Afro Future

Our upcoming African Spear Magazine is on ‘the Afro-future’. This has – as you can image – lead to us thinking more about the future of Africa, Africans and also our own future here at the Africa Center.

The most popular example of Afrofuturism at the moment is probably the Marvel movie Black Panther. Other examples of Afrofuturism that may come to mind are images like the one above or science fiction novels that are based on the African continent. This is because Afrofuturism by definition encompasses: ‘a philosophy of science, aesthetic and history that explores the developing intersection of African culture with technology.’

Using this definition it is clear to see how Afrofuturism can often have nothing at all to do with the African continent as it necessitates a link with technology – which in and of itself is often thought to originate only from the western world. For example, a main theme in Afrofuturistic art is space – many artists will use imagery such as the moon, spaceships or stars to depict they vision of Afrofuturism. This is despite the fact that out of 55 African countries only 8 – Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa and Angola – have space programs at all. Zambia is notably missing on this list despite the efforts of Edward Mukuka Nkoloso.

Find out more about the African Space Industry

What we are trying to say by this is that there needs to be a future imagination of the African continent that does not aspire to western standards of technology and more than that there needs to be a consideration of what constitutes as technology and the ills of technology as we know it today. This is why we went for the term Afro-future instead of sticking to Afrofuturism.

African Spear

Mashona women in the early 1900`s.

We could not help but noticing how these regal maShona women and children from present day Zimbabwe seem to have inspired many Afrofuturistic artists, from the copper chokers and bracelets to the short hair and bold poses – we just wanted to share that with you!

We mentioned at the start of this newsletter that this topic has made us think about the future of the Africa Center in Hong Kong. For us, we see it as us becoming more and more of a community center for Africans in the city and an expanding hub for growth and interactions between Africans and non-Africans.

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