Providing continued access to the performing arts
So, what does a festival on a phone look like exactly? The 2021 festival will use the WhatsApp platform through TURN.io, a cloud-based application that integrates directly with the WhatsApp Business API. TURN.io enables organisations to engage efficiently at scale, with AI assistance and similar WhatsApp lines have been used since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and South Africa’s own Department of Health. MBMS will, however, be the first arts application of the TURN.io service.
PJ Sabbagha, Artistic & Managing Director of FATC explains that widespread access to the arts is the driving factor behind the virtual iteration of the festival.
‘In short, the festival will be accessed via your phone using WhatsApp (the most broadly used platform, globally). Once you have opted in you will be guided through a series of menus with prompts and triggers that then “release” content – the festival works – directly to your phone. You can access it whenever, wherever. The idea is that you do not need to take time out of your day to access the festival content,’ says Sabbagha.
Content on the WhatsApp line will also be light on data, making the platform an affordable one, and works featured at MBMS 2021 will mostly be short-form pieces of one to three minutes long.
Continue reading about the Whatsapp festival:
My Body My Space 2021 >>
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Local art and performance with a wide-ranging focus >>
Placing marginalised rural communities at the centre of the festival experience.
A commitment to creative collaboration >>
Some of the confirmed partners for this year’s festival include…