The Universouls on a quest near you!

Black speculative fiction – whether literary, visual, or musical – has always been ready to remix influence from East Asian sci-fi, way ahead of the mainstream. I was reminded of this when I came across Universouls, a project headed by Berelson and BEEN TA, two black creatives based in Paris.

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An Interview with James Medd

In the run up to Future|Journeys on 21st May, we thought we’d do some quick takes with the various artists and hackers who will be joining the event. James Medd is an interactive artist who has been helping AfroFutures_UK since our first event in October 2015 and we’re really pleased to have him with us as part of Future|Journeys. The definition of an Arduino adventurer, he’s known for creating nifty projects with his not-so secret powers of creativity, dedication and a dab hand with the micro controllers!

AfroFutures_UK: As it only right and proper, I’ll let you introduce yourself in your own words!

James Medd: My name’s James Medd, I’m an artist, musician and educator. I’m originally from Nottingham, but have been based in and around the North – predominantly Manchester – for the past 8 years. Right now, I’m building an experimental videogame arcade – http://awkwardarcade.co.uk – at Manchester Digital Laboratory.

AF: How did you learn how to Arduino? What’s your journey as a Maker?

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An Interview with Nikky Norton Shafau

In the run up to Future|Journeys on 21st May, we thought we’d do some quick takes with the various artists and hackers who will be joining the event. Nikki Norton Shafau is a Manchester based artist who will be leading the Storybook workshop. Much of her work is focussed on using the transformative power of narrative to change our perceptions and destinies and we wanted to find out a little bit more about what makes her tick…

 

AfroFutures_UK: It’s so great to talk with you and I’m especially happy you’re going to be leading a workshop and a guest panellist on the 21st. Do you mind introducing yourself in your own words?

Nikky Norton Shafau: My name is Nikky. I am a little bit strange… I want to become a Storybook.

AF: What do you think defines your art?

NNS: I like exploring self, the unknown, reality and fantasy. I like being silly and serious. I am interested in african oral storytelling traditions, playing with the boundaries between ‘audience’ and artist and finding my own voice; sense of belonging.

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AfroFutures_UK crowdfunder is live!

We’re very happy to announce that…

….our CROWDFUNDER is live!

AfroFutures_UK is raising funds to support our artists travel and accommodation for AfroFutures_UK. If you would like to help sponsor artists and writers such as Ariel Jackson and Christopher Luterodt-Quarcoo or young academics like Souleymane Ba and Alice Okoye then please go forth and donate to our crowdfunder.

Everyone who contributes will become part of the AfroFutures_UK community and will receive an A4 print of our 2015 poster, created by F. Okoye. Details about further rewards can be found on the crowdfunder page.

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AfroFutures_UK 2015 poster

Please get in touch for details about media and/or corporate sponsorship. 

Yakhani

Originated from the African name Akani which in the Xsonga language means: To Build.
This is a new Manchester based collective that I am part of. We aim to bring together and empower young women of colour in the UK.

We started off with the Aviwe series, which will be an ongoing collection of talks on topics that affect women of colour. We would like to create a platform for young women to be heard and inspired.
The first event was held on Saturday 15.08.15. This event served both as an introduction to the collective and our Aviwe series – a collaboration with Eminent Youth Journal.

The discussion on the day was focused on notable women of colour from around the world.
By posing some key questions to the audience I lead the discussions. My questions covered women in: Politics. Technology/STEM. Entertainment. Sport and Authors.

This is what I discovered:

(Read more…)

 

Call for Submissions: AfroFutures Anthology 2015

Call for Submissions

Deadline: 19th September

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far. Thank you for your retweets and retumbles, for following us on Facebook and generally spreading the word about our event. Buoyed by your support, we thoroughly intend to put on a brilliant, multi-disciplinary festival, with conferences and workshops in the day and performance in the evening.

With a growing number of amazing speakers, academics, artists and musicians, from the U.S. and Europe, we’re looking to produce an anthology of work to help raise funds for our special guests.

As such, we’re looking to you, our talented sisters and brothers out there. Our first anthology will include artwork, comics, essays and short stories. However, we’re also putting together a special album which will contain spoken word, poetry, music and soundscape art. We will be giving the complete set as rewards for contributing to our Kickstarter as well as available for sale after the event.

GUIDELINES

Writing

  1. The theme of the anthology is ‘what will it mean to be black in the future?’. We welcome stories that are woman positive and explore alternative sexualities and gender expression; the nature of futuristic spirituality and religion and the impact our history as black people will have on our future. Fiction and non-fiction are accepted.
  2. Fiction/Biographical pieces must be less than 5,000 words in length. Flash fiction and poetry is also accepted.
  3. Academic Non-fiction must be less than 8,000 words in length and referenced using the Harvard Reference Style. A useful tool can be found here.
  4. Up to three entries are allowed per author. Each must be submitted as a separate .doc/.docx file.
  5. Please submit your work as .doc/.docx files only. Double line spacing with the author’s name, page number and story title/paper title at the top of every page.

Art

We welcome all art that focuses on an afrofuturist theme. Images must be of minimum 300 dpi and in formats optimised for printing. We will make sure to contact you for preferences regarding layout.

Comics

We would love to see work using the comics medium. Please ensure all pieces are less than 12 pages in length.

Audio

  1. We accept spoken word, poetry readings, music and soundscapes. If you are unsure if your piece is suitable, please get in touch via the email below.
  2. All pieces must be under 6 minutes.
  3. Up to three entries are allowed.
  4. Please submit your work as .mp4 files only.
  5. In your submission email, include your performance name, the title, length and any additional information about the piece.

Please send all submissions to: afrofutures.uk@gmail.com

Do remember that this is a free event, open to everyone of all ages. It is our aim to encourage participation from amongst those who might not normally be able to, or feel welcome to, attend a conference/exhibition space like this. Your contributions will help us take care of our guest speakers and ensure that the event is one to remember!

#MECCAconWeekly w/ artist Paul Lewin

MECCAcon

In the past 3 months, many of you all have heard me sing high praises over all things PAUL LEWIN. The brotha is BRILLIANT. I have never seen an artist capture science fiction, Afrikaan inheritance, and Caribbean folklore, all at the SAME TIME, lol. Every single piece of work from him that I’ve ever seen has left me speechless. One day i will have my home filled to the brim with his pieces. Conversations brew from artwork like his, trust me. Sexy parties filled with schmoozing come from artwork like his. He is golden, and it was more than an honor for me to give him this interview. I was too busy gawking at his websites and facebook pages for months, and AfroPunk beat me to it, lol. Come along this journey, and get to know the greatness…
Name:: 
Paul Lewin

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Company/Occupation(s):: 
Artist 
In many of your covers, AFRIKAAN culture…

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V. Bozeman “Race Jones”

‘A poignant, artistic and emotive piece.’

Couldn’t have said it better.

One Thousand Eyes Blog

“I’ve been sitting on “Race Jones” for over a year and it was time to put it out. I wanted to see my people getting some musical nourishment and trying to heal some type of hurt.”  V. Bozeman

Veronika Bozemans video for her first single written by Cee Lo, is just as bold and striking as it’s message. Directed by Adam Tillman-Young, with Bruce Francis Cole as DOP  “Race Jones” was released early in light of the Ferguson grand jury’s decision, to not indict police officer Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s shooting. Its message to love the skin you’re in, is baked into its cinematic visuals.

The video stars singer V. Bozeman covered in layers and layers of white paint against a white backdrop and white chair. On the surface its seems to be a straight analogy to white skin but the bright lighting and occasional blur make Bozeman appear almost invisible…

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