The British Council pleased to announce the 11 digital creatives to take part in the third edition of ColabNowNow in partnership with Maputo Fast Forward and Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festivals.

North Africa: Chirin Khlif (Tunisia), Ahmed Almoghazy (Egypt) | East Africa: Arafa Cynthia Hamadi (Tanzania), Isabella Asiimwe (Uganda) | Southern Africa: Lara Sousa (Mozambique), Sandile Mhlongo (South Africa), kyle malanda (Malawi) | the UK: Joe Beedles, Keren Lasme | West Africa: Lindsey Abudei (Nigeria), Kwasi Darko (Ghana).

The 11 creatives from Africa and the UK will develop cutting edge digital artworks through collaborative artmaking and storytelling. Their proposed projects will be developed fellow creatives and with the assistance of artistic and technical facilitators. They will first meet at the Fak'ugesi festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September, then together they will create a collaborative exhibition to be launched on 11 October 2019 at the opening of the Maputo Fast Forward festival in Maputo, Mozambique. ColabNowNow has been developed by the British Council as a space for the leading minds in digital art in Africa and the UK to connect, collaborate and learn from each other in a safe, supportive and enabling environment. Do you think you have what it takes?


Curious to see what the ColabNowNow creatives made in 2018? See their online exhibition here.

What the creatives do

The creatives will meet in Johannesburg at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival (3-8 September) where they will share their creative work with each other and the public through workshops and presentations. These days will set the groundwork for the collaborative work over the next month, where an artistic and a technical facilitator will engage with the creatives online to develop the work from 9 - 31 September. (Facilitators have been selected from a closed call including ColabNowNow creatives from 2017 and 2018)

Creatives will then meet in Maputo, Mozambique, 2-12 October, to work collaboratively in the lead up to the opening of the ColabNowNow exhibition which coincides with the opening of the Maputo Fast Forward Festival.

The exhibition will be catalogued and digitised, allowing it to travel from November 2019 - February 2020 to East, West and North Africa, THE UK, and in its entirety online.


The British Council Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Arts programme works in the diverse and varied cities of SSA and the U.K. Individually, each city and art sector has much to offer and exchange, collectively they tell multi-layered stories of contemporary SSA and the U.K. Our programmes are delivered by partners (artists, arts professionals, arts organisations, collectives, hubs) who have the vision and understanding of their creative communities and are best placed to lead and tell the stories of their local art sectors. With our partners, we stimulate new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts. Find out more


Maputo Fast Forward is an open platform dedicated to debate, presentation of ideas, analysis of trends, networking and the exchange of experiences. The platform engages the creative industry, corporations and social organisations to recognise creativity and innovation as the engines of the new “knowledge economy“. Find out more


Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between the Tshimologong Innovation Precinct and the Wits School of Arts. It was founded on the premise that in order for innovation with technology to succeed, a strong connection needs to be made to African cultural practices and creative encounters. A multi-disciplinary festival creating access to and showcasing the intersection of culture, innovation and technology with an African focus. It takes place annually in Johannesburg.

The Fak’ugesi Festival 2019 (30 Aug to 8 Sept.) theme is ‘Own Our Force’ and centres on an African vision of the future of digital creativity by asking: Who owns our digital value chain? How do we protect our creative and cultural equity in the digital world? How do we value our contributions to digital culture in an African economy? Where are the threats and the opportunities for culture and technology in Africa in a world driven by market interests? Find out more


  • 28 June - Open Call launches
  • 15 July, 3pm CAT - Webinar
  • 24 July - Open Call closes UTC end of day
  • 26 July - Shortlisted artists notified
  • 31 July - Selected artists notified
  • 3-8 September - Fak’ugesi Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 9-31 September - Online collaboration and development
  • 2-12 October - Maputo Fast Forward, Maputo, Mozambique

The Facilitators

Creatives receive artistic and technical support from two facilitators, who will work with the creatives to develop complex collaborative works in both their conceptual and technical forms. The facilitators are:

  • Artistic: Valerie Asiimwe Amani (Tanzania) is an award-winning fashion and graphic designer, curator, writer and artist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - where she co-founded a creative agency. Both an Economics (Rhodes University) and Fashion graduate (FEDISA), she combines her skills to create visual art pieces with narratives around Neo-colonialism, new age identity and feminism. Her work has been featured in various international platforms, exhibitions and publications and she recently co-authored a book titled Black Amara. She is currently a visual arts consultant working with individual artists as well as at Nafasi Art Space where she facilitates artists workshops and exhibitions; while simultaneously creating multi-media art.
  • Technical: Will Hurt (UK) is best known for his brightly coloured, playful, digital interactives which cater to people of all ages and abilities and are often made as responses to the architectural geometry of the physical sites they are installed in, abstracting and re-presenting local architecture and landscape. His interactives bring people together to play, forge connections and leave with a new appreciation of their locality. Recent interactive works focus on contemporary modes of drawing in which complex architecturally inspired geometric scenes can be created, animated and explored. Hurt’s work has been exhibited around the world due to its stand-out aesthetic, technical resilience and engaging immediacy.

The selection and support

Selection: Applications for ColabNowNow in a strict and anonymous blind-jury process where gender and country balance are developed into the shortlisting process. Applicants were judged solely on their artistic proposals and their ability to work collaboratively with others in order to develop new work from their proposal.

The jury was made up of representatives from Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, Maputo Fast Forward, British Council (UK, EastAfricaArts, SouthernAfricaArts, WestAfricaArts, North Africa Arts), and the artistic and technical facilitators.


Support: Creatives will receive artistic and technical support from two facilitators, who will work with the creatives to develop complex collaborative works in both their conceptual and technical forms. All travel, accommodation, meals and VISA costs are covered by the British Council. An artists fee for their participation. A technical and installation budget is available for the collective use of the ColabNowNow team.

See also