As a one-night-only performance by Paris-based Kapwani Kiwanga, AFROGALACTICA: A brief history of the future
features a live reading with video projection in which Kiwanga takes on the role of a fictional anthropologist to speculate on the future, investigating Afrofuturism as a means to examine the past from an African or African diasporic subjectivity.
Kiwanga’s work often grapples with Afrofuturism, anti-colonial struggle, collective memory, belief systems, and different cultural ways of approaching the supernatural. In recent projects, the artist revisits her earlier academic studies of anthropology and comparative religion, often assuming the role of a researcher. Her methods include assembling narratives and scientific protocols in order to establish alternative ways to observe culture and its evolving characteristics. Her sources range from academic papers and scientific reports to mythologies and poetry, which she skillfully blends with popular culture—both fact and fiction, past and present—to project into the future. Kiwanga undermines the authority of Western academia and hegemonic discourses, while enabling us to reflect upon alternative histories and visualize future possibilities.