Electric South has supported African artists from a spectrum of creative disciplines to explore 360 filmmaking.
We act as a production studio – securing finance for projects; guiding creative development of ideas; mentoring first-time VR filmmakers throughout the production process; and facilitating post-production.
Our first projects were co-produced under the New Dimensions banner by Electric South and the Goethe-Institut South Africa, with additional support from Big World Cinema, Blue Ice Docs and the Bertha Foundation.
The New Dimension 2017 workshop opened me to the possibility VR technology affords as a tool of expression for a visual artist, making it easier to transition into viewing the world in a sphere. Special thanks to the Electric South team for the opportunity.” – Jumoke Sanwo
LETU is an interactive virtual experience that allows viewers to visit various 3D worlds created to reflect ideal, digital worlds for various members of the LGBTQIA+ communities of East Africa. It invites viewers to immerse themselves into the interactive space, either through a web-based platform or in a virtual reality headset, to view a shifted reality in which transgender and non-binary people from East Africa are able to exist freely, surrounded by a landscape they have imagined and only sharing stories they choose to offer.
This edition of the work follows Frankie, a singer living proudly and boldly in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Frankie will be represented by a 3D animated avatar of herself who the audience can follow and have limited interactions with. Through LETU, we hear of her story as she recounts her memories of being a child in Arusha, going to boarding school and experiencing how she envisions her future. There are a total of 4 worlds in this project, however this WIP version only consists of 2 so far.
The project was initially produced as part of the Institute for Creative Arts Fellowship in November 2020, which can be viewed through this link. This iteration of LETU has been developed through the support and expertise gained from the New Dimensions Lab that was powered by Electric South (SA) in February 2022. This project is supported by the Unity Charitable Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation. This grant was managed by Electric South.
Following the stories of family members of missing migrants in Benin City, in the southern part of Nigeria. This project explores the psychological effect of the consequences of irregular migrations on families who are left clueless as to the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Using an installation art that makes use of virtual reality (VR), sound (real life interview recordings) and a recycled container to represent the emptiness and sadness that exist in the minds of left behind family members of missing migrants, audience will be immersed into the minds of these family members as they narrate their pains, anxieties, fears and unresolved hopes.
Every year, thousands of young and vibrant Nigerians embark on this dangerous journey in search of a better life for themselves and their families through this bloodthirsty and tortuous route. Unsurprisingly, only a cupful of them make it to the shores of their dreamlands. The bottom of the wailing waves of the Mediterranean Sea becomes the resting place for the remains of the unluckiest ones after their bodies have been jagged by aquatic predators; while other unlucky ones get arrested along the borders of Libya by human traffickers who either abuse them and or sell them off as modern-day slaves. The unluckier ones fall into the hands of the Libyan government as illegal migrants – their place is in the quietest of prisons unknown to anyone but their “captors.”
What becomes of the families of these ones back home? Anxiety, sorrow, emotional pain, feverish consultations and pleas with the gods that define their lives. They never lose sight of hope; years roll by like wheels, yet their growing hope continues to feed on their emotions and attachment to their loved ones. Why shouldn’t they? There is no proof of deaths, so they wait…