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Author Archives: Aker

About Aker

Hello. I am a Baruch College graduate with a B.A. in Music and Journalism, and a focus in African Diasporic Studies. I plan to expand on my blog, Futuristically Ancient, publish my thesis on percussion in hip-hop and my poetry collection, and probably go to Grad School for Cultural Studies and Media Analysis. I have been to Dominica, Japan and London. I can speak Japanese and French. My interests are music, writing, poetry, studying different types of art, African Diasporic studies, Religion/Spiritual Systems, Comparative Analysis and much more. I also have locs (dreadlocks) and since I am a Leo, I love my hair! LOL!

Modern Griot Reviews: #FunkGodJazzMedicine at Weeksville


IMG_3676Our society often focuses more on representation and showing images of oppressed people as proof we have “progressed,” but the other side of true moving forward for people who live in oppressive societies is self-determination, something that often gets ignored for the more superficial representation only politics. Self-determination is the freedom and ability to control your own life, taking full responsibility in making decisions for yourself that will impact your future. That is something often not celebrated or promoted when it comes to those of us who are not at the top; we are expected to remain dependent on the dominant powers.

The recent month-long exhibition at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, set out to highlight ways black communities in Brooklyn have in the past and today are doing actions of self-determination. Funk, God, Jazz and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn honored the history of the neighborhood of Weeksville in Brooklyn, founded by James Weeks, who bought land in 1838 in that area in order to receive the right to vote and convinced other black people to do the same. New Weeksville executive director Tia Powell Harris listed a few words that represents the history of Weeksville and the projects: empowerment, equity, sustainability, self empowerment and self actualization. Placing four different art and community projects throughout the neighborhood as well as having different conversations focused on the different aspects of the exhibition, Funk, God, Jazz and Medicine revealed interconnections between self-determination, community, politics, art, spirituality and health that often are disregarded in the individualistic mainstream culture.

The four parts of the title were attributed to each project:

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


AiRich

*Afropunk “Feature: Visual Artist AiRich Talks About Her Afrofuturistic and Raw Style:“My name is AiRich. According to the people who surround me, my photography can work safely in the category of “afrofuturism”. This has mainly to do with the style, the spiritual aspects that others link to my work. I see this as a great compliment, because my style was first developed by an optimistic philosophy that whatever is inside of me can come out. I welcome it, as it is an expression and reflection of my lifestyle, taste, who I am and how I see the world. One of the most recognizable landmarks in my work is that I only make use of Black models, whom in the first instance are not the ideal beauty image requirements in western photography. My approach is conceptual and in the opposite direction, of western photography. Often with a specific story [traditional and non-traditional] or message that I want to say the story is often in the expression, the styling or setting. Most times the story alone is a non-theatrical physical positioning of the model. Whatever comes out, it is always and expression of the culture, myth and reality of the Black people’s truth.”

*CCCADI Roots and Stars: Destiny and Purpose – Pathways to Passion event will be tomorrow at 6:30pm at the Dwyer Cultural Center: We beckon our most passionate lives in this cross-traditional conversation exploring the concepts of Destiny and Purpose. Marinieves Alba presents a prayer-talk about the Lukumi concept of Ori, a metaphorical bird of destiny and highest purpose that, perched atop each person’s spiritual head, guides us in our flight through life.  Joshua Bee Alafia, representing the Buddhist tradition, discusses the power of meditation to achieve greater levels of personal clarity, courage, and a bold allegiance to the sincerity of the heart.Roots and Stars is CCCADI’s salon series dedicated to exploring Black spiritual genius as expressed in art, practice, and the ritual of everyday life.

*Also tomorrow: Schomburg Center presents conversation, Before 5: Xenobia Bailey and Tammi Lawson, in which the two will discuss the inspirations to Xenobia’s Reconstruction of Funktional Design: A Design Project for Social, and Economic Urban Redevelopment. The artist will share how the creative wisdom of her family’s history originating crafts skills and a material culture in the aesthetic of funk within small African American and multi cultural communities in Seattle Washington and how the migration to Brooklyn and presently living in Harlem influenced her lifestyle and is the foundation of her education and the principal of her Professional Practice. She will speak of her environment of being raised by self educated parents and extended family members of how they manifested an art form, of humbly living in grace by design, in spite of the set backs of Jim Crow Laws that most hard working African American Families experienced in rural and urban communities.

This will be an afternoon survey of a few examples of the Material Culture of the Visual Aesthetic of Funk: The Dynamic Art of Gracefully Living a Dream in a North American Discriminatory Nightmare. Xenobia will share images of Familiar, but under appreciated references and inspirations from the Designs, Engineering and Inventiveness of the low-income, African American homemakers and domestic workers.”

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


*Get Futuristically Ancient t-shirts for $20 on teespring.

*Subtletea’s “David Herrle reviews NEAR KIN: A COLLECTION OF WORDS AND ART INSPIRED BY OCTAVIA ESTELLE BUTLER:” David Herrie writes an analysis of Butler’s work and her influence on the anthology, Near Kin. By the way, he include me and my poem in the review. Cool!

*Check out this new comic from Opportunity Agenda, Helvetika Bold, about a social justice superhero who fights the status quo with her words and media savvy.

From Afropunk: “Working with artist-activist Dragonfly, we have been able to bring Helvetika to life as a living, breathing maven of moxie…Not only does she fictionally save the world, she leads with values and effective social justice communications messaging that actually demands action and change. The more support that Helvetika can gain, the more likely that her story can continue sooner rather than later, and the more damage she can do to The Status Quo!”

*Afrofuturism 849 is “a Chicago-based organization dedicated to creating artistic and educational events and programs that support the Afrofuturist global community,” featuring Floyd Webb and Ytasha Womack. “We encourage the visioning of a peaceful today and tomorrow that engages the best of diverse perspectives from the ancient to the future.

We celebrate the intersection between black cultures, indigenous cultures, technology, the imagination, liberation and mysticism as we champion innovation around the world. The number 8.49 is the apparent magnitude of Sirius B, a star celebrated by the Dogon. This star inspires people around the world and we recognize it as one of many symbols of innovation, uncovered pasts and created futures.” They are currently accepting submission for a February Black History Month film program. Email them at info@afrofuturism49.com.

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Modern Griots Interviews: Boshia Rae-Jean


Boshia Twitter Profile

I recently met Boshia at the Little Miss Creative event in New York City where she recited her poem, “I Have a Galaxy in Me:”

“These organs are not only my make up but they make up my galaxy/I am a goddess of the galaxy that reproduces life/This is why I believe in me because/I have a galaxy in me.”

I asked to do an interview with her and here it is below, where she discusses her style, her organization, WeInfinity, and her goals to reinvent Hip-Hop to include more women’s voices:

1) How do you define yourself – your personality, style, the creative work you do?

I would define myself as being outgoing, whimsical, passionate, humble. As for my style I would defiantly say cultural, earthy, and purposeful. On the creative end, I’m constantly evolving that which is unique to me constantly and manifesting what’s already been created for us.

2) How did you start your organization, WeInfinity, and what was your motivation for starting it? What is the main meaning behind WeInfinity and its logo that you want to share with others? What upcoming plans do you have for WeInfinity?

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Moving on the Wires: Futuristically Ancient T-Shirts


Hey everyone,

I just wanted to officially announce on my blog that I started a t-shirt campaign on Teespring. I am testing out this idea for maybe a future t-shirt or merchandise line. My idea is to include my logo or the associated names of my blog (A Future Ancient, etc.) in different designs and a memorable quotation from well-known voices. There are nine days left to get a shirt, but even if I don’t reach past my goal, I will try again with other looks. Below is the current t-shirt with the logo and the quotation from Amiri Baraka I feature on my blog, and some possible quotations I would use in the future. Let me know if there are others you would like included.

Futuristically Ancient T-Shirts

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The My-Stery: Animism, Cybernetics and Adaptability


“Android/Negroid # 1″ by Wayne Hodge

Ever since my mother received her smart phone, she has constantly been coming to me with numerous questions about how to use it. She has such a difficult time adapting to how it works no matter how many times I show her. No matter how much she uses the smart phone, I don’t think she fully connects or pays attention to it in order to learn. She cannot learn how to use the smart phone if she does not open herself to learning how to use it. Half the time when I am showing her what to do, I am not exactly sure what I am doing myself; I am figuring it out as I go along based on a set of knowledge I have learned already from smart phones and just playing around with it. I try to work with the phone based on how it might move or based on the signs it gives.

Sometimes, I think she sees technology as a magic device that will just do for her and she doesn’t want to take the energy to work with it, to move with it. Sometimes, I think that she thinks of God in that way, too. God is somewhat detached from herself as much as the technology is and she lets it remain that way. This experience with my mother stirred my thoughts on our interaction with God (or higher spirit) and technology. Maybe we should see God (or higher spirit) much like the character Lauren Olamina does in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. If “God Is Change,” I have to learn its fundamentals and adapt with it. I have to interconnect with it as if it is a part of me, as if we are extensions of each other, that I have to attach it to me and bend it to my image to survive and grow as much as it bends and changes my image. As for technology, it should be looked at in a similar fashion. It adapts to you as much as you adapt to it.

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Otherworldly Videos: “Back to Life” – Flying Lotus and Sena Dagadu


Directed by Hiro Murai., this is the latest video for “Never Catch Me,” from Flying Lotus’ upcoming album, You’re Dead, featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Directed by King Luu and shot in Ghana, this is Sena Dagadu and Wanlov Kobolor from FOKN Bois’ music video for “Pass It On” off of Dagadu’s Lots Of Trees album

 

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