At its most simple level, Afrofuturism is anywhere that
African-based cultures meet with technology,
magic-realism, sci-fi, fantasy or futurism.
On Wednesday 24th October 2018, musician-performer-AfroFlux festival director Juice Aleem ran an Afrofuturism session for Arts, Design and Media students at Birmingham City University.
Students were introduced to the multi-faceted movement known as Afrofuturism and its place(s) in the unknown folds of time/space histories, in addition to the glaringly obvious mainstream visions of Janelle Monae and ground-breaking blockbuster of Black Panther. Students journeyed through Afrofuturism’s important positions and crossroads in music, art, politics, fashion, technology, media, social activism, holistic healthcare and diasporic African cultures worldwide.
For some, this workshop was an introduction to the worlds of Afrofuturism. For others, this was a chance to go through the other side of the rabbit hole.
Inspired by the examples introduced and explored by Juice, students then considered how they might expand upon the concepts within Afrofuturism for themselves and how their engagements might affect the world at large. These explorations form the most recent Riffs zine special issue, guest edited by Juice Aleem, available to view here:
Download your own copy of the zine here.
Juice Aleem is a musician, writer, performer and festival director of AfroFlux. He is also one of the directors of the recent High Vis Street Culture Festival and his 2016 book detailing his insights on Afrofuturism entitled, Afrofutures and Astro Black Travel is still available.
More info at afroflux.org
With thanks to Juice Aleem for sharing his insights and thought-provoking questions, to Matt Grimes (Degree Leader Music Industries, BCU) for making the workshop possible, and to Professor Alison Honour (Dean of ADM Faculty) for supporting this student event as part of Black History Month at BCU.
If you want to explore Afrofuturism further, join us for an evening exploring Afrofuturism and Astro Blackness on Thursday the 8thof November. Hosted at Birmingham City University and in collaboration with AfroFlux, the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM – a collective based in the US) are, for the first time ever, bringing their future realities to the UK.
Find out more and book your ticket here.