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Weekend Passport: “In Their Own Form” Exhibit at the MoCP

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Alun Be, Potentiality, 2017

Alun Be, Potentiality, 2017

Alun Be

This week on Worldview we’ve been discussing Black representation in comic books. Continuing in this theme, today we’re discussing an Afrofuturist photography exhibit. If you’ve gone to today, then you may know that it’s Octavia E. Butler’s birthday. The late author was the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Butler is one of the many people who have contributed to the cross-disciplinary world of Afrofuturism. The term “Afrofuturism” was coined in 1995 by cultural critic Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delaney, Greg Tate and Tricia Rose”. Afrofuturism uses a Black cultural lens to imagine a future that centers on the narratives and complex identities of Black peoples. It is a way of imagining a future to disrupt the present, and many times to provide a cosmic escape from the realities that many Black peoples face. In science fiction, the future is often envisioned devoid of, or with few, people of color. With Afrofuturism, we can imagine futures that actually do have people of color.

For this week’s "Weekend Passport" we talk with Sheridan Tucker Anderson. She is the curator of the “In Their Own Form” exhibit currently at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago. Anderson is also the MoCP Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts. The exhibit’s website writes, “Bringing together 13 artists and 33 photographic and video works that negotiate a range of Afro-Diasporic experiences, In Their Own Form prefaces personhood, both fantastical and actual, over perceived realities.” Some of the featured artists include Teju Cole, Alun Be, Ayana V. Jackson, Zanele Muholi, Aida Muluneh, Paulo Nazareth, Zohra Opoku, and Mary Sibande. Anderson joins us to discuss Afrofuturism and the artists featured in the exhibit. You can read more about Afrofuturism and the artists featured in the exhibit in Sheridan's essay for the exhibit included in this guide pdf. 

As always, global citizen Nari Safavi also joins us to give you a couple events to help you plan your international weekend! Just in time for Pride, tonight you can go to Red Bull Music Presents: Queen! There will be house music from DJ's including Joe Smooth and Queen!'s resident DJ, Michael Serafini. Doors open at 8:00pm at The Metro in Wrigleyville. Red Bull will be having “Red Bull Music Presents” throughout the summer here in Chicago. The next one will be Red Bull Music Presents: Peak Time with Vivian Host featuring Teklife Live on in celebration of Chicago's footwork scene, featuring Teklife DJs like DJ Spinn, DJ Taye and DJ Manny. The footwork event will be on July 19 at The Promontory in Hyde Park.

After the commercial success of Black Panther, a new generation of black people is seeking authentic representation.

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