights. “Stakeholders from across the CCIs are invited to take part in this exciting opportunity for engagement; in the hopes that they will be able to gain insight into the thinking of the CCI around their practice, realities and visions, particularly from an African and future-focused perspective,” explains Cultural Economies Conference project Manager Bandile Gumbi.
Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director Dr Tegan Bristow adds, “We are looking forward to welcoming some of the continent‘s leading digital thinkers and practitioners to share with us at this year’s event.” Just two of Africa’s leading
lights joining the Cultural Economies Conference in 2019 are C.J. Obasi and Babusi
Nyoni. Hailing from Nigeria, Obasi is film director, screenwriter and editor. He is
best known for his debut feature, a zero budget film titled Ojuju, which premiered
at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in November 2014, and won the
award for Best Nigerian Film and earned Obasi the Trailblazer of the Year award in
March 2015, at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. Zimbabwean-born Babusi
Nyoni is design strategist and innovator currently living in Amsterdam. In 2016 he
created what Forbes magazine described as “the world’s first AI football
commentator” for the UEFA Champions League final on behalf of Heineken. More
recently, Nyoni created an app for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease using
computer vision. The findings we presented of which were presented at Oxford
University on the Skoll World Forum stage in April this year.
As a conference through-line, Colliding Ecosystems explores the spaces of
increasing overlap between the creative and digital industries; in particular, taking
into account the different contexts and ecosystems in which entrepreneurs need
to be able to operate effectively. Economies Of Trust considers what these
ecosystems are and need to be, in order to support ‘makers’, who often find
themselves needing to both produce within, as well as be, the ecosystems for their
work. The conference will also interrogate socially-orientated vs traditionally
capitalist approaches in the context of (intellectual) property ownership and the
crossover between the fourth industrial revolution and the cultural and creative
industries. In a session looking at Ecosystems of Tech-Knowledge-y, a panel of
practitioners will offer their scene-setting perspectives on the intersections
between the CCI and digital ecosystems. A look at the legal, policy and
communications Frameworks in which these sectors are required to operate hopes
to clarify perspectives on pertinent issues.
In addition, a deeper consideration of the Changing Currencies operating in these
new economic contexts requires looking at social (as) currency in the 4IR, and the
investment required to operate in these changing marketplaces. These ideas are
mined in a conversation around ‘Communications as the currency of the digital
economy’. A session on ‘Storytelling as Africa‘s value proposition’ will unpack
suggestions for dismantling power structures and hierarchies of visual storytelling
across genres and media. Additional engagement will be driven by tech-facilitated
creative solutions and mechanisms for digital innovation for the creative sector;
including how tech solutions are changing the game, using blockchain, smart
contracts and digital copyright solutions.
Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, which will host
the Fak’ugesi Festival for a sixth year says the precinct is a natural meeting point
for the digital arts community in Africa and across the globe. “This is where African
digital artists interact with counterparts from around the world, collaborate around
best practice and create something truly memorable,” she says.
For more information on the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival visit
www.fakugesi.co.za. Tickets available via Quicket.co.za – conference pass, including
general festival access: R300 (R150 for students)
The 2019 Cultural Economies Conference is supported by, and presented on behalf
of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),
the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GmbH)) and the
Goethe-Institut to promote the emerging market of cultural and creative industries
in Africa and in the Middle East.