The Showroom

Continental Afrofutures Lecture One: Laingian Science Fiction

Saturday 27 February 2016, 2–5pm
Free, no booking required


In a series of six lectures, Kodwo Eshun presents close readings of overlooked Continental Afrofuture fictions. Eshun will argue that works of fiction that have and continue to invent African futures do exist across the African continent despite arguments that Afrofuturisms are diasporic projects produced in places like the UK and USA.

It is often pointed out that the Africanity in Afrofuturism takes no account of the invention or the production of African futures. That the Afrofuturisms formulated during the 1990s and resurgent in the 21st Century, were and are elaborated as Afrodiasporic projects by practitioners in the UK and the USA. Implicit here is the suggestion that the common task of inventing African futures is a task that is still to be achieved. Such a mission, operative at different scales and different media, assumes that there has been little or no African futurisms, African speculations or African science fictions to date. It is this gap between continental and diasporic production, reinterpreted as a generational opportunity, that is now to be repaired and remedied by contemporary practitioners.

The series begins with a lecture on novelist Kojo Laing's 'Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars'. Published in 1992 and set in 2020, Laing's third novel envisions a condition of total war known as the Second War of Existence in which insects, birds, fruit, animals, vegetables and the humans of Achimota City wage a war for the right to futurity against an overseas enemy only discernible through proxies and decoys.

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    Event Continental Afrofutures Lecture Two: The Final Scene of Hyenas: A Fable of Fatal Incorporation