May 13: Afrofuturism Film Screening Featuring Films by Larry Achiampong and Nuotama Bodomo

Larry Achiampong, Relic Traveler, Still
Larry Achiampong, Relic Traveler, Still
Friday, May 13, 2022
Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108

Join us for an evening of short films by artists from across the African diaspora that engage the tropes of Afrofuturism, Pan Africanism, and speculative fiction to interrogate the past and imagine alternative futures. The screening, in the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108, will start at 7 p.m.

Afrofuturism Film Screening featuring films by Larry Achiampong and Nuotama Bodomo 
May 13, 2022, 7 p.m. 
Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108

Related events: May 16: Surge Afrofuturism: Searching for Freedom with the Afronauts. A Conversation with Larry Achiampong, Nuotama Frances Bodomo, & Aaron Samuel Mulenga

Films featured:

Afronauts, Nuotama Bodomo , 2014

Afronauts, a 2014 short film by Ghanaian-born filmmaker Nuotama Frances Bodomo, follows a team of astronauts as they train for a mission to the moon. This video was inspired by the Zambian space program in the 1960s and follows then-17-year-old astronaut Matha Mwamba, the woman at the center of this historic mission. Led by schoolteacher and revolutionary Edward Mukuka Nkoloso, Zambia’s National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy began as an unofficial program with aspirations to beat the Soviet Union and the United States to the moon.

Combining true events and fiction, Bodomo set the film on July 16, 1969, the same day as the Apollo 11 launch, and wove audio and video clips from its historic moon landing throughout the narrative. Though the Zambian mission did not send an astronaut to the moon, the program successfully asserted the ambitions of its country, which had become independent from the United Kingdom in 1964.

Set historically in the years following this independence, Afronauts draws many parallels with today, highlighting the persistent and unfounded underestimation of African nations, the continued fight for racial and gender equity, and the international competition for scientific advancements.

"Relic Traveller Series", Larry Achiampong, 2017-2020 (Relic 0Relic 1, Relic 2Relic 3Reliquary 4)

The "Relic Traveller Series" is a multi-disciplinary project by Larry Achiampong, which manifests in performance, audio, moving image and prose. Centred within themes related to Sanko-time, "Relic Traveller "takes place across various landscapes and locations; the project builds upon a postcolonial perspective informed by technology, agency and the body, and narratives of migration.

This speculative project considers the social and political climate of current times; the rise of nationalism within the global West and tensions surrounding moments such as the United Kingdom’s leave ‘Brexit’ vote in 2016. Meanwhile, the African Union’s passport programme (also established in 2016) points toward the potential opening of boarders across a unified African continent in the future. With these instances, the Relic Traveller series imagines a future in which the global West devolves to point of decline, whilst the African Union ascends into prosperity, harmony, independence and, responsibility in shaping the future of the planet.

At this unspecified point in time amongst an ambitious set of new initiatives, the African Union create the ‘Relic Travellers’ Alliance’, a programme that equips Relic Travellers with space-travelling-technology for the sole purpose of venturing outside of the African Union to retrieve vocal information left by those whom had been historically oppressed as a result of political systems such as colonisation, capitalism and globalisation. These uncovered testimonies are collected and used as a basis for the African Union to responsibly govern the future informed by a bottom-up perspective.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Paid parking through the Parkmobile App is available in Lot 126, adjacent to Digital Arts Research Center. For additional information and disability or access needs please contact ias@ucsc.edu.

This event is part of "Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism," an extended program of music and dance performances, film screenings, and discussions which brings together artists and thinkers to creatively engage Afrofuturist strategies for liberation and the restructuring of society free of racism.