African Futures: Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg

African Futures: Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg

“If you want to have any idea of the world that is coming, the world ahead of us, look at Africa!”, says Afropolitan author and critic Achille Mbembe. From Lagos to Nairobi to Johannesburg, the continent is giving answers to global questions of the future.”

What might various African futures look like? How do artists and academics imagine this future? And what forms and narratives of science fiction have African artists developed? These are some of the questions addressed by the project “African Futures”, organized by the Goethe-Institut from 28 October to 31 October 2015.

Three concurrent interdisciplinary festivals taking place in Johannesburg/South Africa, Lagos/Nigeria and Nairobi/Kenya will be exploring the future, following potential narratives and artistic expression in literature, fine arts, performance, music, film, and various digital formats.

Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Spoek Mathambo (SA), Faustin Linyekula (DRC), Achille Mbembe (Cameroon/SA) and many others will engage in building bridges between the arts, technology and critical discourse. Besides exhibitions, a film series, performances and a virtual reality workshop, the festival will also feature a live video conference connecting Johannesburg with São Paulo and New York – two cities whose cultural production is strongly shaped by African influences.

In a second stage in 2016, the most interesting outcomes of artistic positions and discourse elements will be part of an interdisciplinary festival at SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin.

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