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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 Interviews: Janluk Stanislas and ‘Trafik d’Info’


AFFICHE TRAFIK D'INFOI met Janluk Stanislas at a recent Caribbeing event and found out about his 2005 Caribbean futuristic short film, Trafik d’Info. As someone of Afro-Caribbean descent, I am always looking for speculative works from the Caribbean and so this excited me. Trafik d’Info, known as the first science fiction film from the Caribbean, centers on a 20th century organization of rebels who are illegally trading information despite censorship from authorities. One of the agents of the organization, Jouwa, hunted the militia, is attempting to save important information so that people in his generation and future generations can receive it. Later in the film we see the effects of the efforts of this organization in the future. Below is my interview with Stanislas about the film:

1) Tell us a little about your background and how it influenced you to be a filmmaker.

I’m French Caribbean, born on the island of Guadeloupe. I’m part of that generation that grew up with the values that our parents and grandparents instilled, but also grew up with the beginning of advanced technology. My parents had a TV when I was one, and I remember going to the movies with my father later on every weekend. My mother influenced both my brother and I to play the piano and always found a way to document the family. I guess that the essence of my art form today was always surrounding me since my young age.

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The My-Stery: We Must Value Our Own Stuff Even in the Face of Doom


June Jordan

During the past few week after witnessing the no indictments of Darren Wilson,for the killing of Mike Brown and Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner, in addition to the numerous cases of police violence, brutality and negligence acted upon black people before and after the two incidents, I have wondered how do we move forward and find hope and refuge in the face of so much destruction.

The one thought that came to mind over the past few weeks has been that we need to value ourselves and our own stuff with more force. I have seen efforts such as #NotOneDime, #BlackoutBlackFriday, #BlackonBlackFriday and #BlackDecember. I have seen several posts on The Anti-Intellect Blog about how we don’t as a whole value our own schools, like HBCUs, and our own awards and recognitions. I was watching News One Now and Roland Martin was having a similar discussion with Cornel West with Roland mentioning that someone had told him that they needed to get him a “real show” on a “real network.” Saturday I attended the Afrikan Poetry Theater’s Buy Black Market. But it wasn’t until Sunday at J.P. Howard’s Women Writers in Bloom Salon where poet Amber Atiya led the workshop and introduced June Jordan’s essay, “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan” that it clicked fully in my head.

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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Afrofuturism/Afrosurrealism, The My-Stery

 

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Moving on the Wires: Cutting Back + News, Posts and New Music


“There Are Black People in the Future” by Alisha B. Wormsley

*For the next six months, most of my time will be invested in a big project, so I will be cutting back on posting here to probably once or twice a week, or a few times a month. But if you would like to be a guest blogger or help moderate this blog, you can email me at futureancientblog@gmail.com.

*Wonder why there is a perception that black people experience less pain or why Darren Wilson described Mike Brown the way he did? Well, one reason may be the Magical Negro stereotype. According to a recent study, many white people have a “superhumanization bias,” where they think black people have superhuman abilities. While some may think that is positive, it actually works against us as I mentioned before Wilson described Brown like he was The Hulk.

*Media Diversified’s “Inside Afrofuturism: This movement is not for co-opting:” “Afrofuturism is a topic that we have addressed on numerous occasions on Media Diversified. Now, it makes its way to the BFI. Film critic, journalist, and film programmer, Ashley Clark has curated Inside Afrofuturism; a short season of movies, brought together under the afrofuturism rubric. I spoke with him about his inspiration for the programme, and afrofuturism’s place in the cultural firmament.”

*The Toast’s “Wave My Freak Flag High: Afrofuturism, Imagination, and Impostor Syndrome:” “I’ve only been familiar with the term afrofuturism for the past few years. It didn’t exist for me when I first read Octavia Butler more than a decade ago, or when I read the first Dark Matter anthology while I was still an undergrad in the late ’90s. Somewhere along the way, I saw the short film anthology Cosmic Slop, bought a copy of Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place on DVD, and noted that music videos from the likes of Tupac and Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes included post-apocalyptic, space, and robotic themes and elements. In hindsight, I can apply an axiom about porn to afrofuturism: I know it when I see it.”

*The Link Newspaper’s “Re-Remembering The Future:” “Alisha B. Wormsley Brings a Mythical Perspective to the Narratives of the African Diaspora”

*”The sister is in space:” Black to the future: science fiction writer Tananarive Due talks about afrofuturism and why it’s important.”

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Moving on the Wires: Taking a Break


I am just formally announcing that I am taking a couple of weeks off from my blog. Running it by myself can be a bit draining on me physically and mentally, and after my eye started twitching, I knew I needed a break. So I will be back after Thanksgiving with some new stuff, like an interview with filmmaker Janluk Stanislas about his Guadeloupe-based futuristic film, Trafik D’Info.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Moving on the Wires, News

 

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


Folasade Adeoso

*I am featured in Atlanta Blackstar’s blerd’s “Black Speculative Tech – Uses of Technology in Black Science Fiction, Part 2:“Because of institutional racism and our positions as mere subjects of science, Black people have typically been excluded from the mainstream scientific establishment as actors, practitioners, researchers and policymakers. Black scientific and technological innovation and achievement have gone virtually unrecognized, save for the handful of Black scientists and engineers who get their acknowledgments during Black History Month. Contrary to perceptions of Blackness as divorced from tech and science, we have a long and well-documented history, present and anticipated future of technological development behind and ahead of us. In this series, we continue to explore the expansive realm of Black speculative technologies in music, art and literature.”

*Black Girl Dangerous’ “What Good Is Science Fiction to Black People?:” “But to sci fi? Is this a stretch? Like so many others, I once thought of sci fi as a white man’s genre. But like all literature and virtually all art, while the genre came to me under the cloak of white men’s ownership, I’ve found my own heroes, disproving the dominant narrative that devalues the stories of people like me. Black women like Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, Tananarive Due, and Nnedi Okorafo dismantle and rebuild our world to center black women’s voices where they’re so often silenced. They infuse their writing with ancestral spirits of Africa, fabulist folklore from the Caribbean, and the innovative power of our people.

The imaginative spirit of science fiction lets me know that, in spite of what I’ve heard, the genre is mine to have. My imagination has always been mine and used for everything from dreaming up talking animals to expressing the inexpressible about the trauma of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Science fiction pushes against the constraints of reality, and in order to embrace it, I have to suspend disbelief about many things, including the limits imposed on me.”

*VMF Magazine’s “Afrofuturism in the Time of Renisha and Trayvon:“Fact: Black people are killed by a culture that doesn’t value them, and degrades and squashes attempts at bolstering communal self esteem.

This is an inconvenient truth, and it is one that many people avoid. But in all the circumvention, the bodies keep piling up, and we are seeing classic examples of misappropriation and erasure all the time. Black people, in a land that is hostile and holistically foreign, have looked back to Africa, like Garvey, to nationalism like the Black Panthers, and into separatism like the citizens of Tulsa and Rosewood, as means of establishing a place where Black pride and Black-centeredness could be viable options for the prosperity of darker peoples. While looking at possibilities on this terrestrial plane…others looked to the stars and the future in a philosophical and aesthetic movement called Afrofuturism. It begins with the works of such visionaries as Octavia Butler, Samuel Delaney, Grace Jones, Basquiat, Sun-Ra, and Parliament Funkadelic and has grown to encapsulate the works of artists like Erykah Badu and Andre 3000. Although heavily dependent on science fiction, fantasy, and mysticism, Afrofuturism is not escapism. It is a realm of re-envisioning and rebuilding.”

*Patheos’ Emerging Voices’ “Black to the Mothership:” Micky ScottBey Jones talks about the intersections between Afrofuturism and theology.

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The My-Stery: Five Black Witches Is Too Much for Black Audiences?


On Wednesday night after watching American Horror Story: Freak Show, I tuned in to watch the latest of TV One’s Hollywood Divas episode, “Five Black Witches.” One of the opening scenes is the de facto leader of the group, Paula Jai Parker, presenting to producer Carl Craig the idea agreed upon in previous episode for a supernatural film about five black sisters who are witches who each would have their own special powers.

Parker acknowledged that there is no film she was familiar with that deals with the supernatural through the experience of the black community, although it can be argued that several exist (Beloved? Sankofa? Several independent films?), but Craig’s immediate reaction was an obvious aversion to the concept. He looked as if he was wondering what the hell Parker just give him. Although he did say this was cutting edge material, he felt that black audiences would have a difficult time embracing this type of story, that they will look at it as “demonic” (here we go).

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Modern Griots Reviews: The Summer of Gods and Panel Discussion


Some of the best stories are the ones that connect back to original tales and cultural rituals that are part of the human journey. Today, sometimes the universal meanings, archetypes and principles behind our modern stories are hidden because we are disconnected from those ancient tales and rituals. Think of, for example, Little Red Riding Hood, which can be interpreted as an initiation fairytale with the grandmother as the grand wise mother or crone figure and the wolf as an Anubis-like figure leading her onto a path of rebirth of herself.

Eliciana Nascimento captures that universal story of returning to one’s roots and the ancient continuing to live in the new in her Afro-Brazilian and Yoruba Orisha-inspired film, The Summer of Gods. Opening with a boat ride, a young girl, Lili, is traveling with her mother and brothers to visit her grandmother and right from the start, we see she has the ability to hear and see spirits around her. Lucumi priestess and professor of afrofuturism, Koko Zauditu-Selassie, said during the panel that this establishing scene of the family going across the water symbolizes fluidity of generational memory and listening to the past, and that despite being abducted and forced across the water during the transatlantic slave trade, it did not change us completely. Water is a theme throughout the film, including a honoring ritual at the waterfall in Brazil in the beginning of the film and the two water-related Orisha – Yemanja (whose is along with her Brazilian festival a main inspiration for the film) and Oshun (the Orisha of the life-giving rivers). The water represents for this young girl a return to her ancestral roots and traditions, but also a fertile creative place where her new life can begin.

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