Moving on the Wires: Tim Fielder, Oya: Rise of the Orisha, Live Unchained…


*Tonight illustrator and animator Tim Fielder will be sharing his work Matty’s Rocket— an episodic-animated series & web comic. The event will have guest appearances and readings from writers Liza Jessie Peterson and Melanie Maria Goodreaux. They will read Afrofuturistic pieces aloud while Fielder will illustrate their work on the spot!

*Accra Dot Alt will be returning tonight with their Talk Party Series in Ghana celebrating singer Tawiah’s mixtape Freedom Drop.

*Today, the filmmakers for the upcoming film, Oya: Rise of the Orisha, opened their Indiegogo page. The film “focuses on a young woman named Adesuwa who has the unique ability to transform into the fearsome warrior goddess, Oya, the Orisha of change. When she changes, she gains amazing abilities. We follow Adesuwa as she goes on a head-stomping mission to keep the doorway between the Orisha and humanity closed. Be prepared for an action packed , mystical adventure as we explore the world of the Orisha.”

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Modern Griots Review: MUV’s “Sankofa”


If you can keep dancing especially when no one thought you would survive, then you have traveled to a region beyond death. Last weekend, Movement for the Urban Village‘s (MUV) Sankofa performance showed how our expressions (dance, music, words, names and silence) transcend boundaries and even death. As George Clinton says in “Mothership Connection,” “You have overcome, for I am here.”

The production opened with their “Bearers” dances which featured a soundtrack of Parliament-Funkadelic songs, “Music for My Mother,” “Mothership Connection,” “One Nation Under a Groove” and “Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow.” “Bearers” riffed on the idea of sankofa as the six dancers looked as if they were performing a diasporic traditional ritual but to the sounds of the futuristic group’s music, creating a new ritual of their own. They presented an elegance, grace and power with their hips swiveling, foot stomping, legs kicking and arms twirling.

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Otherworldly Videos: Yesterday’s Tomorrow


UK Writer Duane F.L. Wharton‘s short, time-bending film Yesterday’s Tomorrow starring Ewan David Alman, Mazie Rhodes and paralympian Gaz Choudhry. Wharton is currently working on a fantasy drama Walking with Azrael (2013), which is about angels.

Part two below:

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Modern Griots Review: The United States of Hoodoo


Darius James and Oliver Hardt’s film The United States of Hoodoo has a deceptive quietness with a hidden power underneath it. But then again, it is just another variation of the film’s themes of the trickster and the crossroads.

Returning home to Connecticut, the film follows James’ coping with his father’s recent death and his collection of masks. Looking at his father’s collection, James decides to go on a journey into the world of voodoo and its relation to American culture. Although James’ father liked masks. he always attributed it to aesthetic interest and not the deeper spiritual history behind those masks. But James wants to start scratching beneath the surface.

Opening with a reference to The Wizard of Oz, he is introduced into this world through Haitian musician Val Jeanty (who he compares to Glenda), whose drumbeats seem to reverberate through the rest of the film. It leads him into a journey circling the United States from New York’s African Burial Ground to Robert Johnson’s grave site, and interviewing several people who are knowledgeable about Afro-diasporic spiritual systems or whose work references them, including the Caribbean Cultural Center’s curator and Lucumi practitioner Shantrelle Lewis, artist Danny Simmons, educator Kanene Holder, professor Sylvester Oliver, New Orleans expert Hassan Sekou Allen, writer Ishmael Reed, artist Nick Cave, vodou practitioner Sallie Ann Glassman, curator Ingrid LaFleur and musician David “Goat” Carson.

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Moving on the Wires: Black Women From the Future, Griotworks, CCCADI, Jimi Hendrix, Erykh Badu…


Black Women From the Future*Kwan Booth, who edited Black Futurist Speaks, is hosting Black Women From the Future event in Oakland, California on Saturday in celebration of both Black History Month and Woman’s History Month in March. Today is Nina Simone’s birthday, so it’s perfect timing. For more information on the event and the artists featured, click here.

* Griotworks is presenting “‘Afrofuturism’: Exploring the Future of Black Media, Myth and Culture” event on Sunday in Philadelphia, Pennsylviania. The conversation will focus on the history and future of Black movies and media, taking into consideration the seven slavery-themed films coming out this year. For more information, click here.

*CCCADI and ImageNation are presenting the “8th Annual Re-Defining African American Convening: What’s At Stake?” on February 26th in Harlem, New York City. The topic is: “Who are the REAL African-Americans? Navigating Identity Nuances of African Peoples in America.” For more information, click here.

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Otherworldly Videos: And We Dance…


RAS (Riders Against the Storm) – Everybody Wannabe (with Ballet Afrique dancers)

Watch the behind-the-scenes video.

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Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Audre Lorde’s “A Woman Speaks”


In honor of Audre Lorde’s birthday, which was yesterday, here is her poem, “A Woman Speaks.” I read comments about this poem and that it is about women in general, but I disagree. If it is read carefully, especially the last few lines, it is clear that it is about black women whose voices are silenced and whose magical strangeness and power that does not fit into western boxes is feared.
Moon marked and touched by sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.
I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
my sisters
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
mourning.
I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
promised
I am
woman
and not white.