I was invited by Cher Potter to contribute an article to the publication for the 2012 Impakt festival. “The article is now on Impakt Online and is featured with a group of articles around the notion of “Afrofuturism”.
Using the term “Afrofuturism” has become very trendy in European curatorial dialogue when looking at contemporary technology orientated art and cultural practices from Africa. While this is wonderful that African practice is being closely addressed in a new light, this article also presents the fact that the new interest does not really address the origins of the term, and may therefore miss some of the more important messages in its interpretation.
Afrofuturism comes from Afro-American music and literary criticism, where it deals / dealt strongly with issues of representation and identification for Afro-Americans in a contemporary society. The article title “What is Afrofuturism to Africa” not only makes this clear, but indicates where in new African based practices the same issues of representation and identification are being brought up; in light of not only a Western viewpoint on Africa, but also a Chinese viewpoint on Africa. And as in any critical medium, visa versa as in how Africa see’s and interprets the West.