“If you want to have any idea of the world that is coming, the world ahead of us, look at Africa!”, says Afropolitan author and critic Achille Mbembe. From Lagos to Nairobi to Johannesburg, the continent is giving answers to global questions of the future.
What might an African future look like? How do artists and academics imagine this future? And what forms and narratives of science fiction have African artists developed? These are some of the questions addressed by the project “African Futures”, organized by the Goethe-Institut from 28 October to 31 October 2015.
Three concurrent interdisciplinary festivals taking place in Johannesburg/South Africa, Lagos/Nigeria and Nairobi/Kenya are set to explore the future through narrative and artistic expression – within literature, as well as the fine arts, performance, music and film, including various digital formats. Find the full programme here.
Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Spoek Mathambo (SA), Faustin Linyekula (DRC), Achille Mbembe (SA/Cameroon) and many others will engage in building bridges between the arts, technology and critical discourse. Besides exhibitions, a film programme, performances and a virtual reality workshop, the festival will feature a live video conference connecting Johannesburg with São Paulo and New York – two cities whose cultural production is strongly shaped by African influences.
During the run up to the festival, writers Lindokuhle Nkosi (Cape Town) and Percy Zvomuya (Harare/Johannesburg) will explore some of the many facets of African Futures on the Tumblr www.goethe.de/africanfutures , including Black Feminism, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Knowledge Production in Africa. The Tumblr also features the festival programme, curatorial board and participants of the festival.
In a second stage in 2016, the most interesting outcomes of artistic positions and discourse elements will be part of an interdisciplinary festival at SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin.
African Futures is a project of the Goethe-Institut South Africa, funded by the Goethe-Institut and the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.