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Futures Beyond Borders: RhaRha Nembhard & Monika Bielskyte

  • TMRW 21 Keyes Avenue Johannesburg, GP, 2196 South Africa (map)
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A Conversation And Exploration Of Possible Futures 
between Rochelle "Rharha" Nembhard and Monika Bielskyte

In this talk, Monika Bielskyte and Rochelle “Rharha” Nembhard will discuss designing alternative future visions to what most media and entertainment offer today: the urgency to decolonize futures, imagine the possibilities outside western cultural narratives, and go beyond the dystopias that only perpetuate existing stereotypes and prolong the stigmas. They would like to invite you to imagine a future that is post binaries, post gender, post race and post nation state - A WORLD BEYOND BORDERS - a world where we are not defined by what we are born into but rather by what we choose to be, by our choices and our actions - or lack thereof, in face of critical changes in the environmental, geopolitical and socio-cultural context that we inhabit. A world too, where spirituality, sensuality, and creativity are not relegated to the past, but actually celebrated as pathways towards a more inspired and more inspiring future.

Monika will share her experience designing the Sci-Fi worlds for the entertainment industry and how it affects the real-world scientific research, technological development and the way we build our societies and live in our cities. Monika’s involvement in the immersive media technology space (AR, VR, AI, haptics, robotics etc) brought her to think extensively in how we could use advanced technologies as tools to overcome borders and boundaries between us - physical and cultural. 

Rharha will share the new manifesto of Noirwave: a project that stands on the shoulders of diaspora, refugees and immigrants; it is a borderless philosophy for creative immigrants globally. Noirwave unapologetically abandons Western narratives, ensuring our global contemporaries recognize that a new time is here - a time of exodus, of departure: a movement, towards a new future for contemporary culture. 


A futurist with an artist's eye and an inventor’s mind, Monika Bielskyte prototypes culturally diverse, politically, socially and environmentally engaged future world designs for the entertainment industry, technology companies, and cities/countries. A large part of her time is devoted to research and strategy in the immersive media technology space (Augmented, Mixed, Virtual Reality and AI). Monika's work consists in connecting bleeding edge technological innovation with some of the world's most original creative visions. 

Monika was born in behind the Iron Curtain, in Soviet Union (currently Lithuania), but has since worked on 6 continents and for the past 5 years has lived as a digital nomad researching futures in almost 80 countries. Her clients include Universal, Google, BBC, DreamWorks, Mexico City, United Arab Emirates, Anonymous Content, MJZ, Ridley Scott Associates, JIO, Telefonica, Intel, among others. 


Creative director, curator, and all round connoisseur of culture, Rharha Nembhard splits her time between Africa, Asia and Europe. Born to British Jamaican parents and raised in South Africa, she grounds her work in promoting and facilitating diversity, access and inclusion in typically elitist spaces within the art world, namely galleries and museums. Having lived and studied in Bangkok for 5 years, Rharha went on to complete her Masters in ‘Museums, galleries and contemporary culture’, a TATE-run programme at the University of Westminster in London. 
Rochelle Nembhard has been collaborating with South African musician Petite Noir (Yannick Illunga) for six years, working as his creative director and producing strong visuals for his latest album, La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful and other releases.
Rochelle moves around between Africa, Europe and Asia and her global travels have clearly influenced her immersive and distinct ideas

Later Event: September 5
Old Masters / New Realities