Prompted by Sheree “lovemestiza” Brown and Molina Speaks, Quetzal Concepts LLP
We concluded Part 1 of the Tilt West Afrofuturism dialogue with the following acknowledgements and questions:
Afrofuturism is racially and culturally Black and lives within the African diasporic continuum. It is also a creative movement that appears to reflect diversity of experience and respect for humanity irrespective of race. With the commercial success of Black Panther, Afrofuturism is now in the pop culture sphere and more open to commodification and co-optation.
Considering America’s history of cultural appropriation:
What cultural aspects of Afrofuturism should be retained for Black folks only?
What creative aspects are about humanity, generally?
What aspects are for all people to enjoy, borrow and play with, irrespective of race?
For this second part of the discussion, we continue our exploration of Afrofuturism, while also opening the conversation to cultural futurist aesthetics and movements that transcend the black/white duality.
Statements and questions to consider:
Our national conversations about race, class and culture are generally confined to a black/white narrative and a black/white dichotomy. How does this impact the consciousness and experience of people who identify outside the white vs. black racial construct?
Does Afrofuturism hold and create space for Black narratives as well as other POC and Mestiza/o (mixed race/culture) narratives? Or is it specifically for Black people?
What are the historical futurist contributions of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, including First Nations people in what is currently the U.S., and also Mesoamerican civilizations including the Olmec, Mexica (Aztec), Maya, Inca, and Toltecs?
What are the present futurist narratives of People of Color who identify as neither black nor white? What are their relationships to Afrofuturist narratives?
What do Queer Futures and Queer Futurism have to teach us about the human future?
What are the Feminist Future alternatives to the old world / new world / modern world patriarchy (inclusive of all women, irrespective of race)? What is the role of men within feminist futurist movements?
Are there Euro Futurist narratives and/or Euro American Futurist timelines that reject the dominant white supremacist future narrative?
Are we ready for a Futurist movement and aesthetic that transcends race?
Relevant media and events by the prompters
lovemestiza, by Sheree Brown
Book available for purchase via www.lovemestiza.com
Brown Genius Podcast, hosted by Sheree “lovemestiza” Brown and Molina Speaks
Archive available on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher
ROOT the Film, Director’s Cut and Vinyl Release Party with Molina Speaks, Roots Rice and Beans, and Los Mocochetes, October 12th, 2018 at Alamo Drafthouse, Sloans Lake
Build 2020 Manifesto, by Molina Speaks https://molina.bandcamp.com/album/build-2020-manifesto
Also available on iTunes, Spotify, and other online music streaming sites
Other suggested readings and media
“Why is Sun Ra suddenly having his moment?,” Rolling Stone, October 18, 2017
Deltron 3030, Deltron 3030 (Album, 2000)
Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae (Visual album, 2018)
“Wakanda Forever: Using Indigenous Futurisms to Survive the Present,” Native Appropriations
“Visual Cultures of Indigenous Futurisms,” Guts
“Queer Futurism: Denizens of Liminality,” Queer Nature
“Why ‘Latinx’ Is Succeeding While Other Gender-Neutral Terms Fail to Catch On,” TIME
“For Latino Artists in Sci-Fi Show, Everyone’s an Alien,” The New York Times
About the Prompters
Sheree “lovemestiza” Brown is a writer, poet, AfroMestizaFuturist, deep creative, educator, and mother. She dances with the cosmos and writes the futures of her people in her spare time. A great deal of her writing is a blend between poetry and prose, and an amalgamation of experience and dreams. Sheree is a writing instructor with Lighthouse Writers, and she is the founder of Ancestral Herbalism—a community collective of dozens of kitchen herbalists, holistic health practitioners and healers of many traditions. Sheree has featured at Lighthouse Writer’s Annual Literary Festival, Cafe Cultura, Queenz of Hip-Hop, The Renaissance Poetry Night at the Kasbah, and has taught and led workshops at dozens of school and community events through Lighthouse Writers and other arts and literary organizations.
Sheree’s first book is titled lovemestiza, and is an ode to her mixed ancestry. A self-described “Woman of many colors,” she reflects on her journey as a Black woman and Chicana with mixed “Mestiza” and Indigenous roots. Her four-part book also traces her experiences becoming a mother, and healing from intergenerational, personal, and social traumas. In addition to poetry and prose, lovemestiza contains polaroids, quotes, and original plant-based medicinal recipes crafted by la “lovemestiza” herself. LoveMestiza is love work. What does your love work look like?
Molina Speaks is an artist, musician, writer, poet, and filmmaker, a cultural futurist, living word architect, and human bridge. His first film, ROOT, is an independent venture that premiered in his home city of Denver, Colorado on March 31st, 2018. ROOT then captured the Premio Ometeotl Award for New Media at its film festival debut at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center XicanIndie Film Fest. In addition to his own music, poetry and film work, Molina performs regularly with Chicano Afrobeat orchestra Pink Hawks and punk/hip-hop act Roots Rice and Beans (Best of Denver 2018 Best New Band). Molina was named 2017 Mastermind by Westword Magazine, and was voted top Solo Rap Artist in Westword’s 2018 Music Awards.
Offstage, Molina is a community-focused educator. He teaches cultural and media studies courses at the university level and works with young people at all age levels to develop their imaginations, creativity, and sense of wonder about their existence. Most notably, Molina coordinates Youth On Record’s Fellowship program for 18-23 year-old emerging artists. The Fellowship program was recently recognized with a Westword Best of Denver 2018 award for Best Place to Find the Future of the Music Business. This program is also the recipient of a 2018-19 Arts in Society Award, for its role in addressing race and class inequities in the creative industries.