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BLACK TO THE FUTURE (AFROFUTURISM) EXHIBITION: AN EXPLORATION OF THE ARTS THROUGH A BLACK CULTURAL LENS
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PHOTOS: DON JOHN
A platform for new ideas and new forms of expression.
As part of Black History Month Showcase Gallery presented an exhibition of exciting UK artists who explored art through a Black cultural lens. Dismantling stereotypes, fusing cultures, and imagining futures. Four artists contributed works-Ade Adesina, Carleen De Sozer, Harold Offeh and Leyla Reynolds and they provided a starting point in the gallery for a range of open and discursive events.
The term Afrofuturism has its origin in African American science fiction. Today it is generally used to refer to literature, music and visual art that explores the African American experience . It was coined by Mark Derry in his 1993 essay “Black to the Future” to describe the cross-cultural philosophy of artists, musicians and writers who drew on the techno-utopian thinking of the space age to re-imagine Black life in the United States
From colonialism and slavery to police brutality, and from cultural repression to cultural appropriation. Black people in Africa and the diaspora alike have seen their futures dictated, hijacked or destroyed for centuries. Afrofuturism is a seizing of the narrative and a way for contemporary African and diaspora artists to demand, imagine and create their own futures shaped by and through both past and present.
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The concept Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that combines science fiction, technology, history, and fantasy to explore the African experience and aims to connect those from the Black diaspora with their forgotten African ancestry and to recognise its impact on the here and now. Colonialism and the Slave Trade has consigned the historical Black experience to a consequence of the world as we know it and Afrofuturism provides an opportunity to rediscover and speculate on the futures of those of the African diaspora. Afrofuturism is not a movement or a genre but an opportunity to position the Black experience at the centre and not the fringes of a story and to discover what bit means for peoples, who have been so focused on traumas and scars, to see the future as a new orientation.
NEWSQUEST JEZ GALE (first published 8th June 2016)