Character animation workshop

A character created by the participants of the animation workshop. Photo: Emily Stander/Cue

If the average first-world citizen thinks of Africa, the associations are rarely to do with technology and science. Things are changing a little this year with Creativate spearheading digital creations and skills through their inaugural launch at the 44th National Arts Festival.

An animation workshop run by Alette Schoon focused on an Afro-futurist/Hip-hop theme, no doubt inspired by 2018’s biggest superhero hit ‘Black Panther’. The very idea of an African present created by Africans in the lead is an encouraging one for citizens in Grahamstown.

This was certainly so for Akona Mafani, a poet and performer, and Azlan Makalima a member of the Grocott’s news, the local community newspaper. Mafani and Makalima initiated this workshop in collaboration with Creativate and the Rhodes University School of Journalism.

This feature of the digital arts festival drew young visual artists from schools around Grahamstown, with a strong representative of Gadra Highschool, and Nombulelo School students who are also part of the Community Engagement programs at Rhodes University.

Young visual artists from Grahamstown at the Animation Workshop.  Photo: Shraddha Patnala

This was also an opportunity for Awarenet, a local community engagement program run through the Rhodes Community Engagement office, to involve their international student volunteers from Germany as a part of the experience.



The workshop used Adobe Creative Suite, relying primarily on Photoshop and Illustrator, to generate their characters and then process the animation. The workshop took place on 29 June, and the young animators will be showcasing their work today (30 June) at Eden grove at 12:30. Be sure to check them out!

By Shraddha Patnala and Emily Stander