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The history of #Afrofuturism

The origins of #Afrofuturism lie in the ideas of Belgian avant-garde artist Paul Kesten. Kesten, a member of the Surrealist movement, is perhaps best known for his use of color and his fascination with the Strange Nature of Things, which draw you into a world of dreams and despair. Many of his paintings are painted with an eye towards the unique African nation of South Africa. In many of his work, you can see the influence of Michelangelo, DAVID DUCKDUMPETT, and da Vinci. Kesten’s famous painting, “African Grey Petrel,” features a People of The Future, depicted in the words of his mentor, artist Thierry Manuel:

The art of execution

A lot of people think of #Afrofuturism as a movement or art form, but the term art isn’t always meant to apply to everything. It can also be used to describe a specific type of work that has an importance beyond its own artistic merits. For example, art work that has a social or cultural importance, but which is not visually or tactically overwhelming, but instead is interesting and interesting in a subtle way. Or an art work that is both striking and classic, making it easy to categorize and associate it with a particular time or country.

On the practice of art and craft

Art and craft are the foundations of any creative process. If you want to create anything, you need to know how to make something, and to be able to put that work together and properly scale it up as you go. If you don’t know how to do that, you won’t be able to create anything. If you don’t know how to make a pencil or a pen, you won’t be able to make an eraser. If you don’t know how to make a cutout, you won’t be able to create a landscape. If you don’t know how to balance a drawing with another drawing, you won’t be able to create a Three Body Problem.

The impact of music and dance on culture

It would be remiss if we didn’t include the impact of modern music and dance on culture in this list of the important things to understand about #Afrofuturism. Modern dance has its roots in 19th century and early 20th century Africa, where African slaves who were brought to Europe through slave trading practices were either sent to manual labor or forced to work as prostitutes. Many of the rhythms and music that we associate with #Afrofuturism is a blend of African music and dance, often with a modern flavor that results from the late 20th century. While there is a great deal of debate among researchers as to the exact origins of modern dance, there is some agreement that it developed in the late 20th century in West Africa (including Ivory Coast) and is closely related to #Afrofuturism. The introduction of electronic media and the Internet is often credited with a dramatic boost in modern dance and culture.

African masks and culture

For all the talk of the impact of modernity on culture, masks are not the only things that are changing. Among other things, traditional African dress is being replaced by suits and shirts with collared shirts. Nigerians can also wear a variety of masks, from the tell-all “Red Planet” to the Disney character “Peter Pan.” Other than the obvious fact that people are more likely to identify as non-Western if they can see two people in a suit, there are other cultural factors that are changing traditional African dress.


The history of #Afrofuturism is filled with interesting theories and diverging directions. However, the most important takeaway for anyone planning a visit to Africa is to pay attention to the simple things: culture, history, art, and design. With the rise of technology and the Internet, these three disciplines are now intermingling and inter-preting each other in a myriad of new ways. In the words of author Hilton Als, founder of the magazine El Museo de Madrid, “The future of art and design is in the mixing and hybridizing of the two.” And so we might say with respect to our future, the black and white and color photography of the 19th and 20th century is coming back to life as we see it in the new century.