Museum goers will now be able to go behind the scenes to learn about some of the most notable Black artists who utilized science fiction to innovate works that shaped pop culture.
A new exhibit exploring the tradition of Afrofuturism is coming to the National Museum of African American History and Color.
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Opening of Friday, Mar 5, “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” dives into the past, present, and future of this dynamic concept in an exhibition that features the various people, unique themes and radical artistry that have given voice to it, according to Smithsonian.
The exhibit will feature more than 100 objects from music, film, television, comic books, fashion, theater, literature, including OutKast, Octavia Butler and Marvel’s “Black Panther. The concept sheds a tremendous light on how “Black people imagined the cosmos.”
Rarely seen artifacts like including Butler’s typewriter, Vernon Reid’s guitar, and George Clinton’s wig from Parliament-Funkadelic will be showcased in the 4,000 square foot exhibition,
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The term “Afrofuturism” was made popular by author and cultural critic Mark Dery in his book Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. The genre is described as an “evolving concept expressed through a Black cultural lens that reimagines, reinterprets and reclaims the past and present for a more empowering future,” Smithsonian reported.
“This exhibition is a way to look at how Afrofuturism has been practiced throughout history and across the diaspora, and the ways it is expressed, historically and in the present, through art, literature and activism,” curator Kevin Strait said in a statement.
Back in 2022, Smithsonian released AFROFUTURISM : THE ORIGIN STORY a documentary film that supports the exhibit, and introduces viewers to Afrofuturist musicians, writers, performers, and theorists.
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