What is Afropixel?

Afropixel Festival is a forum, an innovation lab, which provides critical and unconventional ways to develop media, art and technology to contribute to social change on a local and global level. It invites the general public to see art and technology as a means of citizen action, engaging artists, computer scientists, researchers, thinkers, civil society, entrepreneurs to come together to share and express their views on the role and impact of new technologies in existing African societies. It is an initiative created by our partner Kër Thiossane, a multimedia cultural association based in Dakar, Senegal, founded by Marion Louisgrand and her husband Francois Sylla.

Afropixel attracts artists and cultural organizations from all over the world and has an international mixed audience, giving visibility to innovative practices in open source and contemporary art based on new media and technologies. The artworks are produced in Dakar, in collaboration with international artists and people of the neighbourhood, thus linking the local with the global dimension.

Afropixel and lettera27
Kër Thiossane and lettera27 share the goals of the Afropixel program as well as a wider range of values connected to their mission. Both are committed to identifying and promoting the emerging ideas that have the biggest potential to implement and spread the open source culture initiatives in the field of social innovation, the access to and sharing of knowledge. The Afropixel project is therefore a part of a bigger collaboration between lettera27 and Kër Thiossane, which continuously sustain each other in various cultural and educational initiatives.

“We want to create a sort of workshop where art and culture question society and become a vehicle for social change. We believe that, regardless of the context, art should not be disconnected from everyday life, and culture should be accessible to all.”

Marion Louisgrand

Target groups

Youth and students with an interest in arts, multimedia, computer science for social innovation, professionals in various fields with the focus on open source and open culture, local neighborhood community and the people of Dakar, Artists, professional and amateur, Dak’Art Biennale audiences.

What we have done together
In 2008, the first Afropixel Festival on open source software linked with citizens’ practices in Africa and in Southern countries.

lettera27 has collaborated at the launch of the first festival’s edition and participated to Afropixel with the launch of WikiAfrica Arte – a work of art for Wikipedia.

CC-BY-NC / Ker Thiossane

Afropixel 2010

Afropixel 2010 brought together an amazing mix of organizations and artists from Senegal, Mali, Congo, South Africa, Marocco and the Martinique along with other guest from Europe and the USA. lettera27 has participated with MobileA2K project: “Pedagogical suitcase”

In article70 May 2012 the festival was held during the Dakar Biennial with the theme ‘common property’. Several activities were organized, one of which was: “Breakfast in common”; a bi-monthly reflection group of researchers, artists, thinkers and citizens gathering to define what common goods are in African societies.

lettera27 has partecipated with the launch of the pilot edition of AtWork format-our itinerant educational format.

CC-BY-NC / Angy Wolf

Afropixel#4

Afropixel#4 in May 2014 witnessed the opening of a “school of commons” which develops and operates around an artistic, shared and collaborative garden (called le jardin de résistance) and around a fablab.

Both in the garden and in the fablab all the inhabitants of the neighbourhood are called to participate by exchanging services and skills and to learn new practices dealing with open source and common goods. Through projects and meetings around the jardin de résistance, Kër Thiossane allows art and culture to contribute to sustainable and continuous innovation, by applying the concepts of free culture and of knowledge; so, the “school of commons” defends an ethic based on mutuality, conviviality and living together.

lettera27 has contributed with the hands-on support focused in particular on communcation format sharing, working with international media outlets, as well as producing video interviews with the festival’s participants.

Pedagogical suitcase, Dak’Art 2012

Afropixel#5

Afropixel#5 in 2016 was part of the official program of Dak’Art Biennale with the theme „Ville en Commun“ (Common City). This edition was dedicated to art and digital technology and followed the concept and action carried out during the last two years from Senegal, with a particular focus on the dynamics of a collective action for the common good, from the perspective of architecture, design, open source digital tools and co-creation.
lettera27 has participated with the Exhibition of AtWork notebooks created during the workshops that took place from 2012 to 2016 all over the African content.

The exhibition, curated by Katrin Peters-Klaphake, took place at the public library of Sicap Libertè 2, which we renovated for the occasion, giving the neighbourhood a new meeting place, a knowledge center, an opportunity for studying and learning.

You can leaf through the AfroPixel album on Flickr here.

Summary

On-line platform

Platform
ker Thiossane

In collaboration with
Kër Thiossane

Kër Thiossane Founders
Marion Louisgrand
Francois Sylla