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26 July 2015

Jo’Burg gets ready for Innovation ZA 2015!

Innovation ZA will be inspiring young South Africans to unleash their creativity, develop digital skills and explore new possibilities for technology in everyday life.

Fak’ugesi; Zulu for “switch it on” and the name of Johannesburg’s electrifying digital innovation festival, which we're teaming up with this August and September.  We're presenting Innovation ZA, a series of events and happenings, allowing people to get hands on with technology, creatively collaborate and hear from some of the UK and South Africa's finest futurist minds.

Johannesburg's Ithuba Arts Gallery, set in the creative district of Braamfontein, will be the hub of Innovation ZA activity.  It'll be the venue for all collaborative workshops, parties, open installations, film screenings and more.  

But this year sees Innovation ZA extending its reach and taking events out into the Johannesburg's townships, giving more people the opportunity to get involved.  And UK based creatives have a chance to take part too, as part of onedotzero’s award winning cascade_za programme.  

Programme Highlights


 @ Ithuba Arts Gallery. Mon 7 to Sat 12 September.  

After a hugely successful stint at Innovation Month 2014,  cascade_za is back for another series of workshops to catalyse collaboration between young creatives in the UK and South Africa. Recent graduates, visual artists, creative coders, fashion designers, filmmakers, architects, performers, technologists, animators, illustrators and musicians are all welcome to apply; onedotzero aren't hung up on labels. 

Successful applicants will be flying over to Johannesburg to co-create innovative work, guided by mentors including Ling Tan from civic tech innovators Umbrellium and Jepchumba, artist and founder of The project will culminate in a public showcase and party extravaganza at Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.

Applications have now closed for cascade_za, but there are many other opportunities for young people to engage creatively. 


@ Ithuba Arts Gallery, Alexandra and Soweto. Fri 21 August – Sun 6 Sept. 

The global Maker Library project links spaces which combine three key elements: library, a makespace and a gallery.

For Innovation ZA we're taking the Maker Library project mobile. We'll be packing maker tools and expertise into a specially modified van to take the resources to new audiences in the townships of Alexandra and Soweto.

Discover more about the project here.


@ The Grove at Southpoint. Sat 29 August.

©City Sightseeing South Africa

Watermans and Wits University will be setting up a rather strange stall in the Grove courtyard. Nothing is for sale; instead visitors and passers-by will be able to engage in all manner of creative technologies and mini, hands-on projects, and meet the designers and makers behind them. 

Fak'gesi’s Digital Africa Residency co-curator, and curator of the Market Hack, Irini Papadimitrou (Watermans, UK) hopes that this year's event can put down roots and “become a more regular event bringing together SA/Johannesburg makers from different spaces and areas, DIY media communities, designers, technologists, students etc.”

Have a look at last year's Market Hack here.

Emerging Promoters workshop

@ Ithuba Arts Gallery. Thursday 3 Sept.

Kazim Rashid of WARP Records (UK) is the featured panellist at this public workshop aimed at empowering emerging promoters. The marketing expert and DJ will be based in South Africa for a three-month residency, throwing parties and taking workshops in Cape Town and Jo'burg.

Creative and Digital Hustles

@ Ithuba Arts Gallery. Dates tbc.

Creative and Digital Hustles are opportunities for young people (18 – 25 years old) to engage with all aspects of creative practice in the digital space, from innovation and creativity to entrepreneurship.  The Hustles feature professionals sharing stories and insight.  This is the third year of Creative and Digital Hustles, which are produced in partnership with Live Magazine.

Fak'gesi’s Digital Africa Residency is supported by SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council Connect ZA.

Download the full Innovation ZA programme here.