*On this blog for this month will be “Black Retrofuturism Month,” so I will be posting throughout the month afrofuturistic cultural productions from the past in a series called, “Rewind.”
*BUTCH DIVA, the Brooklyn-based fashion haus that I have featured before on my blog, has a new collaboration with Jamaican-bred artist Robin Clare. They teamed up to create a series of posters that combine Clare’s signature dancehall dancers motif and BUTCH DIVA’s most famous silhouettes. The “BD x RC graphic art collaboration” features a collection of six 16″ x 20″ colored art posters designed by Clare. These various illustrations are inspired by the 90’s pop-deco BUTCH DIVA summer 2013 collection, resulting in full page patterns created with Robin’s signature dancehall inspired gyals in motion wearing classic Butch Diva creations. The posters can be purchased on BUTCH DIVA’s online store.
*Two upcoming events at the Studio Museum:
Black Aqautic and Afrofuturism on February 6
Man from Tomorrow film screening on February 12: “A collaborative effort between French filmmaker Jacqueline Caux and Detroit Techno icon Jeff Mills that aims to extend the boundaries of the traditional filmic portrait through a non-narrative approach, combining aesthetically unconventional images and Mills’s unreleased original music for the soundtrack. Part of the film uses voice-over excerpts from conversations with Mills about the topics that inspire him when he composes music, such as his preoccupation with the future of mankind and his interest in both space and time travel.”
*”Afrofuturism in Short Films” at Goethe Institut Washington on February 3rd, featuring Pumzi, Drexciya and Hydra Decapita.
*Summer Program for Queer and Trans Youth of Color- “Get Free: A Summer Project for QT Youth of Color:” “Black Girl Dangerous presents a week-long artistic, intellectual, emotional and practical project for queer and trans* youth of color that focuses on the inner work it takes to Get Free in a world where, for us—people who experience oppression based on race and queerness or trans*ness—just surviving is a feat. Through writing, dreaming, screaming, owning up, and facing who we are, who we have been, and who we might become, we aim to start an emotional r/evolution that will reverberate throughout our lives and our communities.”
*”Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Space Cadet From A Black Feminist Future:” “Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ bio immediately initiates you into her mysteries. So it begins: “Alexis is a self-identified queer black trouble maker, love evangelist and space cadet. So, that means time and space manifest in prolific and polyphonic ways.” And it’s a good place to start naming all her galactic variety–after all, some of her projects include the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind and Mobile Homecoming, respectively. Brilliance and beauty, always unspooling. Spilling. There is no end to this love.”
*”What Octavia Butler Means to Me:” Walidah Imarisha writes about why Octavia Butler is important.
*Liquid Blackness: A Project on Blackness and Aesthetics’ Call for Papers: “The purpose of the Symposium, which will bring together scholars, artists and curators, is to begin a conversation about liquidity as a primary aesthetic form in which blackness is encountered in our contemporary visual and sonic landscape. The idea of the liquidity of blackness emerges both from an observation of salient contemporary aesthetic forms as well as a sort of thought experiment. If, as Harry Elam has argued, blackness does indeed ‘travel on its own,’ then what aesthetic arrangements have become possible as a result of that?”
*Onyxcon Sankofa will be on March 1st at College Park, Georgia.
*”Who Killed the Funk?:” Michael A. Gonzalez askes why there are so few funk bands today.
*An Evening with Octavia’s Brood at EMP Museum in Seattle on February 28th, .
*Chadwick Boseman who will be playing James Brown later this year in Get On Up was chosen to play Thoth in Gods of Egypt. After a huge controversy and a petition, which you can still sign, against white actors chosen to play these gods, this is a tiny consolation.
*Nalo Hopkinson interview on CBC’s The Next Chapter: “I sort of think the very fact of existence is magical.”– Nalo Hopkinson.
*Fundraiser for Afrikan Ancestral Manuscript: “The brainchild of Unblind Tibbin M.A (Writer, Editor and Poet) and Aaron Hosannah (Artist)…the Afrikan Ancestral Manuscript, is a locally made Afrikan-Centered computer app and book that connects us to our global Afrikan Ancestry by giving us their dates of birth as well as a short bio on their lives and an original pictural depiction and poem on their experience. This allows us on an ongoing basis to learn about them and celebrate their existence and its impact on us being where we are today. It also contains a [perpetual cyclical calendar.”
*Fundraiser for Black Ink Book Exchange in Chicago: “A library of about 600 books primarily by and about people of the African Diaspora, to be offered in exchange for other books of similar criteria. As part of this project, we will also offer free writing workshops and open creative hours led by Chicago-based artists. BIBE is a pop up project that will begin this spring at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park, and with support, will move on to several other South Side locations through the end of the summer. At the close of the project, all books will be donated to a public or semi-public organization where they can continue to get good use.”
Donate funds and speculative fiction books to the cause!
*”Jamaican Wins Investment to Create ‘Disney-Type Publishing Company:’” “Pitch Room winner, publisher Kellie Magnus, wants to capitalize her children’s publishing company, Jackmandora, with $200,000 USD ($21 million JMD) for a 30 percent share in her company.The publisher of the popular “Little Lion” storybook series aims to branch out into textbooks in an effort to snag a slice of the over $2 billion in annual textbook contracts awarded by government.”
*Mumia on Religion, Empire and Gender:” Mumia writes in his essay, “Church of Caesar or Church of Christ: Reflections on the ‘Other Race,” about Christianity’s oppression of women. “‘To this very day,’ comments Mumia, ‘the very notion of the feminine divine is seen as, if not exactly heretical, at least quite odd.’ He criticizes church patriarchs’ ‘anti-eroticism, misogyny, anti-natural – anti-life – principle.’ He concludes, lifting up for remembrance the sacred feminine figure, Egypt’s Isis.”
*”African inventor makes 3D printer with… E-waste:” “Kodjo Afate Gnikou is a 33 years old inventor from Togo, in West Africa. Using mostly e-waste that he found in a scrap yard, he built a functioning 3D printer that he calls W.AFATE (“W” for WoeLab, the first hackerpace in west Africa, and Afate from his name). It’s the first 3D printer built from e-waste, and even NASA is impressed: Kodjo Afate Gnikou has been rewarded with the NASA International Space Apps Challenge in Paris.”
*David Nderitu, a young Kenyan boy, makes jewelry out of e-waste.
“A Haitian Artist Fights to Preserve the Vodou Religion:” “Erol Josué is a dancer, a recording artist, a vodou priest, and an expert on the vodou religion’s culture and history.”
“Where ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Went Wrong:” The ending of the season was flat, rushed and awkwardly resolved everything in conjunction with the rest that went wrong, and this article voices most of it for me.
Maimouna Youssef’s remake of Lorde’s “Royals” – “We’re Already Royal”