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AFROGALACTICA: A brief history of the future



Saturday, 17.September 2016 at 3,14. 

16:00 - 17:00

3,14 welcomes to the first chapter in the performance-trilogy project AFROGALACTICA (2011 – ongoing), by the Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga. Posing as an anthropologist from the future, the artist engages us in vast fields of knowledge relating to afrofuturism and African astronomy. Plunging into the past to retrieve archives of popular culture, she uses science fiction, to make projections about the future.

On December 8, 2058 the United States of Africa came into being. This date was chosen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Pan-African Conference, which took place in Accra, Ghana, in 1958. At this historic meeting, the then President, Kwame Nkrumah endorsed the model of a United States of Africa, which called for the federation of African States. (…) As early as 2058, efforts were aimed to pull together various African initiatives in the field of space exploration under the umbrella of the Space Agency of the United States of Africa. The initial challenge was to coordinate all member states, while taking into account the different levels in practical experience in the realm of space exploration. *

* (Extract from AFROGALACTICA: A brief history of the future).

Afrofuturism, anti-colonial struggle, collective memory, belief systems and different cultural ways of approaching the supernatural are recurrent concepts in Kiwanga’s work. In most of her recent projects, the artist revisits her earlier training in anthropology and comparative religion, often assuming the role of a researcher. Her methodology includes assembling narratives and establishing scientific protocols in order to establish alternative ways to observe culture and its shifting characteristics. Her material sources range from academic papers to poetry; from science to myths and testimonies. By meticulously blending academic research with popular culture, facts with fiction, as well as past events with the present and with future projections, the artist not only undermines the authority of Western academia and hegemonic discourses, but also enables us to reflect and visualize alternative history lines and discourses.

About Kapwani Kiwanga:
Kapwani Kiwanga (1978) is a Canadian artist and filmmaker based in Paris. After studying Anthropology and Comparative Religions at McGill University (CA), she attended the program "La Seine" at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, and also works at Le Fresnoy (a French national center for contemporary art). She was artist in residence at the MU Foundation in Eindhoven (NL) and at the Box in Bourges (FR).

Her work has been shown at renowned institutions and exhibitions, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Glasgow Center of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art de Dublin, Armory Show – NY, Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporánea de Almeria (ES), Salt Beyoglu in Istanbul, South London Gallery (UK), Jeu de Paume in Paris, Kassel Documentary Film Festival. She was 2016’s commissioned artist by The Armory Show (NY), holding the solo show The Secretaty Suite. Kiwanga was twice nominated for BAFTA, her movies have been rewarded in several international festivals.

Curated by Adriana Alves.

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