Meta (www.Facebook.com) today presented an exclusive XR exhibition featuring the six finalists of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ program, which is focused on supporting the next generation of extended reality (XR) creators in Africa.
Developed in partnership with Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi 3D, this is part of Meta’s XR Programs and research investment in XR talent in Africa.
With a focus on appropriating and changing African narrative, while telling compelling African stories that are contemporary and immersive, the finalists have developed a range of immersive digital experiences rooted in African culture through various media formats including 360 video, AR /VR and Mixed Reality.
Featured experiences include: Malik Afegbua, Nigeria: Malik’s ‘Moving Between’ is a 360° documentary that presents a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata Inkwell, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria, by displaying it in three dimensional model of virtual reality.
In a 5-minute immersive experience, a deaf dancer takes the audience on a tour of the historic Kofar-Mata dye wells, using sign language and dance instructions.
Xabiso Vili, South Africa: Writer, performer and new media artist, Xabiso’s ‘Black Boi meet Boogeyman’ is a 360° visual album with multiple endings and a ‘choose your adventure’ style.
A piece of speculative fiction where Black Boi, our protagonist, embarks on a hero’s journey through a South Africa that needs to remember his light to face the Boogeyman.
This 360 visual album hopes to become a hotspot where artists and communities can imagine using XR artistically and intentionally for community healing.
Dylan Valley, South Africa: Dylan’s Cissie Goal House is a 360 documentary about the precarious occupation of a house in a new hospital in Cape Town. This 360 documentary will immerse the viewer in the occupation as if they were participating in the recovery of the building.
The film will showcase the voices of the activists and squatters who call Cissie Gool House home and speak to those who would rather see them leave.
The medium of virtual reality will allow for greater empathy for these characters (often demonized in the press).
It will impart a deeper understanding of what it means to occupy, especially when it’s the only viable option you have.
Nirma Madhoo, Mauricio: Fashion Filmmaker, Creator of XR 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.
She will celebrate the constellations of African identities scattered throughout the diaspora through a Noirwave fashion show set in a virtual reality astrophysical landscape.
Pierre-Christophe Gam, Cameroon – Pierre is a multimedia artist who worked on ‘TOGUNA‘, a hybrid art installation (both live and online), fusing AR/VR, film, photography, mixed media sculpture, future thinking and storytelling.
designed to provide a forum for an innovative conversation about the future of the African continent.
This provides a WebVR experience using AR.
Michelle Angawa, Kenya: Film editor and creator of XR, Michelle’s ‘1000 Shillings in Nairobi’, a 360° fiction film is a short tragicomedy depicting a day in the life of a Nairobi Boda cyclist.
She drifts through a series of absurd encounters in an attempt to pay off a KSH 1000 ($10) motorcycle loan.
Sherry Dzinoreva, Meta’s Director of Public Policy Programs for Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, said: “As the next phase of this program, we are delighted to present this specially curated exhibition featuring the work of six talented creators from across the continent.
, all of whom have created beautiful, thought-provoking African stories and experiences using immersive technology.
We know that Africa has immense talent, which we see reflected in the curated experiences, and as we set our sights on the metaverse, we believe that creators, especially those on the continent, will play a key role in unlocking its potential.”
Commenting on the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme, Moky Makura, Executive Director of Africa No Filter, added: “We know the power of stories when it comes to influencing and shaping perceptions about Africa.
That power is amplified when those stories are immersed.
tive and that is what current technologies offer to storytellers.
It is exciting to be part of an initiative that has allowed us to harness the future of storytelling in Africa.”