national Arts Festival Banner

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


(Zamashabase Mkwananzi, Simphiwe Mlambo, Gcinokuhle Masengemi & Dubazane Nomonde, Interior Design students presenting an exhibition of flat-pack lazer-cut chair prototypes, which have been designed and manufactured in conjunction with the Durban Art Deco Society and Makerspace Durban. Photo by Jed Kenny)

Durban University of Technology’s third annual DigiFest is set for September 9 and 10.

The University’s City Campus will open its doors to the public for a series of live art activations, exhibitions, innovations, panel discussions, workshops, music, theatre, poetry, comedy, dance, food and more.

The opening night, September 9, includes a DUT Alumni fundraising event for the ‘Missing Middle’ campaign - a funding support initiative for students. It also features live performance by the award-winning a-capella trio, The Soil, and includes the launch of the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art, (#ISEA2018), which takes place in Durban in 2018 - the first time on African soil.

Several DUT academic programmes will participate in this year’s Digifest, alongside external partners and organisations working with digital technologies.

Interior Design students present an exhibition of flat-pack lazer-cut chair prototypes, designed and manufactured in conjunction with Durban Art Deco Society and Makerspace Durban. Fine Art students research, map, manufacture and present a series of objects exclusively for the Digifest entitled no-tech to lo-tech. Bending Blackboards, an eLearning collection, includes work from practitioners interfacing with art, science and technology.

The Journalism programme will present photo essays and short documentaries. Written, video and audio coverage of the DigiFest will be streamed on the Journalismiziko online publication and online radio. The Rise of the OXX project returns in 2016 as an inter-departmental, collaborative project including Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Design, Jewellery Design and Interior Design departments in an exhibition and fashion show of innovation and inspiration. In an exhibition entitled Perception, Jewellery Design students explore the interaction of their jewellery with the world, through a visual and audio installation.

The Photography programme are working with 3D mapping artists to exhibit a selection of images, which will bring new life to parts of the campus. Graphic Design students will exhibit portfolios that embrace a wide range of digital media for print or online publications, websites, online apps, animation, advertising, stationery, and other forms of visual communication.

Live performance features at the sixth annual DUT Children’s Theatre Festival, a parallel event, which takes place at the Courtyard Theatre from September 8 to 11. DigiFest will stage a satellite production from this festival of Looking for a Leader, and dance students from the Drama department will stage two dance performances.

Video Voyeur screenings will showcase the best music videos and dramas produced by Video Technology students. The Language Practice department introduces #DigiWordPlay using humour, performance and mime to bring to life the meanings and interpretations of words within and across different languages. The Translation and Interpreting Practice programme will stage an installation to collect, translate and upload words in the theme of art, design and technology to the isiZulu online dictionary hosted by Oxford Living Dictionaries.

Other highlights include award-winning Digital artist and DUT Fashion Lecturer Nirma Madoo-Chipps who presents her latest work Labtayt Sulci. This series shot partially in Iceland is inspired by the NASA exploration of Enceladus, one of Jupiter’s moons, and extends the notion of the digital fashioned body - real or simulated; human or exobiological.

An exciting installation from the Maker Space, along with international contributors, will be capturing sound clips from the local space, converting these into a visual and three dimensional form and then converting that into a sculptural object and artwork. Live art from Resoborg, Sketch Wars and others will adorn the campus walls.

There will be performances by some top South African Artists, including The Soil, Felix Laband, Raheem Kemet, Easy Freak, DJ Lag, DJ Merlon, Strage and Nkululeko Dlamini. PechaKucha talk series returns on the subject of digital art, design and innovation. The speakers are selected from various background and this punchy talk format allows 20 x 20 second slides to guide the speakers. Talkfest hosts a number of workshops and panel discussions, with speakers from around South Africa, on various subjects from social innovation, art & data, 3D printing, digital design and social media. 

031 Entertainment presents local comedians for a short showcase and Art for Humanity will host a Poetry Session. 

DigiFest takes place at the DUT City Campus, Corner of Dr Pixley Ka Seme (formerly known as West Street) and Julius Nyerere (formerly known as Warwick Avenue) on September 9 from 12 noon to 22h00, and on September 10 from 10h00 to 122h00. All are welcome and entrance is free.

This year’s theme, “We are such stuff”, is taken from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in commemoration of the 400 year anniversary of his death. #‎Shakespeare400

DUT DigiFest is presented by the Faculty of Arts and Design at Durban University of Technology, with support from the Ethekwini Municipality.  For more information go to