This Year's Afrofuturism Conference Is About Going Viral While Black

#BLACKISVIRAL is the subject of 'Afrofuturism Conference 2016' put on by students at The New School in NYC

Flyer by Inye Nosegbe

This year’s Afrofuturism Conference—happening April 29 to May 1 in New York—will be a series of “art happenings, performances, lectures, panels, workshops, film music, scholarly works, and community events” organized by students from The New School.

Like last year, the conference will explore “Afrofuturism as a cultural and aesthetic movement for the radical emancipation of people of color,” but with a particular focus on virality.

RSVP on their Eventbrite.

At last year's conference, artists, students and academics came together to discuss designing new narratives to empower the African Diaspora. Check out some of the wonderful images from last year on their Facebook page.

Scenes from last year's Afrofuturism Conference. Photos by Jazmin Jones

As the organizers put it, this year's conference will “explore the virality of blackness by hacking the cultural divide to explore the matrix of Afrofuturism as a narrative for liberation."  The conference will also examine the platforms and products of black content creators online as art, language, and tools of subversion.

Some of the topics to be discussed:

-The Impact of Online Black Subcultures

-From URL TO IRL - Futures of Black Movement Making

-On Hashtags as Creating Virtual Community Space

-Bioethical Justice in Black Communities

-The Pros and Perils of Black Hyper Visibility Online

-Memes as (Coded) Language

-Commodification of Black Image in the Media

-Conjuring Black Futures

-On Exclusivity in the CareFree Black Girl Movement

-Intergenerational Community Building

-The State of Black Cinema Post #OscarsSoWhite

-Futuristic Aesthetics - New Narratives in Media

-Real Recognize Reel - A Filmmakers Mixer

-Breaking Down Gender Binaries / Queering Spaces

-Politics of The Black Body in Viral Dannce

-Speaking in Black Tongues - Linguistics as a Site of Appropriation

-Cyber Serenity Sessions : Black Alternative Healing Methods

-Black design/technologies/invention/

Confirmed participants as of April 18 include:

Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde

Kimberly Drew

Elise Peterson

Diamond Sharp

Dyani Douze

Salome Asega

Sable E. Smith

Devin Kenny

Mahader Tesfai

Terence Nance

Queens D Light


Dyani Douze

Mukhtara Yusuf

Yatta Zoker

Amirah Tajdin

JM Harper

Tyler Mitchell

Norvis Jr

Derica Shields

Caitlin Cherry

Zeba Blay


Coalition Zine

Art Hoe Collective

Black Girl Magik


Cleopatra Reynolds of The Audre Lorde Project

Jamal Lewis

Aurel Haize Odogbo

Kai Avant Deleon

Alyssa Neilson  

Kiara Sharde

Claire Leana Millar  

Devonrae Jones



Flyer by Inye Nosegbe
Photo: Aisha Asamany

How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.

In 2019, the government of Ghana made a global splash with its Year of Return initiative – the campaign sought to encourage the African diaspora to return home to the continent, specifically to Ghana.

Linked to the 400th year commemoration of the first recorded landing of slaves in the United States, it became a launchpad for the Ghanaian government to convince Black people around the world to permanently settle in the West African country.

Aisha Asamany, a corporate management consultant for high-profile UK financial institutions turned self-taught luxury jewelry designer was one of many who heeded the call, trading in the corporate life for a spiritual and an entrepreneurial journey – one of joy, appreciation, and representation in her fatherland.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Wizkid, Tems, Black Coffee & More Nominated For 2022 Grammy Awards

See the full list of African artists honored during Tuesday's nomination ceremony.