Meta Hosts Extended Reality (XR) Expo to Showcase Future Africa Grant Winners

Meta Hosts Extended Reality (XR) Expo to Showcase Future Africa Grant Winners

Meta today unveiled an exclusive XR exhibit featuring the six finalists of the “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds” program, 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, it is part of Meta’s XR programs and research investment in XR talent across Africa.

With a focus on owning and changing the African narrative, while telling compelling, contemporary and immersive African stories, 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. .

Experiences featured include:

  • Malik Afegbua, Nigeria: Malik’s “Moving Between” is a 360-degree documentary that presents a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata Dye Pit, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria, by presenting it in a three-step virtual reality model dimensions. In an immersive 5-minute experience, a deaf dancer takes the audience on a tour of the historic Kofar-Mata dye pits, using sign language instructions and dance.
  • Xabiso Vili, South Africa: Writer, performer and new media artist, Xabiso’s “Black Boi meet Boogeyman” is a 360° visual album in a “choose your adventure” style with multiple purposes. A piece of speculative fiction where Black Boi, our protagonist, embarks on a hero’s journey through a South Africa that needs to recall its light to confront the Boogeyman. This 360 visual album hopes to become an access point where artists and communities can imagine artistically and intentionally using XR for community healing.
  • Dylan Valley, South Africa: Dylan’s Cissie Gool house is a Documentary 360 about precarious accommodation in a new hospital in Cape Town. This 360 documentary will plunge the viewer into the occupation as if they were participating in the reconquest of the building. The film will feature the voices of activists and occupiers who inhabit Cissie Gool House and speak to those who would rather they leave. VR support will allow greater empathy for these characters (often demonized in the press). This will give you a better understanding of what it means to occupy, especially when it’s the only viable option you have.
  • Nirma Madhoo, Mauritius: A fashion filmmaker, XR designer and Ph.D. candidate. Nirma’s “XWE” 360 fashion movie the use of volumetric capture and photogrammetry is a tribute to early Southern African astronomers. It will celebrate the dispersed constellations of African diasporic identities through a Noirwave fashion performance set in a VR landscape of astrophysics.
  • Pierre-Christophe Gam, Cameroon: Pierre is a multimedia artist who worked on ‘TOGUNA’, a hybrid art installation (live and online), fusing AR/VR, film, photography, multimedia sculpture, future thinking and storytelling, designed to facilitate a forum for a ground-breaking conversation on the future of the African continent. This provides a WebVR experience with AR.
  • Michelle Angawa, Kenya: A film editor and creator of XR, Michelle’s ‘1000 Shillings in Nairobi’, a 360 fiction movie is a short tragicomedy depicting a day in the life of a Nairobi boda pilot. He drifts through a series of absurd encounters in an attempt to pay off a 1000 KSH ($10) motorcycle loan.

Sherry Dzinoreva, Director of Meta’s Public Policy Programs for Africa, Middle East and Turkey, said: “As the next phase of this program, we are delighted to unveil this specially curated exhibition showcasing the work of six talented designers from across the continent. , all of whom have created beautiful, engaging African stories and experiences using immersive technology. We know that Africa harbors immense talent, which we see reflected in curated experiences, and as we look to the metaverse, we believe that creators, especially those on the continent, will play a key role in unleashing its potential.

Commenting on “The Africa of the future: telling stories, building worlds” programme, Moky Makura, Executive Director, Africa No Filter, added, “We know that stories have power when it comes to influencing and shaping perceptions of Africa. That power is amplified when those stories are immersive, and that’s what today’s technologies offer storytellers. It’s exciting to be part of an initiative that has allowed us to tap into the future of storytelling in Africa.

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