Playing the part of an anthropologist somewhere in the future, she explores Afro-Futurism and her involvement in developing the United States of Africa Space Agency. Drawing on the archives of the past, she projects herself into a science-fiction future: “The United States of Africa came into being on 8 December 2058. This date was chosen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Pan-African Conference which was held in Accra, Ghana, in 1958. It was during that historic encounter that the President Kwame Nkrumah gave his backing to the model of the United States of Africa, calling for the federation of Africa’s States. Efforts were made in 2058 to bring together various programmes involving space on the African continent, under the umbrella of the Space Agency of the United States of Africa.”
Afrogalactica : Un abrégé du futur
Presented by FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
Research in anthropology, literature and archives lies at the heart of Kapwani Kiwanga’s work, which is informed by Afrofuturism, the anti-colonial struggle and its memory, belief systems, and vernacular and popular culture, as well as different cultural ways of approaching the invisible, intangible aspects of the magical and the supernatural. In her films, installations and performances, which revolve around notions of belief and its relationship to “knowledge”, Kapwani Kiwanga employs documentary modes of representation, various material sources, and testimonies of a subjective as well as a quasi scientific kind. She is also interested in different approaches to embodiment in art, most notably in her Afrogalactica trilogy project (2011–ongoing), for which she has invented the character of an anthropologist from the future, a protagonist who ranges across vast fields of knowledge relating to Afrofuturism as a historical movement, hybrid genders and African astronomy.