2023-24 Melisa Achoko Allela | Motion Capture for Orature

2023-24 Fellow Melisa Achoko Allela is a Nairobi-based creative technologist, lecturer and researcher. She merges her background in interactive media, graphic design and animation in artistic and research projects that explore the affordances of new and emerging technologies to position how they can be used to digitize storytelling experiences imbued with elements of traditional African oral storytelling.

Allela is a lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya and cofounder of the interactive media studio LESOStories. Her main motivation is to preserve and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of African storytelling while also using innovative methods to share it with a new and wider audience. She holds a PhD in design from the Technical University, and an MA and BA in design from the University of Nairobi.

Among other achievements, Allela is winner of Digital Lab Africa 2020 Award (Immersive Realities category), is an Electric South 2019 Fellow, a recipient of the 2019 HEVA Cultural Heritage Seed Fund and a 2018 Mawazo PhD scholar. She looks forward to the tipping point moment for African women in tech and their increased participation in the fields of animation and interactive media.

Allela’s fellowship project—Songa, from the Swahili word “move”—explores the digital mediation of performance and non-verbal communication that plays a key role in narrative development in traditional African oral storytelling. This project gives prominence to physically embodied experiences that cannot be adequately conveyed in linear media. It entails the creation of a database of movement forms drawn from curated storytelling performances.


Browse the 2023-24 Melisa Achoko Allela | Motion Capture for Orature Collections:

Class Photos

Course Materials

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Songa Mocap Library

Student Reflections