Key dates and words to understand why Afrofuturism might be the next Big Thing

What more than science-fiction could express our dreams about the futures, allow us to hope for better days to come, and to explore ideas in order to shape our present ? Tomorrow, our society will be fair, the technology will have solved every problem and we will all live in peace an harmony.

Well…

The trouble is that our mainstream science-fiction has been written by, and for, privileged white males. As such, the idealised society is the one that would fit these privileged white males’s projections. Today’s bias is tomorrow’s bias. But imagination isn’t an all-white exclusivity.

Cover artwork for Afrofurism 2.0, R.Anderson & C.E.Jones.

Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, which combines political philosophy, science-fiction, fantasy, magic, technology, magical realism, and which has allowed a bunch of black artists and thinkers to dream of a better future for black people. You might have heard of it when we talked a lot about Marvel’s Black Panther, last year. Unfortunately, the blockbuster conveyed a rather essentialised vision of afrofuturism, forgetting most of its complexity and many of its political aspects, focusing on an aesthetic which is eye-rewarding and, as such, works well as a cultural product.

Actually, afrofuturism tackles questions of racism, political sciences, feminism, grotesque, alienation and identity, among other themes. I wanted to understand more closely what was its power — and a few researches led me to think that it might very well be a genre that will soon become universal. Not only because of its commercial-friendly look, but rather because it conveys a theoretical development that allows to dream of a future for the oppressed. By mixing sci-fi and social justice, it’s the perfect media to express one’s aspirations to a better tomorrow.


Key words to understand afrofuturism

Key dates to understand afrofuturism


Other articles are to come on the subject. Subscribe if you have liked this first work, and want to stay tuned. As always, any comment is welcome in order to improve my writings !