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The 7th edition of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Faculty of Arts and Design Digital Festival (DigiFest’20) which started yesterday, (Wednesday) 4 November 2020, and ends on Friday, 6 November 2020, features an impressive line-up of local and international speakers.

Speaking at the virtual opening ceremony of the festival, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design (FoAD) and Director of Digifest, Dr René Smith said the festival is pleased to have participants from all over the world.

“Digifest 7 is another first for us as we are totally virtual. You will appreciate that these challenging times of COVID-19 have forced us to innovate and we are very pleased that we have been able to invite guests from all over the world to participate,” said Dr Smith.

She took attendees down memory lane by sharing the history of Digifest from the last seven years since its launch from 2014.

“Digifest began in 2014 as a small experimental festival right here in Durban at DUT City Campus and the theme that year was Democracy 20:20, in celebration of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy. We invited contributions that spoke to this theme and we received a number of very interesting contributions including animation, creative coding, QR Code exhibition,” she said.

Digifest which has become a permanent feature in the FoAD calendar features a series of live art activations, exhibitions, innovations, panel discussions, workshops, music, theatre, poetry, comedy, dance, food and more.

This year’s theme is synergy and allows participants to discuss, showcase and celebrate cutting-edge projects, ideas and educational activities resulting from interdisciplinary collaborations and practices across art, design and technology.

Italy’s Elisa Bellero started the programme with a session titled, Brand Name and Digital Advertising. Bellero, who is the Marketing Manager for Laica, an Italian company specialises in the production of small household appliances for personal care and water treatment equipment, spoke about the importance of branding and advertising online for companies.

Director of The Hive Network South Africa, Sibongile Musundwa presented the second session titled, What we offer is like gold.

New-media artist, technologist, and educator, Dr Sean Montgomery based in New York delivered the keynote address in a session titled, Synergy in art and science could save the world.

Yesterday’s programme also included the launch of the Digifest 2020 virtual exhibition and was streamed live on YouTube.

To view the programme or join any of the sessions, go to

Pictured: Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design (FoAD) and Director of Digifest, Dr René Smith.

Nkosingiphile Dladla

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