Are you an immersive media artist or creative technologist based in Africa? Do you have a concept or project that utilises real-time 3D (RT3D) or Extended Reality (XR) technology in a creative and impactful way?
Electric South invites emerging as well as accomplished African XR creators to apply for a new XR Social Impact Grant.
The aim of the grant is to give African creators access to skills, expertise, tools and networks to create a prototype or proof of concept using RT3D/XR technology, or to help finish an already existing project.
WHAT WILL THE GRANT ENTAIL?
Seven extended reality projects (augmented or virtual reality) will be selected to receive $5,000 USD each in grant funds to develop their proof of concepts, or to complete projects already in progress. Artists will retain full ownership of all work that is produced.
In addition, creators will participate in a few group sessions with experts, and will receive one-on-one technical support from specialists and advisors. All sessions will take place online in October and November, 2022.
DATES AND DEADLINES
The last day to submit your application is Wednesday, 31 August, 2022 by 23h59 SAST. All successful applicants will be notified by Friday, 16 September, 2022.
The online programme will run from 1 October — 25 November, 2022. Final prototypes or projects will be due by 25 November, 2022.
- Be citizens of an African country and based in Africa for the majority of the time (at least 6 months/year). We welcome participants from across the African continent, and encourage applicants from identities that have been historically under supported or underrepresented within the fields of art and technology to apply, including those who are disabled, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and others.
- Either well versed in a game engine (Unity or Unreal etc.) or technically proficient in similar real-time content creation, 3D modelling or animation software (for example Blender, Maya or Autodesk 3DS Max).
- Utilise RT3D/XR technology in a meaningful and impactful way.
- Be narrative or non-fiction, but all projects must be impact driven with measurable impact goals, calls to action and/or encompass themes of freedom of expression, social, healthcare, education, humanitarian, or environmental issues.
- Examples of previous Electric South work with an impact lens include (please note that these examples are to demonstrate impact and not VR format as most of them are 360 films):
Container, which had its premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in 2021 and went on to form part of the Nobel Week Dialogue 2021 and show at Tribeca Festival in 2022. Container makes visible the ‘invisibilized’ bodies enabling our consumer society. Confronting slavery through the metaphor of the shipping container, used to transport millions of tons of cargo each year, the past becomes present and the invisible is made visible as co-directors Meghna Singh and Simon Wood shed light on the circulation of commodities, and people, trapped in modern-day slavery.
The Subterranean Imprint Archive, co-created between 2019 lab participants Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson with researcher Joe-Yves Salankang Sa-Ngol unfolds as a speculative, meditative sandbox experience examining the history of uranium mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to make atomic bombs, critically engaging Africa’s externally imposed role in the historical event of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Le Lac, which won best digital narrative at Sheffield Doc/fest in 2019, is a dreamscape where liquid gives way to dust. The oasis of the Sahel, Lake Chad, is not who she used to be. Ninety percent of her water is gone, leaving her feeling depleted, wary, scared and insecure. Climate change has made the millions of people who depend on her vulnerable, and induced the threat of Boko Haram insurgency. In this immersive documentary,step into the lives of Mahamat, a once-wealthy pastoralist, and Nassuri, a refugee-turned-fisherman, as the lake herself hopes for their survival amidst her scattered ponds.
Azibuye — The Occupation is a stereo 360 documentary about Masello and Evan, two homeless black artists/activists who take up residence in a crumbling mansion, vacant for 20 years, in an affluent part of Johannesburg. They proclaim their illegal occupation to be an artistic and political act to address the ongoing racial inequalities in land ownership in South Africa. When it is revealed who the owner of the house is, the pair have a difficult decision to make.
Who Should Apply?
We are looking for immersive media artists, creative technologists and developers who have some experience using RT3D/XR and who have an existing project or concept that utilises the medium in some way. Creators should be changemakers in their fields with a keen focus on social impact-driven stories.
Existing projects which are near completion and could use grant funds and access to experts to get over the finish line, are welcome to apply. In addition, artists with concepts who are looking to build a prototype/proof of concept are also welcome to apply. Proof of concepts, prototypes or projects must use RT3D/XR in a meaningful and impactful way.
What happens after the grant?
Electric South offers a menu of support for our alumni, which may include production support, creative and technical consultation, mentorship, industry networking, equipment loans, distribution, and more. Past artists have gone on to produce immersive work, and many continue to explore emerging and immersive media in their current practice.
Where can I find out more about this industry?
You can sign up for our newsletter and follow us at @electric_south on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Medium. We regularly post opportunities for artists in Africa, as well as updates about the creative technology landscape.
Have more questions? Contact email@example.com
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Electric South is a non-profit company based in Cape Town, South Africa. We provide mentorship, production services, funding and exhibition for a network of artists across Africa to explore their worlds through immersive, interactive stories including virtual and augmented reality, and other digital media. To date we’ve produced immersive experiences that have premiered at various global festivals and exhibition spaces including Venice VR Expanded, Sundance New Frontier, IDFA DocLab, Transmediale, Sheffield DocFest, Centre Phi, MUTEK and vNAF (virtual National Arts Festival of South Africa). We remain committed to building inclusive spaces for immersive media creators in Africa.
Unity for Humanity: Creators are changemakers, and Unity is their platform for making an impact. People around the globe are using Unity to tell stories or build tools that will have a positive and meaningful impact on society, their communities, and the planet. We founded Unity for Humanity to celebrate and support their journey to change lives and improve our world.
This grant is proudly presented by Electric South, and is supported by Unity Charitable Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation.