AFRICA IS THE FUTURE
Greetings from Karen, the other half of Outerregion. I am in Dakar, exploring The Dak’ Art Biennale and the sights and sounds of the city. I am always in search of fellow beings dreaming of the Afrofuture. In Dakar, I feel enveloped by an Afrofuturist spirit. When I speak of the Afrofuture, I speak in simple terms. I am not speaking as an academic, nor in a political manner, debating who and what is or should be included in the Afrofuturist cannon. In a recent article in Media Diversified, author Micah Yongo quotes artist and educator, Denenge Akpem, describing Afrofuturism simply as “what blackness could look like in the future”.
I sometimes feel that I am in a future world as I walk the streets of Dakar. Several buildings in The city look like they could be on a sci-fi movie set A few examples are below:
People (or other beings) have left messages in various places in Dakar about the Afrofuture:
Several art works at the Dak’ Art Biennale spoke to the Afrofuture in my mind. For example, as part of the Green Art exhibit, artist Barthelemy Toguo meditates on the future of Africa in terms of food production, security and sustainability:
Many pieces in the Biennale take on futuristic aesthetics:
Serge Olivier Fokoua
Eddy Ilunga Kamuanga
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention Le Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, pictured below.
The intent of the monument was to create a symbol of a united Africa, pointing to the future. However, there have been many detractors who critique the representation of women as subordinate to male protectors, the extravagant expense of the construction and the offensive display of the human form, which contradicts some Islamic teachings.The monument is so large, and exaggerated that it is almost cartoonish in its feel.
Dakar has been an unforgettable city. I am blessed to have finally made it to the continent. I am grateful for the short opportunity to bear witness to my African sisters and brothers, living on the continent dreaming, planning and living the Afrofuture daily.