DigiFest 2021 – UNMASKED

The 8th edition of DUT’s Faculty of Arts and Design Digital Festival (DigiFest08) will be held as a virtual event from 19th to 21st October 2021. This event, themed UNMASKED, will promote collaborative practices (creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship) in art, design, and technology.

Unmasking symbolizes the participants taking off their mask and using their experiences during the pandemic to unleash creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to solve problems after the pandemic.


The aim of DigiFest 2021 is to promote collaborative practices (creativity, innovation and interdisciplinarity) across art, design and technology.


  • To showcase and facilitate creative projects that incorporate interdisciplinary skills and digital technologies
  • To interrogate the transformative vision of the future in arts and design fields
  • To demonstrate the economic significance of digital skills and technologies

Activities: Below are the activities lined-up for this year’s event

We opened a call for submission of intended contributions that align with this year’s theme UNMASKED and/or the special focus “Innovative response to COVID-19 and beyond.” Contributions are welcomed across all disciplines from DUT students and staff, other institutions and industry. Below are the activities we are accepting contributions for:

Plenary Sessions/TalkFest
We have invited guest speakers and panellists (internally and externally) to talk on relevant topics

There are two workshops ANIMATION and DESIGN THINKING for interested students in the faculty. The expected outcome of the workshops is that participants (students) will be able to apply the skills in their semester/year projects, and such projects can be exhibited at next year’s DigiFest.

Virtual Exhibition
This virtual exhibition (using virtual gallery) will showcase and celebrate creative projects that align with the event theme (UNMASKED) and/or the special focus “using experiences during the pandemic to unleash creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship to solve problems after the pandemic”. Exhibitors include DUT students and staff, other institutions and industry in and outside South Africa.

Virtual Exhibitions

DigiFest Director: Dr Dianna Moodley

Dr Moodley is currently Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Arts and Design. Dr. Dianna Moodley has completed extensive studies in Sociolinguistics, having spent almost a decade in the US. Her research specialization lies Language Policy in South African Higher Education. She is highly involved in networking with leading researchers in discovering what motivational factors affect language acquisition and usage in education worldwide. Her quest is to explore what ‘language’ works best to optimize student academic performance in Higher Education. She holds an impressive publishing portfolio, having presented her most recent work at Harvard and Yale Universities in the US. Her presentation at Oxford University in the UK was interrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown protocols. Some of Dr. Moodley’s work has been commissioned by the Council on Higher Education Studies and has been included in language policy strategic implementation planning. She has led several initiatives on advancing isiZulu as a medium of instruction in Higher Education in KZN.

DigiFest Manager: Jodie Du Plessis

Jodie du Plessis is a Master’s graduate in Criminology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her empirical research ``An Analysis of WhatsApp as a Crime Prevention Tool in KwaZulu-Natal`` explored how communities in the highway area use this instant messaging tool to prevent crime, and offered best practices for using the tool in a legitimate way. Jodie has worked in student development and mentorship in various sectors, including at Durban University of Technology, and has professional project management experience from Blue Security.