Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism

29 Episodes

Coined in 1994 by critic Mark Dery, the term “Afrofuturism” has become an essential framework for art about imagined and alternative Black experiences. As the author Ytasha Womack writes, “Afrofuturism combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western beliefs.” Afrofuturist ideas have found fertile ground in film, and this expansive series takes viewers on an international, intergalactic journey that stretches back long before the term existed, and far into the future. Spanning animation, documentary, and genre spectacle, these exuberant visions of Black creativity, resistance, and freedom zigzag across the African diaspora from New York to Brasilia to Kinshasa to worlds unknown. Curated by Ashley Clark, the series draws together films from Space is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film, which took place at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015; a sequel planned for 2020 that was canceled due to the pandemic; and a selection of all-new titles, many of them available for streaming for the first time.

Afrofuturism
  • 1968 < 2018 > 2068

    Episode 1

    Directed by Keisha Rae Witherspoon • 2018 • United States

    Drawing on literary excerpts from the book “Black Quantum Futurism: Theory and Practice,” 1968 < 2018 > 2068 is a meditation on cyclical and linear time theory, memory, and trauma.

  • Supa Modo

    Episode 2

    Directed by Likarion Wainaina • 2018 • Germany, Kenya
    Starring Stycie Waweru, Marrianne Nungo, Nyawara Ndambia

    Obsessed with Jackie Chan and action films, nine-year-old Jo (Stycie Waweru) dreams of being a superhero—but time is not on her side. When the doctors reveal that she is terminally ill,...

  • Zombies

    Episode 3

    Directed by Baloji • 2019 • Belgium, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Starring Popaul Amisi, Gaelle Kibikonda

    Belgian-Congolese rapper Baloji directs this hallucinatory tour through the streets, hair salons, and underground clubs of Kinshasa.

  • T
    13:50
    Episode 4

    T

    Episode 4

    Directed by Keisha Rae Witherspoon • 2019 • United States
    Starring Koko Zauditu-Selassie, Kherby Jean, Jesus Mitchell

    A film crew follows three grieving participants in Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model RIP T-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead.

  • I Snuck off the Slave Ship

    Episode 5

    Directed by Lonnie Holley and Cyrus Moussavi • 2019 • United States
    Starring Lonnie Holley, Theotis Taylor

    Visionary folk artist Lonnie Holley choreographs an ecstatic Afrofuturist tone poem to his own music in an assemblage of his encounters with the slave ship “America” and a testament to imag...