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BAT Multimedia Centre

applied | digital | physical
May 2015
setup and coordination of computer room at community art centre in durban, south africa
Through the weltwärts exchange program
Supported by the german  Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the eThekwini Municipality

From October 2014 until September 2015 I was working as Multimedia Centre Coordinator at the BAT Centre in Durban, South Africa. My stay was part of the Weltwärts program, a social and cultural exchange initiative supported by the german government and the local eThekwini Municipality.

The BAT Centre is a community based arts and cultural centre in Durban, South Africa. It was established in 1995 and is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promotion of the music, visual arts, dance, craft and literature of KwaZulu-Natal. My main objective at the BAT Centre was to establish a Multimedia Centre to extend access and skills in new media technology to the students and artists. The opening of the MMC was a respond to the lack of digital infrastructure and learning facilities in Durban, especially for underprivileged young creatives without formal education.

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The long-term vision of the BAT Multimedia Centre is to extend access and skills in new media technology to collaborators, students, artists and visitors of the BAT Centre and the whole of Durban. It thereby aims to educate and empower creative young people and especially artists and musicians to use the possibilities of New Media to communicate and research, present their work and develop new markets.

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The MMC offers courses on a regular base for the BAT Centre staff, the AIR students and to the broader public on topics relevant to the attendees, such as Online Self Marketing, Graphic Design or Sound Editing. In the mornings the MMC can be utilized by the students or by groups and initiatives who are working at multimedia related topics while it is open in the afternoon as an Internet Café where everybody can use the computers and the equipment for individual learning, creating and communication.

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At the moment the Multimedia Centre is furnished with eight refurbished office Computers which are each equipped with various open source and professional software for multimedia purposes such as Graphic Design or Video Editing. Also a printer for black and white printing, copying and scanning and several books and DVDs on media and technology topics are available.

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The official launch of the Multimedia Centre was celebrated on the 21st of May 2015 with an exhibition on Digital Art. The exhibition wanted to give an overview of what artistic approaches and positions are existing on the broad field of Digital Art in Durban and KwaZulu Natal, dealing with or deriving from the increasing digitalization of our environment. It featured projects from 15 different artists and included drawings, prints, objects, animations, photos and interactive artworks. The aim of the exhibition was to introduce the visitors to new technologies, new forms of artistic expressions and spark the interest for own engagement with the growing influence of Digital Art.

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