In a piece for dezeen, Ekow Eshun explores the concept of Afrofuturism and its particular relevance when it comes to questions of architecture and urbanism. Afrofuturism refers to work that reimagines the black experience through the fusion of science fiction, fantasy and history – a concept that was recently brought dramatically closer to the mainstream by the Marvel’s Black Panther and its depiction of the fictional African homeland, Wakanda.
To bring the country to life, the film draws on visual cues from all over the continent, from the cityscapes of modern metropolises like Nairobi and Johannesburg to the costumes inspired by tribal peoples such as the Igbo of Nigeria.
The vision of an ultra-developed, utopian society as brought to live by the make-believe Wakanda prompts an existential question that also haunts Africa in real life: what would the continent be like without the legacy of colonialism? And what could be possible if the ambitions of black architects and designers are realised?
Read the full, thought-provoking article by Ekow Eshun here.