ATLiens (or How Afrofuturism is Closer Than You Think)

af·ro·fu·tur·is·m (n.) : an African-American and African diaspora subculture whose thinkers and artists see technology and science-fiction as means of exploring the black experience and finding new strategies to overcome racism and classism.

It’s not just Black science fiction; afrofuturism for some is a way of life. You can find it in the intracacies of a Romare Bearden collage or a chorus of “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa. Here in Atlanta, there’s currently the Charles H. Nelson exhibit “Random Access” over at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts. Nelson’s sketches show extreme depth and touch on subjects like the role of personal identity in contemporary society. (Don’t worry if you miss the showing – Nelson is also part of a group exhibit “Not by Art Alone” at Spelman College in October.)

Just last Sunday at the Atlanta College of Art Gallery the Maximum Flavor exhibit ended which showcased works from Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas and many talented others.

And of course, there’s local Afrofuturist artist (and fellow Morehouse alum) Kojo Griffin who’s surreal works have been featured in galleries and exhibitions all over the world. You can also check out some of his works at Saltworks Gallery on Angier Avenue.

Still want more? There’s also a local book club Soulfull Readers which often discusses Afrofuturist works by authors like Nalo Hopkinson, Walter Mosley, Octavia Butler and Tananarive Due.

I tell ya…I think those Outkast boys might’ve been onto something.

3 Comments so far

  1. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 10:29 am

    Thanks for the tips. I quite like Charles H. Nelson’s stuff.

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