Extrapolation

Capturing the Future Back in Africa

Afrofuturist Media Ephemera

Extrapolation (2020), 61, (1-2), 53–68.

Abstract

Over the last few decades, Afrofuturism has firmly established itself as one of the most recognizable sf aesthetics. Identified predominantly with literature (Butler, Delany, Hopkinson), comics (Misty Knight, Moon Girl, Black Panther), music (Sun Ra, Drexciya, Shabazz Palaces), and, to some extent, music videos (Janelle Monáe, Dawn Richards, Flying Lotus), the moniker has been commonly associated with African American artists. These are not, however, the only cultural forms of Afrofuturism, whose aesthetic has manifested itself in a range of digital media internationally: digital graphics and photography, installations, and cybertexts. Such ephemeral texts seem to be ubiquitous, yet they continue to suffer from critical neglect. I investigate the ways in which Fabrice Monteiro’s photograph series The Prophecy (2015), Olalekan Jeyifous’s collection of 3D visuals Lagos 2050: Shanty Megastructures (2016), and Jacque Njeri’s digital collages #MaaSci (2017) contribute not only to the literary traditions of American Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, but also how they illuminate the peculiar nature of Afrofuturist digital art as contrasted with Afrofuturist film or gallery-based art.

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Details

Author details

Kniaź, Lidia