The showcase dubbed Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds unveiled six of the finest African Extended Reality (XR) storytelling creatives. These artists received mentorship and production support from Electric South to create their projects. The projects explored a range of subjects including African heritage, spirituality, masculinity, memory and imagination.
Meta partnered with Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi 3D a grant advocate for narrative change makers, a non-profit in XR and an XR creation lab respectively. This initiative was part of Meta’s XR programs and research investment in XR talent in Africa.
The six selected XR Creators received grants of up to $30,000 to support the production and development of new content. It took the creators approximately 6 months to complete their projects. The showcase took place on the 6th of October 2022 at The Wings office Complex, in Lagos, Nigeria.
The 6 selected creatives and experienced showcased were;
- Dylan Valley (South Africa) is an award-winning filmmaker and writer who sees the film as a tool for social change and awareness. Dylan’s Cissie Gool House is a 360 documentary about a precarious housing occupation in a new Cape Town hospital. This 360 documentary will immerse the viewer in the occupation as if they were partaking in reclaiming the building. The film will showcase the voices of the activists and occupiers who call Cissie Gool House home and speak to those who would rather have them gone.
- Malik Afegbau (Nigeria) is a versatile creative whose skills range from film directing to sound design & augmented reality. Malik’s ‘Moving Between’ is a 360 documentary that presents a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata dye pit, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria, by showcasing it in a three-dimensional virtual reality model. In a 5-minutes immersive experience, a deaf dancer takes the audience on a tour through the historic Kofar-Mata dye pits, using sign language instructions and dance.
- Michelle Angawa (Kenya) is a film editor, climate justice enthusiast and XR Curator. She is the co-founder of Exposition Media and an alumnus of the La Femis Université D’été, Paris. Michelle’s ‘1000 Shillings in Nairobi,’ a 360 fiction film is a short tragicomedy depicting a day in a Nairobian Boda (motorbike taxi) rider’s life. He drifts through a series of absurd encounters in an attempt to pay a motorbike loan of KSH 1000 ($10).
- Nirma Madhoo (Mauritius) is a fashion filmmaker, XR creator & teacher. She is a PhD candidate researching immersive technologies for digital fashion praxis. Nirma’s ‘XWE,’ 360 fashion film used volumetric capture and photogrammetry as a tribute to the original stargazers of Southern Africa. It celebrates the constellations of dispersed diasporic African identities through a Noirwave fashion performance set in a VR landscape of astrophysics.
- Pierre-Christophe Gam (Cameroon) is a multimedia artist who worked on ‘TOGUNA’, a hybrid (both live and online) art installation, fusing AR/VR, film, photography, mixed-media sculpture, future-thinking and storytelling, designed to facilitate a forum for an innovative conversation on the future of the African continent. This provides a WebVR experience using AR.
- Xabiso Vili (South Africa) is a multi-award-winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer, social activist and one of South Africa’s top poets. Xabiso’s ‘Black Boi meets Boogeyman’ is a multi-ending, ‘choose your adventure style 360° visual album. A speculative fiction piece where Black Boi, the protagonist, goes on a hero’s journey through South Africa that needs reminding of its light to confront the Boogeyman. This 360 visual album hopes to become an access point in which artists and communities can imagine using XR artistically and intentionally for communal healing.
Moky Makura the Executive Director of Africa No Filter talked about the power stories have when it comes to influencing and shaping perceptions about Africa. And that this power is amplified when those stories are immersive which is why it was exciting to be part of an initiative that allowed participants to tap into the future of storytelling in Africa.