When you walk into the main gallery of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s current exhibition The Shadows Took Shape, which explores contemporary art through the lens of Afrofuturist aesthetics, one of the first pieces to catch the eye is a glittering procession of black astronauts fanned across a faded landscape.
One of the figures behind Space Slave Trade, Seychelle Allah discusses his brand of afrofuturism that layers the visual culture around him into a world in which the aggregate plays an important role.
Allah’s relationship with social media has been complex. Space Slave Trade, named after a friend’s band, started after he was kicked off Facebook for sharing images deemed inappropriate by the service. The resulting blog is NSFW and careens from porn-like images with young Asian girls to absurd representations of starving Africans. The aesthetic is young, fresh, and aggressive without being violent.