spaces, bodies, imaginaries, aesthetics, Afrotopian thinking
curated by Cristina Lombardi-Diop & Giulia Grechi
Afrofuturism is a time machine fleeing from the present to the past, opening up visions of possible futures, of worlds to come. In the contemporary black cultural landscape, Afrofuturism stands as one of the most promising fields of aesthetic and political exploration of the new millennium. Today, the artists and philosophers of the African continent and its diasporas give voice to a new centrality of Africa.
This thematic issue of Roots & Routes proposes Afrofuturism as an aesthetic sensibility and political tool that reconnects the American black diasporic sensitivity to its Afrocentric roots and its ramifications in the Black Mediterranean and Europe. In addressing issues that affect the relationship between spatiality, temporality, aesthetics, embodiment, techno-culture, new located and decentralized epistemologies, neo and postcoloniality, mass culture, and science fiction, this issue of Roots & Routes urges research inquiries linked by a common interest for an aesthetic and a cultural and political practice based on African and Afrodiasporic experiences projected towards a new Afrotopia.
Possible thematic sections:
Architecture, urban planning, African eco-sostenability for the future.
White and black spaces of the future, afro-heterotopias, sci-fi spatial imagery beyond segregation, African cities as a techno-model for global future, ethno-cosmopolitan, syncretic, hybrid, and alien spaces.
THE AFROTOPIC BODY:
The body in social media, digital art and new embodiment of technologies.
“Living but becoming more”, proliferation of subjectivities, alien black bodies, epidermic racialization and de-racialization, afro-queer, afrofemminism, new horizons of blackness through performance in other spaces.
AFRO-AESTHETIC / EPISTEMOLOGY / TECHNE:
Theory, music, narrative, fashion, photography, cinema, visual arts, design, afro-science fiction.
Afrofuturism as a laboratory of knowledge and Afrocentric practices, electro-funk sounds, cosmos-sounds, intersection of culture and technology, ethno-cosmogonies, syncretism and mysticism, cinema, the visual arts, and other times and spaces.
Postcolonialism, utopian memory beyond neo-colonialism.
Afrofuturism as a tool for a critique of anti-blackness, segregation, western humanism.
Counter-narratives of the past and back to the future of Africa, time travels and interrupted modernities, science fiction and historical narratives of slavery, colonialism, and neoliberalism in the black Mediterranean.
 Nnedi Okorafor, “Sci-fi stories that imagine a future for Africa.” TedTalk, 2017