Brighton Digital Festival kicks off

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Alli Beddo

The biennial event, run by the arts charity Lighthouse, is an open-access, community-driven festival with over 50 activities taking place between October 29 and November 7.

Alli Beddoes, CEO of Brighton Digital Festival, said: “Offering something for everyone, the festival offers a mix of hybrid events, in person and online, ranging from small get-togethers, workshops and conferences to exhibitions, film installations and audio, visual immersive. and virtual reality experiences.

“The events will explore key issues affecting our daily lives, including climate change, the role of digital technology in a pandemic, education and the importance of equal access to production, consumption and understanding of digital culture. “

The festival program for 2021 has three components – the core program, BDF sessions and the BDF open program.

“The main program is produced by Lighthouse on behalf of the Brighton Digital Festival and includes five events commissioned by Digital Democracies and created in partnership with the Freedom Festival in Hull and the Frequency Festival in Lincoln.

Addressing personal history, race, family and home life, event highlights include Ancestral Wisdom – Ask an Ancestor. This is an interactive audio installation by Ifetu Nnaobi that uses artificial intelligence to allow participants to ask questions of their ancestors. Its purpose is to get people to think about how they exist as members of a family and a community. Another event is Signals, a children’s workshop that uses interactive design and games to get children to think about historical events.

“BDF Sessions offer a series of five unique discussion masterclasses covering a range of topical issues. How can digital technology be a tool for the circular economy? is one of those events about the importance of the circular economy and how digital can help us make the most of these practices.

“Reflecting the roots and manifesto of the festival, BDF’s open program includes a wide range of unorganized and city-led events from all members of the community. Carousel TV, for example, provides a national platform for teaching artists with disabilities to show their creativity. Project Art Works at Hastings presents Ignition – the exhibition at Hastings Contemporary which began with a residency in the main gallery space at Hastings Contemporary during the last national lockdown, with artists working in the temporary studio while the building was closed to visitors. The Project Art Works collective was nominated for this year’s Turner Prize.

“The festival will also see the return of the regular sold-out She Says event. Hosted by Rifa Thorpe-Tracey of Refigure, it offers an evening of online lectures by designer and champion of creativity, Meg Fenn and Afrori Books founder, Carolynn Bain, to discuss their digital journeys.

Alli added: “After approximately a year, it is an honor and pleasure to confirm the return of the Brighton Digital Festival as a platform to celebrate and further explore the digital and creative talents of the city and nation. The aim of the festival has always been to create an accessible and collaborative public space where individuals can help collectively present and shape our digital creative future.

“And we want to help ensure that the festival continues to reflect the city through the voices and experiences of different people, as well as to challenge the norms of digital culture. We look forward to seeing you at some of the events. Brighton Digital Festival is also supporting young talent in the city through a content production training program via Kickstart and supported by MPB, which provides the equipment. There are also a number of workshops with the support of Uplift to raise digital skills in the city.

“With a major focus on the circular economy this year, Brighton Digital Festival is also hosting a technology amnesty project, Tech-Takeback, to enable individuals to bring in old disused technology to clean up and send to charities supporting people in digital poverty.

“Anyone can bring their old technology to Lighthouse throughout the festival dates, which will be cleaned and updated and handed over to those in need of equipment in the Brighton and Hove areas.

“The Brighton Digital Festival is run from the ground up, with the creative community of Greater Brighton at its heart. The 2021 schedule was made possible with the support of its 2021 sponsors – Brandwatch, MPB, Uplift, Ironworks Studios, Oban International Brilliant Noise and Plus X Brighton.


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