June 4, 2018 / Visual

Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism celebrates the visual culture, philosophy, history and traditions that belong to Africa. The style is largely inspired by science fiction, African music and art. With Blank Panther hitting the screens, the movement is enjoying a renaissance that is futuristic and jubilant. In the film, the costumes of tribe leaders reflect cultures of different African countries.

The futuristic and sci-fi elements are tempered with an appeal to African history and culture.

This combination is the vital element, which allows it to be futuristic while staying relevant, accessible and human, compared to other sci-fi.

Africa is gaining traction in global discussion. For instance, TED has been exploring the growth of the continent through a series entitled ‘the rise of Africa’s next generations’. Last month, Dezeen published an article delving into how Afrofuturism is creating a different creative narrative.

As consequence, we are seeing an Afrofuturist aesthetic manifest into the world of design, fashion and technology. This was evidenced at Milan Design Week where Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente was shown by Salone Satellite. Within this, 18 up and coming designers from the continent were featured.

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography is also celebrating Atrofuturist themes in their current exhibit In Their Own Form. Within this, guests are invited to contemplate the future of Afrocentrism whilst also reflecting on the continent’s vibrant history.

As such new perspectives and creative conversations are being explored. Fundamentally, the movement is a celebration of the continent and we expect to see Afrofuturism’s influence to be explored throughout design.

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