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*On May 10th in Philadelphia, the Future Weird film series is partnering with The Afrofuturist Affair for a movie night featuring their two film screenings, “Visions of Excess” and “In Search of Black Atlantis.”
*“Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People” on The Atlantic: “As much as the genre imagines the future, it also remixes the past—often by envisioning Western-style imperialism visited on the Western world.”
*”Towards an Afrofuturist Narrative: Tech, Mythology and the Africas” on Model View Culture:” “Behind-the-scenes with stealth startup Curatoric, and conversations with creators, historians and curators of African and Diasporic African art.” Curatoric will open this spring.
*Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols talks with Janelle Monae about her role as Uhura:
*”CFP Rhizomes Special Issue: Black Holes: Afro-Pessimism, Blackness and the Discourses of Modernity (Deadline for abstracts June 1st):” “Deleuze and Guattari deploy the image of the black hole to describe the grotesque disfigurations – the pores, blackheads and little scars – pockmarking the “semiotic face of capitalism.” It is an apt analogy for the unsettling position of blackness in relation to contemporary thought and political practice. In this special issue of Rhizomes we use the black hole as a conceptual starting point to consider how racial blackness serves as a vortex disrupting the smooth administration of late-capital and our resistance to it. An increasingly precise challenge is on the table that has largely been met with silence by radical theorists and activists alike. This challenge, what is often expediently called, “afro-pessimism,” has targeted the foundations of modern critical thought and declared them ineffective given their inability to engage what Wilderson describes as “the structural relation between Blacks and Humanity as an antagonism (an irreconcilable encounter) as opposed to a conflict.” The tributaries of this resistance run through Hortense Spillers’ critique of the Freudian/Laconian model of psychoanalysis; in Saidiya Hartman’s formulation of the “after-life” of slavery; in Joy James’ interrogation of Foucault’s “elision of racial bias” in the genealogy of punishment; in Frank Wilderson’s critique of civil society in neo-Gramscian scholarship; in Fred Moten’s challenge to Homi Bhabha’s notion of the third space; and Jared Sexton’s chiding of Agamben for proposing that the project of political philosophy could be reconstructed through the figure of the refugee”
*Filmmaker and producer Floyd Webb is working on a documentary, Yasuke: The Real Afro-Samurai, about a young Mozambiquean warrior who assisted in the unification of Japan as a samurai in the 16th century. Collaborating with Tokyo-based producer Deborah Ann DeSnoo, the film is planned to be released in 2016.
*Asiri Magazine Interview with Oya: Rise of the Orisha director Nosa Igbinedion.
*“Superheroes Don’t Have to Wear Capes“ on Africa Is Done Suffering: “Meet Fatoumatah Binta Bah. Binta is from Guinea-Conakry, and moved to the United States with her husband in the late ‘90s. After a healthy pregnancy, their first child, Amina, was born with brain damage. Binta was sent home without knowledge of Amina’s condition. Six months later, equipped with a bigger English vocabulary to speak with doctors, Binta learned her child would never have a “normal” life. Following years of depression, lawsuits, and doctor visits, Binta decided to write a book telling her story and alerting immigrants to their rights within the American healthcare system.”
Watch the Superpowers community chat for the month of April:
*”Study: Higher pollution risk for minorities in U.S.” on The Grio: Here is where intersections of marginalized groups and class come in. When you are poor you cannot afford to live in areas with cleaner air, land and water and big companies do not care as much about protecting your health (ex. BP Oil Spill. Watch the film Vanishing Pearls).
*”White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars:” This was funny and here it goes —“Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa. That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.”
*”Game of Thrones and Racist Fantasy” on Art Threat: “Aamer Rahman has recently caused quite a stir among Game of Thrones fandom with his Tumblr post about the HBO show’s very problematic representation of race, most notably that hideous last episode of season three. Rahman’s original Tumblr post and his response to the massive backlash from fans has been reposted below, with Rahman’s permission. Spoilers throughout.”
*NPR’s Code Switch series’ “Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography:” In this interview with Syreeta McFadden discussing the history of photography and race – “A lot of [the design of film and motion technology] was conceived with the idea of the best representation of white people. And I don’t mean to say that it was a deliberate and exclusionary practice, but [it was] much more of a willful obliviousness, if you will. So color film in its early stages pretty much developed around trying to measure the image against white skin. …Kodak Eastman had a model on staff named Shirley, [whom] they used as a human face to meter the printed color stock. So she’s a pale, white-skinned woman [with] dark hair, that’s set against a rather banal background to try and see how white skin fared in a high-contrast light situation. So the Shirley cards became a rubric to set up or establish what would be a much more perfected color image.”
*”Racism as Style: The Return of Blackface” on Bag News Notes: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to overlook the tremendously casual manner in which fashion photographs repeat the ghoulish visual history of racism as style. The unarguable popularity of the work of photographers like Viviane Sassen, or the unblinking publication of photographs of models in blackface by Greg Kadel or Steven Klein would seem to underscore the resurgent appetite for an imagery that rehearses some of the most profoundly derogatory aspects of orientalist and racist visual history. The issue is further complicated by the fact that this kind of imagery regurgitates old pejorative sexist tropes as well as racist ones. In a sense, sexism overlays racism in this kind of imagery to produce not incrementally but exponentially worse results.”
Zion I’s Libations