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Ytasha Womack on Afrofuturism

Genre fiction explores different possibilities of all kinds – what life might be like with the invention of new technologies, other worlds completely divorced from what we know, and more. But why, then, do we still find so many minority voices erased from these ‘other’ worlds where anything is possible. The only limit to science fiction and fantasy is our imaginations.

Afrofuturism is a movement which covers all artistic ventures, from music, dance, and visual art to books and film. In such art, Afrofuturists explore all the possibilities of the future with reference to Black culture. In this way, Afrofuturism ensures representation of Black voices in a future, while they are still so often forcibly erased from their society today.

In today’s episode, I interview Ytasha Womack on what exactly Afrofuturism is, where it came from, and what it hopes to bring to science fiction and fantasy. An eternal optimist, Ytasha talks me through how Afrofuturism encourages us to explore perspectives of all kinds, to celebrate the resilience of the human spirit, and find hope in a technologically advanced future.

Ytasha Womack is the author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, which explores all facets of this movement. If you know absolutely nothing about Afrofuturism, fear not, Ytasha has you covered. Not only does she know her subject matter inside out from the perspective of academic research, she is also firmly entrenched in the world of being an Afrofuturist artistic creator, from short films (A Love Letter From Chicago, Bar Star City)to novels (Rayla 2212 and Rayla 2213).

Keep up with news from Ytasha at her website or follow her on twitter.

If you’re interested in reading more, be sure to purchase her books: UK | US

Artists and writers mentioned in this episode:

  • John Jennings
  • Rasheedah Phillips
  • Octavia Butler
  • Samuel Delaney
  • Nnedi Okorafor
  • NK Jemison
  • Janelle Monae
  • Solange Knowles
  • Cauleen Smith
  • Beyonce
  • King Britt
  • Damian Duffy

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