Last week I was privileged to attend the 10 day SXSW Music, Film, Interactive festival. Over 20,000 people descended into the city of Austin to showcase the best in film, music and interactive projects. This year I was privileged to lead in a SXSW conversation along with Ngozi Odita, Creative Director of Society HAE, on the effects of new media in Africa.

 

<strong><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-20157″ title=”Screen Shot 2012-03-22 at 10.38.09 AM” src=”http://www.archives. africandigitalart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screen-Shot-2012-03-22-at-10.38.09-AM.png” alt=”” width=”476″ height=”301″ />iVision Africa: New Media’s Role in Reframing Africa#sxsw #AFRIKA21</strong>

Africa is more than AIDS, poverty, civil strife and safaris. With the ever-increasing access to digital tools Africans on the continent and all over the world are using the web to farm a new vision of Africa in the 21st Century. Social media platforms amplify and help spread this “new take” on the continent, both enabling Africans to tell their own stories and offering an alternative to mainstream media’s coverage of Africa. Ultimately, using new media Africans can and are becoming the architects of what very well may be a new “African Renaissance.” This Core Conversation discussed how Africans are using the mobile and social web, what sort of content is being produced and what are the messages being communicated. This conversation examined new media’s social and economic impact as it relates to Africa.

The conversation was centered around 5 topics; content, technology, collaboration, mobile technology and its impact, and economic opportunities in New Media. We were elated to have join us in our conversation bloggers from <a href=”http://www.iamthenublack.com/” target=”_blank”>Iamthenublack</a>, <a href=”http://10and5.com/” target=”_blank”>10and5</a>, and <a href=”http://africasacountry.com/” target=”_blank”>Africa is a Country</a>. They shared their experiences on providing local creative content from Africa and some of the challenges they faced. The point was made clear that there is a new creative digital arena that is leading an African renaissance that is influencing technology, political and economic climates, culture and what it means to be African in the modern context.

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<strong>Spinlet All Africa Showcase
</strong>The main event of SXSW was the Spinlet All Africa Showcase, Society HAE organized a feast of the best musical acts from the continent.<strong>
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<strong>Thursday, March 15</strong>
Seun Kuti – World/African – Nigeria
Baloji – Hip-Hop/Rap – Congo
Just a Band – Electronic – Kenya
Spoek Mathambo – Hip-Hop/Rap – South Africa
Sauti Sol – World/Fusion – Kenya
Chief Boima – World/DJ – Sierra Leone/Libya

<strong>Friday, March 16</strong>
Nateo C – Hip-Hop/Rap – Nigeria
Blitz The Ambassador – Hip-Hop/Rap – Nigeria
2Face – R&amp;B – Nigeria
M.I – Hip-Hop/Rap – South Africa
Bez – R&amp;B/Pop – Nigeria

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SXSW 2012 experienced the strongest African presence to date. One thing is for sure is that in the global digital arena, Africa is definitely a space to watch!

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