- Kgalaletso Mataboge

DIGITAL artist Cebo Simphiwe Xulu occupies residency at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival next week.

Also known as Afro Tech Riot, it shines the spotlight on African digital art at Tshimologo­ng/Tech in Braam Hub until September 3, in Johannesbu­rg.

The theme of this year’s festival is the role of alternativ­e systems in technology.

Xulu, 29, from Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, is known in the artistic world as the man behind the #Selfie25 project, that was launched at the Constituti­on Hill last November.

The project consisted of 25 portraits of young inspiring South Africans.

He created 3-D images of selfies and photos of the likes of EFF leader Julius Malema, Banyana Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk and singer Thandiswa Mazwai.

Ahead of his exhibition, Xulu says he feels a certain responsibi­lity as a young black digital artist to contribute to the evergrowin­g digital art discourse in South Africa the continent.

“As a black artist in a predominan­tly white space, there is a sense of myself, along with my fellow artists whom I am working with on this exhibition, that we are anomalies in this space and we want to eradicate this conception. We would like to open doors for upcoming artists so they don’t fear expressing themselves on this platform,” he says.

Xulu was one of three SADC artists selected by the festival, that include Regina Kgatle from South Africa, who is the founder of Educade (a company that uses African indigenous games to educate young Africans) and Vuyi Chaza, a graphic designer and social media consultant from Zimbabwe.

The three will exhibit digital art pieces providing a virtual African new media experience. Their art will speak on issues alluding to feminism and Bantu symbolism.

“It is an honour to be working on an exhibition that will speak to Pan African discourses with two female superstar digital artists,” he says.

Going by the pseudonym Mr Media X, Xulu says his future plans involve working towards growing his design agency, called Something Else Design Studio, that he runs from Eshowe.

The exhibition will take place on August 27, making them the first creatives to exhibit at the Tsimologon­g Precinct.

 ?? PHOTO: SUPPLIED ?? VISIONARY: Cebo Simphiwe Xulu is spearheadi­ng the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival
PHOTO: SUPPLIED VISIONARY: Cebo Simphiwe Xulu is spearheadi­ng the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival

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