Mukhtara Yusuf is a cultural activist of Nigerian Yoruba origin who explores identity making in a post-colonial context through Afrofuturist art. Her media of choice include printwork and collage, but she is especially committed to fashion and jewelry design. To her, dress articulates the unfinished business of self-making as a “3rd culture kid” of the diaspora.
A man and woman dance to the hypnotic rhythm of synthesized drums and distorted singing, their stomping feet raising clouds of dust from barren earth, their upper limbs drawing elliptic figures against a backdrop of nebulous galaxies. In this depthless void where stars pulsate from the exposed heart of colored clusters, the lone dancers twist under the invisible pressure of the hammering sound. In gravity-defying gymnastics they move under a fluorescent ray of blue light that beams down from the eye of a nebula. They are being summoned. A ladder appears leading somewhere, nowhere. Is this dystopia or utopia? The scene gives no hint as to its history, whether the characters are welcoming or resisting the call.
An article by Laura Havlin that appeared in AnOther Magazine back in September is a good source to get acquainted with the afrofuturist aesthetic and to point to its influence on afrosartorial trends. (N.D.L.R. : This article first appeared on “Afrosartorialism”, Enrica Picarelli’s research blog, on 29 December 2015)