Journeys in Afrofuturism

BBC Radio 4

In the light of the phenomenal success of the Black Panther movie, Emma Dabiri explores the resurgence of Afrofuturism in arts, and particularly in music.

Afrofuturism is a term used to describe much art and music of black of origin, often when it uses ancient African imagery and mythologies and fuses it with something other-worldly and futuristic.

From the cosmic sounds of jazz musician Sun Ra, who reinvented himself as an Egyptian-inspired space-traveller, to the syncopated beats of UK Jungle, Emma asks whether Afrofuturism has found a particular home among black British musicians and considers how it helps explore identity beyond limiting sterotypes.

Musician and artist Gaika and DJ, musician and producer A Guy Called Gerald talk about how they have mixed African and Caribbean beats with electronic music to examine life in the UK, and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru discusses the challenges of breaking down black sterotypes in film.

Writer Ekow Eshun tells Emma why Afrofuturism is having a resurgence at the moment, and young London rapper AM talks about his use of morse code and binary in freestyle rapping as a new kind of Afrofuturism.

Producer: Jo Wheeler

Broadcast: 25th June