The Criterion Channel is hosting an incredible, robust program of shorts and features inspired by Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2015 repertory series Space Is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film. Programmer Ashley Clark expands on the roster of Black-led sci-fi films he curated for that series, adding many more titles to create the streaming platform’s Afrofuturism collection. Hyperallergic has highlighted some of the picks in the past, such as Nuotama Bodomo’s Afronauts (2014) and Keisha Rae Witherspoon’s T (2019). I would heavily recommend basically everything in the program, which includes classics like Yeelen (1987), Born in Flames (1983), and The Brother from Another Planet (1984). Here are some more off-the-beaten-path films in the lineup that you shouldn’t overlook.
The Last Angel of History (1996)
There’s no better way to delve into Afrofuturism than to check out a solid primer on the movement. Director John Akomfrah of the UK’s Black Audio Film Collective introduces everything from the music of George Clinton to the writings of Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delaney, exploring how the genre remixes older traditions of Black art.
1968 < 2018 > 2068 (2018)
Using the scholarly collection Black Quantum Futurists: Theory & Practice as its basis, this short from Keisha Rae Witherspoon questions our agreed-upon conception of time, musing on the proposition that rather than cause-and-effect, the past can be predetermined by the future. The films offers examples in the form of political maneuvering making war inevitable, and of institutional racism trapping Black people within certain fates. It’s difficult to articulate but magnetic to watch.
I Snuck off the Slave Ship (2019)
Artist/musician Lonnie Holley and co-director Cyrus Moussavi created this mesmerizing tone poem. The “slave ship” in question is America itself, and escape is posited as manifesting within everyday forms of creativity and interpersonal connection. The haunting recurring motif of a face made out of twisted wire exemplifies this theme.
Artist Dan Jian makes the point that landscapes and memory are one and the same.
Murch’s painted dust can be so tangible you feel compelled to wipe off the picture.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
“As we grieve her loss, we call for full accountability for the perpetrators of this crime and everyone involved in authorizing it,” they wrote in an open letter.
The planned center will be named after Fred Rouse, a Black man who was lynched in the city of Fort Worth in 1921.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The researchers found that when eyes meet, certain areas of the brain start experiencing “neural firing.”
From 1968 to 1973, the Nihon Documentarist Union did radical documentary work in Japan. They made two films in Okinawa before, during, and after its reversion.
Curated by Clare Dolan, this solo exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ contains new and unearthed paintings, sculptures, and prints selected from the organization’s 60-year history.
Every corner and crevice of Columbia University’s MFA Thesis show feels lived in, reflecting not just artists’ experience quarantining with their work, but also that of re-entering society.
Sprawling across the Joshua Tree region, nine site-specific works consider the ways in which people have relocated to the desert, destroying what came before them, and cultivating new life.
The rendition could be a platform for essential conversations on sociohistorical and economic land rights issues.