In this writing, I explore the importance of Afrofuturism and explain why melanated writers should move towards Afrofuturism instead of in the direction of Sci-Fi.
First, let us define ‘Afrofuturism’ and Sci-Fi. Afrofuturism is a term coined by Mark Derry, an American author, lecturer and cultural critic in his 1991 essay Black to the Future.
“Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture and, more generally, African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future—might, for want of a better term, be called Afrofuturism.”
However, Mark’s viewpoint, although somewhat valid, does not express the fullness of what Afrofuturism means to Nubians. Firstly, we do not speculate about life with a fictional approach, we live life and ask for assistance in “innerstanding”. Secondly, we can never truly be a part of technoculture naturally or as an expression of our culture, due to the following definition of technoculture:
“social reception and representation of technology in literature and popular culture from the romantic era to the present” – from Frankenstein to Cyberpunk…our stories of working with the technology of nature predated the Romantic Era.
NUBIANS (African, Black) have adapted the term Afrofuturism to project sounds and images based on their natural symbiotic relationship with nature, producing not only a wide physical electrical library on the internet but even a wider archive within the ethers themselves. However, as with most projections expressed by a culture, it tends to be absorbed by outside cultural views then monetized losing much of its original meaning.
Sci-Fi or Science Fiction is a Eurocentric endonym or expression of Eurocentric perception of nature and the movements of matter on and outside the atmosphere of Earth. Science Fiction is a Eurocentric construct of thought. An artistic projection of images and sounds designed to manipulate processing speeds of human behaviour and NATURE beyond the natural progression of natural MIND…through artificial means. The first strong and recognized usage of this word occurred in the 1920s with American publisher Hugo Gernsback who saw the future filled with advanced technology. Although Mary Shelley is credited with the invention of the genre when she authored Frankenstein.
And what was Frankenstein about… Assembling dead body-parts from assorted beings who were not necessarily directly blood-related into one being…then running extreme levels of electricity through its body robbed from the skies…Does that represent Life?
With these definitions in mind, we can take a look at the importance of Nubian melanated writers using Afrofuturism or their unfiltered culture as a basis for their works versus Science Fiction.
Currently, many Nubian writers seek to gain authenticity, acceptance and fame within Eurocentric genres as a means to get their foot in the ‘door’.
This lead To Sci-Fi and its extensions of Horror & Fantasy. Horror and Fantasy, have radically changed the world in the past 50 years. Although a few movies within this genre have expressed concern for humans’ treatment of nature and cautionary messages, a good majority have programmed its viewers to think in apocalyptic undertones. These films and literature have altered fashion, music, video and games to such a degree that these films have shaped the society we live in today.
Nubians can efficiently absorb light and sound into the body through movement, the senses and conceptual thought. Once inside it is processed based on the mainframe and template created throughout their lives. After this process is completed (literally within moments) it is then projected outwards in a lively and engaging way…that makes others follow. Remember our senses transform light and sound into chemical signals that get stored in the brain which gives the mind and soul a sort of laptop to engage with the physical world.
Nubians are natural biological transmitters.
For the last few years, our involvement in Sci-Fi has helped catapult ideas of dystopia, apocalypse and anti-hero mentality…which is opposite of our culture. In the case of Jordan Peele’s GET OUT, it opened a door for others to participate within this mindset of writing. His follow-up films carry the spirit of Horror as an undertone. Tones carry notes, notes carry sounds that reverberate in our minds and gives us a frame of reference the next time we HEAR that NOTE.
Our cultural practices, for the most part, strive to communicate with our recently transitioned for guidance and spiritual sustenance. Honestly, MA and US may be outstanding films (to some degree), yet, I have made a decision not to watch these films to find out what scope that maybe since they appear to be in the mindset of dystopia and horror.
It would make more sense for Nubian Writers to seek to embody our cultural practices that move in the direction of Positivity and incorporate technology based on the synergy of the melanated body with nature and cosmic forces. In contrast to the imbalanced projections and forces of Eurocentric Sci-Fi perspectives.
Art imitates Life and Life Imitates Art. We are what we envision ourselves to be.
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