Back to Earth: Afrofuturist Short Films

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 7:00 pm

Nuotama Bodomo, still from Afronauts (2014). Courtesy of the artist.

The works in this program see Earth’s future through an African lens. The disembodied voice in Relic 0 delivers the prologue: an account of postcolonial traumas that seeps into the soil around colonialism’s ruins, ushering in a relic traveller from the future. Afronauts unearths a story whose truth is stranger than fiction: NASA is readying Apollo 11 for launch, unaware that thousands of miles away Zambia has entered the space race, vying to beat both the United States and the Soviet Union to the moon—with a teenage girl at the helm. In Pumzi, survivors of global water wars remain on permanent lockdown in a sealed environment, kept quiet with dream suppressants, until a mysterious package arrives at the Virtual Museum of Natural History. In Black Beauty, the heat of the sun warps time for the model shooting a sunscreen commercial at the bottom of a quarry. Hypnotized by endless retakes, she falls into a reverie of herself as a 1980s talk show host discussing climate change, pandemics, migration, and the fluidity of time with the writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Programmed by Michèle Smith. Introduced by Olumoroti Soji-George.

Relic 0
Great Britain 2017
Larry Achiampong
10 min.

USA 2014
Nuotama Bodomo
14 min.

Kenya 2009
Wanuri Kahiu
23 min.

Black Beauty
Great Britain/​Belgium/​Spain 2021
Grace Ndiritu
29 min.

Running time: 76 min.

Olumoroti Soji-George is curator of BLAC (The Black Arts Centre) in Surrey and programming coordinator at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver. He is currently an MA graduate student in SFU's Comparative Media Arts program.

More Afrofuturism at The Cinematheque! Don’t miss Neptune Frost, Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s Afrofurist sci-fi musical, screening June 10–12.