Facebook: Celebrating the Winners of the Future Africa Grant for Extended Reality Creators

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Facebook: Celebrating the Winners of the Future Africa Grant for Extended Reality Creators

Today, we are excited to celebrate the six finalists of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme focused on the next generation of Extended Reality (XR) creators in Africa. 

The exhibition which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria and will feature installations telling compelling African stories through a mix of music, multimedia, film and sculpture. The showcased works will explore themes of spirituality, heritage, the cosmos, imagination & memory, and masculinity in a  contemporary, narrative-shifting and immersive way. 

The programme is driven in partnership with Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi 3D as a part of our XR Programs and Research investment into   XR talents across Africa. 

The six finalists come from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Cameroon, and Kenya and they are: 

  • Malik Afegbua, Nigeria: 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 will take the audience on tour through the historic Kofar-Mata dye pits, using sign language instructions and dance. 
  • Xabiso Vili, South Africa: A writer, performer and new media artist, Xabiso’s ‘Black Boi meets Boogeyman’ is a multi-ending, ‘choose your adventure’ style 360° visual album. A speculative fiction piece where Black Boi, our protagonist, goes on a hero’s journey through a 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.
  • Dylan Valley, South Africa: 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. The medium of VR will allow for greater empathy for these characters (often demonised in the press). It will impart a deeper understanding of what it means to occupy, especially when it is the only viable option you have.
  • Nirma Madhoo, Mauritius: A fashion filmmaker, XR creator and Ph.D. candidate. Nirma’s ‘XWE,’ 360 fashion film using volumetric capture and photogrammetry is a tribute to the original stargazers of Southern Africa. It will celebrate the constellations of dispersed diasporic African identities through a Noirwave fashion performance set in a VR landscape of astrophysics.
  • Pierre-Christophe Gam, Cameroon: Pierre 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.
  • Michelle Angawa, Kenya: A film editor and  XR creator, Michelle’s ‘1000 Shillings in Nairobi,’ a 360 fiction film is a short tragicomedy depicting a day in a Nairobian Boda rider’s life. He drifts through a series of absurd encounters in an attempt to pay a motorbike loan of KSH 1000 ($10).

The finalists have been chosen based on their creative exploration of various media formats and interesting approach to video formats, technology and interactive media — qualities that we believe will be integral to the evolution of content creation in the metaverse. 

In order to help the creators expand their creative capacity, we supported each creator mentorship from Electric South and Imisi 3D.