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Afrofuturism: Imagining an Afrocentric Future

What would the world look like if European colonialism, Western Enlightenment rational ideas, a Western universalism that is not inclusive of that which is not Western – if all of this were not the dominant culture? What would an Afrocentric view of humanity and of Africa and the people of the African diaspora look like, rather than a view from the Eurocentric gaze? 

Afrofuturism can be seen as a reaction to the dominance of white, European expression, and a reaction to the use of science and technology to justify racism and white or Western dominance and normativity.

Art is used to imagine counter-futures free of Western, European dominance, but also as a tool to implicitly critique the status quo.

Afrofuturism implicitly recognizes that the status quo globally – not just in the United States or the West – is one of political, economic, social, and even technical inequality. As with much other speculative fiction, by creating a separation of time and space from current reality, a different kind of “objectivity” or ability to look at possibility arises.

Rather than grounding the imagination of counter-futures in Eurocentric philosophical and political arguments, Afrocentrism is grounded in a variety of inspirations: technology (including Black cyberculture), myth forms, indigenous ethical and social ideas, and historical reconstruction of the African past.

Afrofuturism is, in one aspect, a literary genre that includes speculative fiction imagining life and culture.

  Afrofuturism also appears in art, visual studies, and performance. Afrofuturism can apply to the study of philosophy, metaphysics, or religion. The literary realm of magic realism overlaps often with Afrofuturist art and literature.

Through this imagination and creativity, a kind of truth about potential for a different future is brought forward to consider.

The power of imagination to not only envision the future, but to affect it, is at the core of the Afrofuturist project.

Topics in Afrofuturism include not only explorations of the social

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