Black to the Future

Afro-futurism as Cultural Capital


In 1993 Marc Dery wrote an essay titled »Black to the Future« and coined the term Afrofuturism, described as »speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture.« According to Amy Frearson from the online design magazine Dezeen, the term has since evolved to encompass any form of innovation that references black heritage.

African creatives have embraced the movement, using it as a tool to reclaim ghosted cultures/aesthetics drowned and diluted by Western and Eastern influence. For years the stereotypical portrayal of Africa through Western media has been that of poverty, famine, disease, and strife. Although Africa has its fair share of problems, Afrofuturism is a cultural movement that is reshaping the global perceptions of Africa.

By examining the design language of the existing 300 African tribes, creatives across the continent are using Afrofuturism as a tool to reflect, define, and evolve their cultures/aesthetics, making the fantasy of a »Wakandan« utopia a plausibility.