With six recipients chosen for the Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds program, Africa No Filter and Meta, Facebook’s parent company, unveiled the next generation of Extended Reality (XR) creators in Africa.
The XR creators will utilize music, multimedia installations, films, and sculpture to explore topics concerning spirituality, history, the Cosmos, memory, imagination, masculinity, and fluid spaces.
Kenyan film editor XR creator Michelle Angawa won the KES 3,429,000 grant and will be creating short tragicomedies that depict a day-in-the-life of a Nairobian boda boda rider, exploring desire and the complexities of Nairobian life.
“The Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds is a partnership between narrative-change organisation Africa No Filter (ANF) and Meta, aiming to centre African stories in future technologies. The program, launched in December 2021 as part of ANF’s work of supporting storytellers, also sits at the convergence of innovation and storytelling and how XR can tell compelling African stories that are contemporary, narrative-shifting and immersive.” the statement read.
Participants will also take part in XR industry events in order to boost their creativity and raise awareness for their initiatives with Electric South and Imisi3D providing mentorship.
Jessica Hagan, Arts and Culture Program Lead at ANF, said, “It’s reassuring to see the amount of incredible XR talent on the African continent. The creativity and innovation we encountered in the selection process has been very exciting. It shows that Africa is also on the pulse of global innovation and tech trends that are redefining how stories are told and experienced. XR content creation is costly, but African creators are not falling behind.”
- Cameroonian multimedia artist Pierre-Christophe Gam is working on a hybrid art installation that fuses VR, film, photography, and mixed-media sculpture to imagine the future of Africa from the perspective of an African family living in 2070.
- South African writer, performer and new media artist Xabiso Vili’s visual album is a speculative fiction piece that explores reconciliation and healing. Vili hopes to turn toxic masculinity into compassionate masculinity.
- Nirma Madhoo is a fashion filmmaker, XR creator and PhD candidate from Mauritius. Her work explores African cultures as technologies, which she illustrates through ancient practices like cultural astronomy.
- Nigerian multimedia artist Malik Afegbua is curating a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata dye pit, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria.
- Mozambican director and producer Lara Sousa uses the journey of Lemanjá, the Afro-Brazilian goddess of wisdom, to explore the ocean as a sacred site of spirituality.
The Grants program is expected to end on 13th August 2022.