« A Japanese teen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of a big American company is not the same as Madonna sporting a bindi as part of her latest reinvention. The difference is history and power. Colonization has made Western Anglo culture supreme – powerful and coveted. It is understood in its diversity and nuance as other cultures can only hope to be. Ignorance of culture that is a burden to Asians, African, and indigenous peoples, is unknown to most European descendants or at least lacks the same negative impact. » Tamara Winfrey Harris
One Google research is enough to acknowledge the distinguished Sun Ra and the archandroid Janelle Monae as obvious flagships of afrofuturism, cyber-intertwined in a movement they don’t claim to be actually part of. The first returned to the far-off Saturn planet in 1993 and the latter spans space and time in an alternative reality.
“Nowadays deep seated issues of race, class, slavery etc. are mashing up with modern life and expectations of what life should be […] it’s refreshing 2 imagine a future where Afro culture/style exists in highest beauty without always connecting it to a painful past” Quoting tweets by @stormsaulter — “The imagination spurs creativity and scientific inquiry alike #afrofuturism […] triggers the imagination & helps many see beyond convention.” Quoting tweets by @ytashawomack.
Following a not-that-unlikely-anymore forecast; the new promises of nanotechnologies and Artificial Intelligence appear to make the threat of Human disappearance bound to happen. This said, the announcements made from transhumanists to Singularity upholder should be more than urgently put through a critical riddle…
In nowadays Republic of Benin once lived a female regiment of warriors, the Amazons of Dahomey, women protected by the King itself. Chosen and enlisted for their physical robustness and strength, they were socially equal to men. Fearless warriors, they decapitated their French enemies through the first years of the French-Dahoméenne war.
In anticipation of the biennale, Clocktower’s Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak series airs Haitian musicians, DJ sets, record labels, expats, artists, and more, to give our listeners a complete audio landscape of Haiti in the world today. And here is B(s)ttF’s podcasts selection : ENJOY !
The Battle of Versailles, coined by former WWD publisher John Fairchild, served as the beginning of American fashion as we know it today and became the catalyst for diverse runways that lasted nearly a decade. “[Designers] wanted entertainment and black models were associated with being able to really express themselves on the runway.” However, by the 1980s, “once entertainment was devalued, black models became less in demand.”
“For the past two years, Luanda—not Tokyo, Moscow, or Hong Kong—has been named, by the global consulting firm Mercer, as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. Luanda’s lure, and its treasure, is oil. […] In the past decade, tens of thousands of American and European employees of international oil conglomerates, fortified by generous cost-of-living allowances, have descended on Luanda. […] The country now produces 1.8 million barrels of oil a day; in Africa, only Nigeria produces and exports more. The boom has transformed a failed state into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”
In ‘The Shadows Took Shape’ exhibition catalog essay, Alondra Nelson wrote that “in the zeal for a liberatory detour, Afrofuturism [has come] to be more likely embodied by Sun Ra, George Clinton, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ralph Ellison, and ‘The Brother from Another Planet’” than by women like LaBelle, Ellen Gallagher, Laila Ali, Jewelle Gomez, and Nyota Uhura. [While] queerness (in the broadest sense) of past-future visionaries such as Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, and Nalo Hopkinson too often goes unappreciated as a central feature of black futurist aesthetics.
After he gave us his view on “What stands beyond Afrofuturism?”(2/4) Mark Dery urges us not to forget that the core essence of Afrofuturism was of a constant combat by all means, of a black community seeing itself denied any technological ability (3/4).