I have been struggling to grasp the term ‘Afrofuturism’ for the past few weeks and now that I understand the concept, it’s time to figure out if it can influence the arts and culture industry in Namibia. In lay man’s terms, Afrofuturism is basically a possible, optimistic projection of the future by Africans or Africans living in the diaspora.
In America, the concept has recently been portrayed in a movie titled Black Panther, which depicts a wondrous Afro-futuristic utopia called Wakanda.
This movie provides a prophetic reimagining of Africa with its postmodern gravity-defying vehicles and supersonic technology that far exceeds human comprehension. To have future, one’s past must be defined and as such African history has been seemingly distorted through the many years of slavery and oppression. Afrofuturism thus gives Africans all over the world an opportunity to imagine and pave a new future for what was done in the past that influences how we live now. The idea is to reclaim the history of Africa, often told by others and which often do not embrace the real picture of Africa.
Afrofuturism has to do with recovering the lost identities or lost perspectives that have been undermined or overlooked. African creativity is beyond comprehensible and more recently Namibian artists such as Nashilongweshipwe Mushaanja, JuliArt Hango, Masiyaleti Mbewe, and Nambowa Malua, embraced the concept of Afro-futurism. They based their performances and exhibitions on different subject matters such as cultural diversity, sexuality, language, and technology that may exist in the future through their respective art disciplines.
Seeing what Africa can become is one of the most exciting things to think about and Afro-futurists have the important job to influence and possibly shape the future for generations to come. This means that the seeming contradiction of a past being brushed away and the writing of a future sees its possibilities in Afro-futurism.
Understand that Afro-futurism allows black people to apply self-iterations and enhance alternate realities that transcend the limitations of the “here and now” towards the “what ifs” and “could bes”, through their own melanin-infused, black conscious and black cultural appropriation.
One can easily become an Afro-futurist and conjure up positive and uplifting future scenarios, and tell stories that are not regulated to one aspect of communication. Through novels, essays, and academic writings, films, and music, creating new African stories is ultimately reclaiming some type of independence over one’s story that has historically been restricted
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015