The British Council invites young digital creatives to take part in the third edition of ColabNowNow in partnership with Maputo Fast Forward and Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festivals. ColabNowNow has been developed as a space for the leading minds in digital art in Africa and the UK to connect, collaborate and learn from each other in a safe, supportive and enabling environment. 

We will select 11 digital artists from Africa and the UK to develop cutting edge digital artworks through collaborative artmaking and storytelling. Applicants will apply with proposed projects which will then be developed with artistic and technical facilitators. Together they will create a collaborative exhibition to be launched on 11 October 2019 at the opening of the Maputo Fast Forward festival.

Read all sections below and submit your aplications on or before 24 July 2019

Application Requirements

  • Applications are open to artists and storytellers working in digital media who are aged 18-35 living in Africa or the UK. 

    • Artists can include, but are not limited to: visual/graphic artists, architects, technical artists, programmers/coders, music/sound artists, performers and animators.

    • Storytellers can include, but are not limited to: writers, photographers, filmmakers, videographers, bloggers and vloggers.

  • You must live in and have a valid passport from one of the eligible countries.

  • You must be available to travel to Johannesburg 3-8 September, and Maputo 2-12 October - including travel time before and after said dates. Full attendance is required.

  • Previous selected ColabNowNow creatives are not eligible to apply.

Selection and Process

Applications for ColabNowNow go through a strict and anonymous blind-jury process where gender and country balance are developed into the shortlisting process. Applicants will be judged solely on their artistic proposals and their ability to work collaboratively with others in order to develop new work from their proposal.

The jury will be made up of representatives from Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, Maputo Fast Forward, British Council (UK, EastAfricaArts, SouthernAfricaArts, WestAfricaArts), and the artistic and technical facilitators.

Selected creatives will meet in Johannesburg at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival (3-8 September) where they will share their creative work with each other and the public through workshops and presentations. These days will set the groundwork for the collaborative work over the next month, where an artistic and a technical facilitator will engage with the creatives online to develop the work from 9 - 31 September. (Facilitators have been selected from a closed call including ColabNowNow creatives from 2017 and 2018)

Creatives will then meet in Maputo, Mozambique, 2-12 October, to work collaboratively in the lead up to the opening of the ColabNowNow exhibition which coincides with the opening of the Maputo Fast Forward Festival.

The exhibition will be catalogued and digitised, allowing it to travel from November 2019 - February 2020 to East, West and North Africa, THE UK, and in its entirety online.

The Support

  • Creatives will receive artistic and technical support from two facilitators, who will work with the creatives to develop complex collaborative works in both their conceptual and technical forms.

  • All travel, accommodation, meals and VISA costs are covered by the British Council.

  • Artists will be paid a fee of 500 GBP for their participation.

  • A technical and installation budget is available for the collective use of the ColabNowNow team.

Eligible Countries

East Africa: Ethiopia | Kenya | Rwanda | South Sudan | Sudan | Tanzania | Uganda

West Africa: Ghana | Nigeria | Senegal | Sierra Leone

Southern Africa: Botswana | Malawi | Mauritius | Mozambique | Namibia | South Africa | Zambia | Zimbabwe

North Africa: Algeria | Egypt | Morocco | Tunisia

United Kingdom: England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

Key Dates

  • 28 June - Open Call launches
  • 17 July - Webinar 
  • 24 July - Open Call closes UTC end of day
  • 26 July - Shortlisted artists notified
  • 31 July - Selected artists notified
  • 3-8 September - Fak’ugesi Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 9-31 September - Online collaboration and development
  • 2-12 October - Maputo Fast Forward, Maputo, Mozambique


We’ll be answering all your ColabNowNow questions during a public webinar on 17 July 2019, 3pm UTC. Please click here to register.