Last month, we drew a portrait of Mark Dery, who, among MANY things, first coined the term Afrofuturism. But what we haven’t shared with you is his “What stands beyond Afrofuturism?”, at a time showing the limits of an embedded status-quo denouncing obvious discriminations but oblivious of insidious systemic forms.
Critic, essayist, book author, lecturer, journalist, Newyorker…, Mark Dery has surely been a trend observer – and eventually whistle blower – of urban life and techno culture for the past twenty years. We also owe him the term afrofuturism, which he first coined in an article entitled “Black to the future” (named after alternative hip hop musician and rapper Def Jef’s track).
From last 4 to 7 June, Paris hosted the third edition of the Nigerian Film Festival, the Nollywood Week Film Festival. An opportunity to return to a phenomenon that has propelled the most populous country in Africa on center stage, alongside the Bollywoodian outsider and the overwhelming Hollywood machine. How did Nigeria emerge within the Top 3, despite a substantial lack of resources which have long played against it? Can the advent of a new “Nollywood”, more structured, reverse the trend in cinematography for the coming years?
As part of the festival Africa in every sense, that took place in Paris from last 22 May to 7 June, the Black(s) To The future’s team met Amadou Tounkara, an artist from Senegal issued from the Fine Arts, having exhibited in Paris, Montreal or Tokyo. Invited by the festival to participate in workshops and live performances during concerts, he also took part in the realization of a fresco on a wall exposed near the Petit Bain in Paris, in collaboration with Ndoye Douts, a Senegal visual artist.
Crazy outfits, guest stars incognito, concerts – each seemingly better than the last – and above all, a willingness for a transatlantic universalism: the B(s)ttf team was out there for the first installment of the Afropunk Festival in Paris.
The Empire series, which has been surfing the FOX in the US this winter – and everything reversed on its way, it’s little to say! – is a blatant example of how western folk culture is enamored of certain aspects of Afro-American culture, rejecting codes that it reappropriates itself elsewhere. While ostentation has become a full-fledged claim, how to interpret this denial?