2013 The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto [EN]

The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto

http martinesyms com the mundane afrofuturist manifesto

Martine Syms


The undersigned being alternately pissed off and bored need a means of speculation and asserting a different set of values with which to re imagine the future

In looking for a new framework for black diasporic artistic production we are temporarily united in the following actions

The Mundane Afrofuturists recognize that We did not originate in the cosmos

The connection between Middle Passage and space travel is tenuous at best

Out of five hundred thirty four space travelers fourteen have been black

An all black crew is unlikely

Magic interstellar travel and or the wondrous communication grid can lead to an illusion of outer space and cyberspace as egalitarian

This dream of utopia can encourage us to forget that outer space will not save us from injustice and that cyberspace was prefigured upon a master slave relationship

While we are often Othered we are not aliens

Though our ancestors were mutilated we are not mutants

Post black is a misnomer

Post colonialism is too

The most likely future is one in which we only have ourselves and this planet

The Mundane Afrofuturists rejoice in Piling up unexamined and hackneyed tropes and setting them alight

Gazing upon their bonfire of the Stupidities which includes but is not exclusively limited to Jive talking aliens Jive talking mutants Magical negroes Enormous self control in light of great suffering Great suffering as our natural state of existence Inexplicable skill in the martial arts Reference to Wu Tang

Reference to Sun Ra

Reference to Parliament Funkadelic and or George Clinton

Reference to Janelle Monáe

Obvious heavy handed allusions to double consciousness

Desexualized protagonists

White slavery

Egyptian mythology and iconography

The inner city

Metallic colors


Platform shoes

Continue at will

We also recognize The harmless fun that these and all the other Stupidities have brought to millions of people

The harmless fun that burning the Stupidities will bring to millions of people

The imaginative challenge that awaits any Mundane Afrofuturist author who accepts that this is it Earth is all we have

What will we do with it

The chastening but hopefully enlivening effect of imagining a world without fantasy boltholes no portals to the Egyptian kingdoms no deep dives to Drexciya no flying Africans to whisk us off to the Promised Land

The possibilities of a new focus on black humanity our science technology culture politics religions individuality needs dreams hopes and failings

The surge of bedazzlement and wonder that awaits us as we contemplate our own cosmology of blackness and our possible futures

The relief of recognizing our authority

We will root our narratives in a critique of normative white validation

Since fact and science have been used throughout history to serve white supremacy we will focus on an emotionally true vernacular reality

The understanding that our twoness is inherently contemporary even futuristic

DuBois asks how it feels to be a problem

Ol Dirty Bastard says If I got a problem a problem s got a problem til it s gone

An awakening sense of the awesome power of the black imagination to protect to create to destroy to propel ourselves towards what poet Elizabeth Alexander describes as a metaphysical space beyond the black public everyday toward power and wild imagination

The opportunity to make sense of the nonsense that regularly and sometimes violently accents black life

The electric feeling that Mundane Afrofuturism is the ultimate laboratory for worldbuilding outside of imperialist capitalist white patriarchy

The sense that the rituals and inconsistencies of daily life are compelling dynamic and utterly strange

Mundane Afrofuturism opens a number of themes and flavors to intertextuality double entendre politics incongruity polyphony and collective first person techniques that we have used for years to make meaning

The Mundane Afrofuturists promise To produce a collection of Mundane Afrofuturist literature that follows these rules No interstellar travel travel is limited to within the solar system and is difficult time consuming and expensive

No inexplicable end to racism dismantling white supremacy would be complex violent and have global impact

No aliens unless the connection is distant difficult tenuous and expensive and they have no interstellar travel either

No internment camps for blacks aliens or black aliens

No Martians Venusians etc

No forgetting about political racial social economic and geographic struggles

No alternative universes

No revisionist history

No magic or supernatural elements

No Toms Coons Mulattoes or Bucks

No time travel or teleportation

No Mammies Jezebels or Sapphires

Not to let Mundane Afrofuturism cramp their style as if it could

To burn this manifesto as soon as it gets boring

Martine Syms whomever will join me in the future of black imagination