Electric South and the Goethe-Institut at this year’s Durban Film Mart at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will present “New Dimensions – Virtual Reality Africa”, a selection of specialised productions from Kenya, Senegal and Ghana.
Each of these works, said organisers in a statement, offered a view of the vibrant, diverse and ever-changing cultural landscape of contemporary Africa.
Ingrid Kopp and Steven Markovitz, Founders of Electric South, said: “The aim of this collaboration with the Goethe-Institut is to provide funding support to African storytellers and artists in the development and production of their own VR ideas, and introducing African and international audiences to African-produced VR.”
Said Lien Heidenreich-Seleme, Head of Cultural Programmes for Subsaharan-Africa at the Goethe-Institut South Africa: “As part of our work with the theme “future”, we are exploring virtual reality not only with filmmakers, but with artists from very different disciplines all over Sub Saharan Africa. We are excited to see how new technological means will allow for new stories being told.”
Included was the VR work “Spirit Robot” by Ghanaian science fiction author and founder of the Afrocyberpunk website Jonathan Dotse who explored the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra.
Kenyan photographer Ng’endo Mukii produced a poetic city symphony on Nairobi in the VR piece “Nairobi Berries”, consisting of her lyrical voice-over alongside surreal, layered images of the city.
Her synopsis reads: “In the empty spaces we cannot claim as our own, in forests full of smoke and beneath still waters, two women and a man wrangle. Each must hollow out the other’s core for fruits promised but only ever borne in dreams. For this is Nairobi, the city we call home.”
Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane presents a magical 360 piece, in which a little girl is chosen to discover the invisible Dakar.
Kenyan “The Nest Collective” created an interactive work set in the distant future, when a group of Africans have left the Earth to create a colony on a distant planet.