Meet the 2022 Electric South New Dimensions Lab Artists!
The lab brings together curious, creative and collaborative artists and advisors to explore and experiment new frontiers of digital storytelling.
We are so excited to share the artists that have been selected for the 2022 edition of the Electric South Immersive Media Lab!! Now in its 5th edition, the New Dimensions Lab brings together diverse African artists to develop stories told through creative technology alongside leading industry advisors.
Taking place early next year, artists will get to engage in discussions and masterclasses, and workshop their creative projects. As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Lab will take on a hybrid format giving applicants who are unable to travel an opportunity to take part virtually. 12 physical and 8 virtual applicants have been selected to participate.
Our cohort of artists come from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda; with two traveling from Denmark and the USA. We’re excited to have a diverse range of artists working in photography, filmmaking, dance, theatre, music, animation, visual/audio art, botany, activism, fashion/interior design, and new media.
Past artists include Francois Knoetze (Dir. The Subterranean Imprint Archive), Simon Wood and Meghna Singh (Dir. Container) and Dylan Valley (Dir. Azibuye). These projects have gone on to be premiered at prestigious festivals including Sundance New Frontiers, La Biennale Di Venezia, BFI London film festival and Rotterdam Film Festival.
Electric South will commission and finance at least three works developed at the 5th New Dimensions Lab.
Meet the 2022 Electric South Immersive Media Lab Artists
Arafa C. Hamadi — Tanzania
Arafa C. Hamadi (they/them) is a multidisciplinary visual and installation artist, working in the fields of graphic, 3D, set and structural design, working in both the physical and the digital realms. They graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2017, with a Masters of Arts with Honours in Architecture and are currently based in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Arafa’s work also explores their queerness in relation to space and occupancy. Their physical installations have been part of various East African festivals, including the Ongala Music Festival and Kilifi New Year, both of which they art directed. Follow their work and social media
Arome Ibrahim — Nigeria
Arome is a virtual tour professional, 360VR content developer, passionate about Extended Reality (XR) for Education, Arts & Culture, Heritage Digitization in Africa. Arome is the co-founder of Experis Immersive, a leading Extended Reality startup dedicated to developing fully interactive virtual tours, virtual & augmented reality experiences. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Arome observed that the arts and cultural industry in Nigeria were significantly affected by the pandemic as arts, heritage enthusiasts couldn’t visit museums with ease due to the lockdown. Arome launched Virtuality Africa, a virtual museum project which seeks to partner with museums, galleries, artists in Africa to digitize their artworks utilizing photogrammetry, 360VR, and augmented reality. The goal is to create experiences that will change the narrative, perception about Africa, its people and culture. See more of Arome’s work here
Abdul Dube — Denmark
Abdul Dube is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, curator and workshop facilitator based in Aarhus, Denmark. His work concerns questions of multicultural belonging, racism and resistance, intersectional solidarity, heritage, sustainability, Black imagination and activism. Abdul’s heritage related work includes facilitating Antiblack racism in our public archives workshop with Black Archives Sweden; teaching, writing and creating Zines for the Horizon-2020 funded project European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities; and Creative Liaison to the Aros Museum Education Department. Follow their work here
Ainslee Alem Robson — USA
LA-based Cleveland native Ainslee Alem Robson is an award-winning Ethiopian-American director, writer and media artist. Her directorial debut, Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR, based on her personal experience deconstructs tensions embedded within intersectional layers of her biracial identity, migration, perception, and nostalgia. This afrosurreal 360 film premiered at Tribeca, SXSW and travelled to 11 other film festivals and art spaces worldwide. Ferenj received the Special Jury Prize at the NewImages Film Festival in Paris and has also been translated into French and Mandarin. She creates productive images of her community, of Ethiopia and of the continent — to push beyond reductive and misrepresentative narratives of Africa and Blackness. Ainslee’s background in philosophy renders a critical approach to her emancipatory storytelling strategies. Through a transcultural, feminist, and first-generation American lens she crafts stories focusing on underrepresented narratives that deconstruct identity, hierarchy and colonial legacies using film and emerging technologies in digital art. Follow her work.
Godisamang Khunou — South Africa
Godisamang is an award-winning filmmaker and the owner of Mogale Pictures, a production company that is driven by the PAN African movement and African feminism to validate the experiences and emotions of African women. The business is supported by The 2021 Hub at the Goethe-Institut to create documentaries, fiction and virtual reality content as well as business and strength coaching. Khunou is one of two XR winners of the 2021 Digital Lab Africa. She is an innovator with potential to contribute to African cinema, and creating more opportunities for black young women like herself. See more of her work here
Haroon Gunn-Salie — South Africa
Haroon Gunn-Salie is an artist and activist who believes that art has real potential to effect changes in society. Gunn-Salie’s multidisciplinary practice draws focus to forms of collaboration based on socially engaged dialogue and exchange. Gunn-Salie completed a BA Hons in Sculpture at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2012 and has been awarded the SP-Arte/Videobrasil prize (2016), the FNB Art Prize (2018). Gunn-Salie completed a BA Hons in Sculpture at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2012 and has been awarded the SP-Arte/Videobrasil prize (2016), the FNB Art Prize (2018). Gunn-Salie is also a cultural worker, having curated his own exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg (2015), and Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town (2020–21), at Videobrasil (2016), Skissernas Museum (2019), in Sweden and at Marta Moriarty Gallery (2016), in Madrid. As a curator he has completed successful projects with Johannesburg Development Agency (2016), and the Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture’s Museum Service (2020), at the Worcester Museum. View more of his work here
Lesiba Mabitsela – South Africa
Lesiba Mabitsela is a South African interdisciplinary artist, designer and Fashion Practitioner currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mabitsela’s practice incorporates visual art and design with critical fashion and performance studies in his exploration of African masculine identities. Mabitsela is a former recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation scholarship, contributing to the completion of his master’s degree in theatre and performance at the University of Cape Town which was guided by the multidisciplinary studies offered under the auspices of the Institute for Creative Arts (formerly known as GIPCA). Mabitsela is also a founding member of the African Fashion Research Institute. View Lesiba’s work here
Louise Coetzer — South Africa
Louise is a multidisciplinary dance artist working with site-specific performance, digital & tech-based art, choreography for the stage, and dance film. Her works are experiential, experimental, and often interdisciplinary. Her research on the use of new technologies as a presentation tool is ongoing. Coetzer obtained a B.Tech Degree in Dance from the Pretoria Technikon. She is founding Artistic Director of Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre (est. 2010). er film works have screened at Video Art Miden (Greece), 40 North Festival (Calif. USA), Foreign Exchange (Paris, France), Ubumuntu Arts Festival (Kigali,Rwanda), Agite Y Sirva (Oaxaca, Mexico), The British Film Institute (London, UK) and Global Art & Moving Images (Pinsio, Finland). Awards: Best Film — Under The Dome Fest; Top Three Film — Danceador Videodance Fest (USA). See more information on her work here
Natalie Paneng — South Africa
She is awkward, complex, and has a quirk to her expression. Residing in Johannesburg and the cyber village called the Internet. Natalie is a digital artist who completed a BADA (Hons) from the University of Witwatersrand in 2018, majoring in Production Design (Set and Costume Design) and Art Management. Natalie makes use of both her self-taught digital skills and her theatre background to create multidisciplinary digital art. Her work has been exhibited with TMRW Gallery, The National Arts Festival, Blank Projects, Michaelis School of Fine Art, BKHz Gallery, Suburbia Contemporary, Javett Art UP and Galerie Eigen Art Leipzig. Along with this she has participated in local artist residencies such as Bubblegumclub Future 76 Residency (2018), Floating Reverie (2019) and Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Artist Residency (2019). Natalie also published creative research through Ellipses Journal and Artist Research Africa and was a 2020 Fellow with the Institute of Creative Arts and the University of Cape Town. Town. Through her work she explores what it means to have an online presence, the personas we develop online, and how the internet and its algorithms control and influence us and our perceived reality. Follow her here
Noel Apitta — Uganda
Noel Apitta is a 27 year old, self-taught Ugandan creative technologist and audio-visual artist. A student of diverse backgrounds in electrical engineering, production design for live concerts to graphic and motion design, he is a lover of great stories and even better music. Noel’s last major professional project involved scenography, live-visual design and performance for Ugandan Jazz/Afro-Soul artist MoRoots’ A CONCERT FROM THE SUN. Now, he specialise in real-time generative art and design using programming languages like TOUCHDESIGNER and Python with a focus on abstract audio-visual interactive design and storytelling. Noel has been able to create more than 400 individual unique video artworks as part of my daily project, GENERATIVE DREAMS, since July 2020; with some of his work being exhibited as part of the CREATIVE CODE FESTIVAL at LIGHTBOX NYC in New York City and the NeoShibuyaTV 15 SECOND MUSEUM at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Have a look at their work here
Osakpolor Omoregie — Nigeria
Osakpolor Omoregie is a documentary photographer and filmmaker living in Lagos, Nigeria. He received his B.A. in English and Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. His work focuses primarily on social justice and culture. His works have been featured on various local and international platforms including CNN Africa, BBC, Quartz and by leading Nigeria newspapers. In 2018, Omoregie had his first solo show at the Thought Pyramid Art Centre in Lagos, Abuja and Benin City. His works have also been included in various group exhibitions locally and internationally. In 2019, his short film; “Grey” won the Fashola Photography Foundation Prize. He was nominated for the Edwin George Prize for Photography at The Future Africa Awards in 2017, for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass, 2020 and finalist at Art X Prize, 2021. Follow Osakolor’s work here
Pierre-Christophe Gam — Kenya
Born in 1983 to a Cameroonian father and a Chadian mother, Pierre trained in interior design at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the Central St. Martins School in London. In West Africa, the griots were the guardians of the memory of the community, which they transmitted through stories, poems and music. He sees his practice as a continuation of this great tradition. Pierre creates stories inspired by pre and post-colonial myths stemming from Africa and its diaspora, which he narrates through interactive, physical and virtual spaces, inside which the public is invited to interact, dream and envision realty, beyond the limitations of the present. The core of his practice is based on the idea of dreams as the starting point from which reality is formed. See more about his work here
Roxanne Dalton — South Africa
Roxanne is a passionate documentary filmmaker living in Cape Town and is constantly on the lookout for compelling stories and creative ways those stories can impact the world at large. Her experience has spanned working as a sound designer on one of South Africa’s first animation feature films, Jock of the Bushveld, to working as the in-house producer at The University of Cape Town’s TV Studio and eventually founding her own production company, Reel Epics Productions, with two associate filmmakers. She has directed and produced the feature documentary film ‘Finding Freedom’, which premiered at the 2016 Durban International Film Festival and went on to win a South African Film and Television Award. Follow Roxanne here
Shiferaw Yinessu — Ethiopia
Shiferaw Yinessu is the founder and director of Vibe, a creative agency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His personal work emphasizes the mythical and magical elements of Ethiopian culture and history to build epic narratives that portray African villains, sages, heroes and heroines in historical and fantasy settings. Follow his work
Siya Umlilo Ngcobo — South Africa
Intergalactic shape-shifting kwaai diva Umlilo is a genre and gender bending multi-disciplinary artist. The queer performer/music producer’s signature sound dubbed ‘future kwaai’ explores and pushes the boundaries of electronic kwaito, alt-pop music in contemporary South Africa and has been a regular fixture in the international music community. Umlilo merges an avant-garde aesthetic with technology, visual art, dance, film and fashion design. They have released two acclaimed visual EP’s that have been playlisted worldwide, received over 300 000 streams online and featured across film, art, literature, fashion and music platforms. Umlilo has performed shows and tours in North and South America, Southern Africa and Europe. Umlilo has released two EP’s ‘Shades of Kwaai’ and ‘Aluta’ available on Apple Music, Amazon and most online music platforms. The EP was playlisted all over the world in countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, France and USA. See more of Siya’s work here
Thalente Khomo — South Africa
Thalente Khomo is based in KwaZulu-Natal and is a photographer, living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa. Khomo’s practice revolves around digital photography and posed portraiture, and is often involved with post-productive processes that manipulate her subjects’ reality, through play with colour and repetition. Infrequent portrayals of children, Khomo is able to reflect on the generationally inherited problems of racial capitalism, highlighting cycles of poverty that create reproducing situations of struggle and addiction. A signature treatment of saturation and contrast defines much of the artist’s aesthetic strategy, where subjects’ skin tones are almost exclusively edited into rich greyscales, and backgrounds are often dialed up to intense fields of bright colour. Her achievements — AVA gallery cultural exchange exhibition 2021- Cape Town • NWU gallery Art bank collection 2021- Klerksdorp • She bad bad exhibition at The Market photo workshop gallery 2021- Johannesburg • Joburg Fringe exhibition at The Artroom gallery 2020- Johannesburg • The Room group exhibition at the KZNSA gallery 2019- Durban • Greatmore studios Thupelo art workshop residency exhibition 2019- Pietermaritzburg • Tshwele Pele Art bank of South Africa exhibition at the Durban Art gallery 2019- Durban • Utalagu group exhibition at Ikomkhulu art space 2019-Durban • Ikhono lase Natal (Zanele Muholi commission) at the KZNSA gallery 2019- Durban. Follow her work
Walid Kilonzi — Kenya
Walid is a Virtual Reality Producer and a Creative Director with a knack for telling stories, a flair for detail, and a hint of humour. He blends storytelling, the human condition, and Mise-en-scène to share brands’ messages through immersive experiences or stories to get brands, new clients or rope in new audiences. He is an experienced and well-rounded Virtual Reality Producer with a proven background in 360 productions, simulations, 360 animations and VR games for multinational companies, African governments and NGOs based all around Africa. Walid is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya where he runs his VR production company, Fallohide. Companies he’s worked with include Coca Cola Beverages Africa, Vivo, Google Africa, Elopak, Africa 118 and local county governments of Machakos, Makueni and soon Kwale. Follow his work here
Xabiso Vili — South Africa
Xabiso Vili is a multi award winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer and social activist. His writings explore his inner world to relate to the outer world. He is the champion of multiple slams and poet of the year for 2014 and 2015. Xabiso has been published in various anthologies and online. He has performed all over the SADC region, in Scotland, England, the U.S, India and France. He is currently involved in researching and creating methodology for how the process of writing, performance and storytelling can be used as a tool for therapy and healing through immersive mediums. He has also worked with various abandoned spaces in Pretoria and converted them into art hubs. He released his album, “Eating My Skin”, created with Favela Ninjas in 2016. His one-man show “Black Boi Be” has travelled extensively to critical acclaim in 2017 and “Laughing In My Father’s Voice” is his first collection of poems released in August of 2018. In 2019, he was awarded the Digital Lab Africa Web Creation Prize. Follow his work here.
Yara Costa — Mozambique
Yara Costa is an African woman documentary filmmaker based in the historical world heritage, Island of Mozambique (in northern Mozambique), working on stories about identity and connecting the dots of the past and present. Yara’s work reflects her questions of post-colonial contemporary Africa and through cinema and storytelling she wants to share her vision of the world while crafting an alternative decolonizing African narrative. Her latest film, Between God and I, tells the story of a Muslim independent young woman who advocates for Sharia in the diverse Island of Mozambique but is filled with doubts and contradictions. The film travelled around 40 countries and has been screened in different international film festivals. Yara has directed The Crossing, an Aljazeera Television produced short film. She collaborates closely with Daniel Cattier-Maseko, originally from Zambia, whose work includes fictions and historical documentaries, broadcasted internationally and is currently developing several animations using the techniques of photogrammetry and virtual production and a children television series (2D animation) about the ancient African civilization. Follow her work here.
About Electric South
Virtual Reality, 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Hacking, and beyond: tools that artists can use for creative expression are expanding and evolving. We believe that these new technologies must open up spaces for original voices and underrepresented narratives. This urgent need to showcase African stories in the medium of today inspired a 21st century production studio: Electric South.
Founded in 2015, we are a registered non-profit company based in Cape Town, South Africa and operating across the African continent. We are involved in the production of daring and urgent stories around African experiences; in building audiences and exhibition models for these stories in the local sector; and in the skills development required to advance a robust ecosystem of coopetition.