If one of the main purposes of science fiction is to predict the future by simultaneously analysing the present and the past, it is important to emphasise that this genre’s literary tradition was continually hostage to the patriarchal and white narrative of its authors. Over recent decades, Afrofuturism has defended an artistic practice that combines scientific fiction with elements and traditions of a diaspora that is attentive to its historical roots in an Ancient Africa well before the colonial era. Can a community whose past has been deliberately erased seek out marks from its history and imagine possible futures?
The artist Kapwani Kiwanga reflects on some major themes in Afrofuturism in this third chapter of the Afrogalactica cycle. Posing as an anthropologist from the future, Kiwanga engages in a multi-temporal archaeology where she revisits Africa’s astronomical heritage and places it in relation to western New Age concepts. The narration fashions conceptual vortexes where the viewer is invited to reconsider past and present notions of centre and periphery and to imagine alternative cross-cultural structures for future belonging.