The Word & Afrofuturism
THE WORD explores communication through spoken/written word, music and film, but also questions the notion of communication beyond the word. AFROFUTURISM, a non-monolithic form of cultural criticism looks at ways of thinking about African and Afrodiasporic culture through technological innovation, futurist and science fiction themes, but also through the wider examination of future possibilities in a Diasporic context.
KODWO ESHUN, cultural theorist, lecturer at Goldsmiths College, artist, co-founder of the Otolith Group, self-professed ‘concept engineer’, and author of More Brilliant than the sun: adventures in sonic fiction has published and lectured extensively on the utopian potential of Afrodiasporic culture. JESSICA EDWARDS, filmmaker and lecturer, explores the black body as both sub-human and super-human through the continuum of slave strategies and lines of escape with contemporary continuations in the form of the black athlete.
JOHN AKOMFRAH, filmmaker who has won critical acclaim both in Britain and in the USA for his features and documentary work, co-founder of the Black Audio Film Collective, lecturer; has written extensively on film theory and aesthetics. His films, such as Last Angel of History, Memory Room 451, Mothership Connection and Digitopia have been seminal in the Afrofuturist cannon..
ZINA SARO-WIWA is a reporter for BBC2s flagship arts magazine programme The Culture Show. She has worked as a reporter, researcher and producer for BBC Radio 4 and has recently completed a film on ‘Ovation’, Nigeria’s Hello Magazine. Her interests lie in the encounter between Africans and modernity. KEZIAH JONES, also known as ‘Captain Rugged’, is a singer, song writer and guitarist. He has recorded a number of internationally acclaimed albums, including African Space Craft and has developed concepts, such as the Black Square and self mythology in a reinterpretation of the Duboisian idea of ‘Double Consciousness’.
SHAHEERA ASANTE presents for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, Africa on your street and the World Service, including a recent series on Goddesses. She is also Co-Founder and Director of the African Image Alliance. Her interest lies in the potential of African women in futurist visions. NANA OFORIATTA AYIM will chair the discussion, has written for magazines, such as Revue Noire in Paris and the Statesman in Accra and curated contemporary African art exhibitions for the Liverpool Biennial and Africa 05.
Her interests lie in the connections between languages and she is currently researching the drum language of the Akyem in Ghana. ZAN LYONS and KWEKU AACHT use new media, viola, guitar, clarinet, abstract beats and film to create deconstructed electronic compositions.
Royal Festival Hall, London, April 2005