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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!

Otherworldly Videos: Trip Into the Underworld – Kode-9 & The Spaceape and Okmalumkoolkat


Kode-9 & The Spaceape’s “The Devil Is a Liar” from the upcoming EP, The Killing Season. This EP covers themes of confronting illness, the unknown, and “things not being what they seem or appear to be.” In the video, Spaceape (Stephen Gordon) is clearly dressed like Baron Samedi (Hatian Voudou loa of death), one of the influences for the look of the video. Read more in the interview about the video and EP on The Fader.

Okmalukoolkat of Future Mfana latest video “Allblackblackkat,” a  “hyper-surreal take on a Zulu cleansing ceremony performed on a male member of the family before funerals, a ritual which Okmalumkoolkat himself experienced as a child.” He describes his persona as “future concepts in the now…Like Zulu sci-fi but it’s also all about highlights. Most things that are edited out of our known history, from his point of view of course.” (Source: Okay Africa and OA2). This is from his latest EP, Holy Oxygen I.

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Behind the Mask: Interview with DOPEciety’s Denisio Truitt


Fulani T-shirt

Recently, at MoCADA‘s Soul of Brooklyn Launce and Concert, I was introduced to Denisio Truitt’s line, DOPEciety, which she described as afrofuture apparel. I was intrigued and so I interviewed her to find out the inspiration for her line and her plans for it. Read below:

1) How did you become interested in fashion and how did you start your clothing line, including creating its name? Who or what are some of your fashion inspirations?

My mother loves to tell the story of how I used to raid her closet at eight and nine years old and cut up her clothes to make outfits for myself.  Eventually she taught me how to sew clothes for my dolls and then for myself. I’d have to say though I only really took an interest in fashion a little after college. I was artistically blocked (I’m a former English and Studio Art Major), so creating outfits and clothing became a different medium for self expression. I used to make little one-off t-shirt designs for myself, and people started commenting that they loved them, so I decided spring of 2013 to launch my own t-shirt company. The DOPEciety name is a contraction of “dope” and “society”. The idea for the name, like many of the designs I create, is meant to evoke a sense of duality of being both gritty and high society.

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts and New Music


Support this blog by donating to my Paypal (send donations to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com) or my become a patron on my Patreon page!

*Growing up, I remember seeing shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch or movies like The Craft, and wanting to see women of color as witches (although The Craft did have Rachel True). If I did see women of color as witches or magic(k) women, they were usually stereotypically portrayed in a degrading manner, like Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean or Tituba in the recent show, Salem. That is why I am happy to find out about MisSpelled, a show featuring witches of color, and written and created by Lindsey McDowell. I wish I found out about this show earlier, but they have a Kickstarter where they are raising funds to continue producing more episodes. See the Kickstarter video and promologue below:

*Black Girl Dangerous’ “Reclaiming the Sacred Black, Indigenous QTPOC Science of Sustainable Living and Survivor-Ship Magic:” “When most people think of scientists, they think of white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual men in lab-coats cooking up ways for other white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual people to survive sci-fi horrors like dinosaurs—but who, for what ever reason, can never think of ways to sustain the world’s need for electricity without stripping the earth of vital minerals. These Ivy-League educated, so-called genius scientists who send people to the moon and other planets and calculate the distance between this planet and our neighboring planets in order to speculate the probability of a select few humans living in those other planets, are the same ones who can never seem to figure out and implement ways of making this planet safer for ALL its inhabitants…So many people look to “modern (see western, imperialist, eurocentric) science” as the one true signifier of human brilliance—people who berate Indigenous wisdom as folklore and imagination, people who believe African science to be nothing more than superstition, people who look for “cold hard facts” and never ponder or consider the amount of suffering, exploitation, and oppression that has gone into garnering those facts. These are people who, somehow, believe that western, modern-day science happened in an “objective” vacuum and that it has not consistently worked, hand in hand, with white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism.” (Reading this reminded me of Elizabeth Nunez’s When the Rocks Dance.)

*Amazing Stories’ “Interview: Kaitlyn McKnight YA Author of a YA Novel:” This 12-year-old is the author of her own book, The Zodiac Saga 1: The Search fpr the Temple, Friends, Foes and the Zodians.

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Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Elizabeth Nunez ‘s Books of Caribbean Magic


Next week, Elizabeth Nunez will be read from her memoir, Not for Everyday Use, at the fifth annual ringShout event, which will be the Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event. The event will take place September 16 at 7pm at the Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden in Brooklyn, and also features Bridgett M. Davis (Into the Go-Slow), Saeed Jones (Prelude to Bruise), and Lauren Francis-Sharma (‘Til the Well Runs Dry). By coincidence, i randomly picked up two of Nunez’s works at the library a couple of months ago, Beyond the Limbo Silence, and When the Rocks Dance, and they were great introductions to her mythic and magic-filled writing. As I continue to look for Caribbean works that can be analyzed from an afrofuturist lens, I was fortunate to stumble across her work.

Born in Trinidad, Nunez combines Trinidadian and Caribbean culture with magic realist, mytho-spiritual and mystical elements. The first work of hers I read was Beyond the Limbo Silence, an alternate historical fiction set in 1960s Trinidad and America during the Civil Rights Era that infuses water myths, dreams, Voudou ritual and Obeah magic. The story follows Sara Edgehill, a young woman who feels like an outcast in her native land of Trinidad, Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Otherworldly Videos: The Spirit in Music – Vaudou Game + Ibeyi


Vaudou (Voudou, Voodoo, Vodun, etc.) and Yoruba Orisha religions have spread all over the world despite efforts to quiet it and here are two musical acts who incorporate the spirituality from the various variations, related and descended religions, like Santeria, Lucumi, or Candomble into their work. First is Vaudou Game’s “Pas Contente” video and their genre of Vodun Funk. “The band of six is led by Peter Solo, a singer and composer born in Aného- Glidji, Togo, birthplace of the Guin tribe and home to voodoo culture…Solo formed Vaudou Game in Lyon, France, with the vision of codifying the musical scales that are found in sacred songs of Beninese and Togolese vodun music. The terms “vadou” and “voodoo,” which come from the word “vodun,” refer to spirit and name a blended culture of voodoo practices from different West African ethnicities. Translating tradition into modern instrumentation, Solo states that he composed Apiafo based on the two main musical scales of voodoo tradition.” His album, Apiafo will be released September 22nd. (Source: Okay Africa)

Next is Ibeyi, a French Afro-Cuban duo of twin sisters, Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, whose music is described as “Yoruba Doom Soul,” mixing electronic, hip-hop and blues music with spiritual themes from Yoruba folk songs. Their debut EP, Oya, which references the Orisha goddess of wind and storms, has songs like “River,” a dedication to the Orisha of rivers and love, Oshun. Read their Okay Africa feature.

 

 

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


Submit to the Afrofuturist Affair’s 4th Annual Ball and Mont-long Celebration- Black Holographic Memory

Support this blog by donating to my Paypal (send donations to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com) or my become a patron on my Patreon page!

*Check out my two features on Atlanta Blackstar’s Blerds series, “Using Afrofuturism to Power New Modes of Tech,” and The Root’s My Thing Is series, “Maybe My Weird Version of Blackness Isn’t That Weird.

*Newswise’s “Science Fiction Through Lens of Racial Inclusiveness: Prestigious grant will fund exploration of ethnic futurisms at UCR in 2015-16:” “The University of California, Riverside will expand that universe with a yearlong exploration of ethnic futurisms that have been largely overlooked or marginalized until recently, a program of events funded by a prestigious $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Alternative Futurisms,” which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.”

*Listen to Africa Writes 2014 – Imagining Future Africa: Sci Fi, Innovation & Technology panel discussion featuring ” Ivor W. Hartmann, writer, editor, publisher and visual artist; Tade Thompson, writer, psychiatrist and clinical director for Adult Mental Health at St James Hospital, Portsmouth; and Geoff Ryman, writer and senior lecturer at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester. Moderated by Emma Dabiri, PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University and teaching fellow at SOAS.”

*Books Live’s “Bulawayo, Oduor, Huchu, Kahora and Chela Tackle the Tricky Subject of African Writing, and Hail the Rise of Afro-futurism

*Afropunk’s “FEATURE: ‘Juniper Leaves‘ fantasy book features Black kinky-haired queer nerd:“”AFROPUNK contributor Jaz Joyner is self-publishing a fantasy book featuring a Black kinky-haired queer nerd as the main character. She tells us: “After a year of reaching out to agents and publishing firms with the continuous response that the book ‘sounds good but may not be marketable,’ I decided to take matters into my own hands and self publish.”
Click here if you’d like to support the project (Kickstarter campaign).”

*Huffpost’s “Sci-Fi Artist Saya Woolfalk Creates A Hallucinatory Human Mandala From Dancers:” “The artist, whose father is African American and white and whose mother is Japanese, conjures mythical utopias to explore ideas of race, sexuality, difference, hybridization, cooperation and creativity. Her multimedia works summon viewers on a multicolored trip through mythical research, bunk biology and bizarre costumes, exposing cultural rituals as the fantastical occurrences they have been all along.

Her 2012 exhibition “The Empathics” introduced viewers to a bizarre breed of women who, after encountering genetically unusual buried remains, begin experiencing psychedelic visions that transform them into part plant, part animal hybrids.

This uncanny species, dubbed the Empathics, are an extremely porous culture, literally absorbing their cultural influences and physically mutating as a result. When searching for an iconography suitable for her mythical breed, Woolfalk incorporated the mandala, a nest of squares and circles that, to many, represent the cosmos.

For Buddhist practitioners however,” the Asian Art Museum explains, “mandalas are not just images to view, but worlds to enter — after recreating the image in their mind’s eye, meditators imaginatively enter its realm.”

*Black Girls Code received $190,000 from Google for their Initiative, “which will teach 75 black and Latina teens how to build a mobile app in one day.” Awesome!

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Afrofuturism/Afrosurrealism, Moving on the Wires, News

 

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Modern Griots Reviews: Mahogany Browne and the Mythic Poetics of Redbone


redbone biomythography“Children born in this desert are always thirsty.”

This is a line from poet Mahogany L. Browne’s Poetic Theater Productions and The Wild Project presented production, Redbone: A Biomythography. The Eboni Hogan-directed, hour-long show descends into the depths of the relationship between Browne’s parents for Browne to better understand them and herself, and to highlight the issues of their relationship that still exist today. Named after her mother’s nickname because of the light color of her skin, the production deals with issues of gender, class, domestic abuse, colorism, addiction and prison system.

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