Curating the End of the World is an online multimedia, multi-genre Black speculative pop-up exhibition in collaboration with Afroflux, Afro_Futures UK, The Afrofuturist Affair, Black Kirby, NubiaMancy, Kaos Network, Blerd City, Octavia Butler Legacy Network, Zion Network and others looking at the concerns of Black people address across the world through their own speculative lense in response to existential threats. Africa and its Diaspora have to deal with the existential threats of climate change, global pandemic(s), poor governance, transhumanism, and an accelerating, technologically driven economic system on the verge of collapse. Once collected the curated exhibition with its various components will be on view the first week in April, 2020.
During the last major global pandemic often referred to as the Spanish Flu, there was widespread devastation locally and globally, however, the fact that, in certain instances, people of African descent were less impacted did not end the practice of biologically attributing inferiority or racist treatment to the indigenous inhabitants, African Diaspora and Africans. Furthermore, smaller outbreaks such as Ebola reinforced racial stereotypes of Africa and its people. Finally, this behavior was reflected in the emergence of the H.I.V. epidemic and its origins (Hunt, 1994). This treatment has long had a history tied to racism, slavery, miscegenation, and colonialism (Curson, 2006; Gamble, 2010; Naranjo, 1992; Patterson, 1983; Phillips, 1984). In the wake of the pandemic, the Pan African scholar W.E.B. Du Bois outlined this behavior in his speculative work “The Comet,” a chapter in his book Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil, published in the wake of the pandemic in 1920.
Black speculative art is a creative, aesthetic practice that seeks to interpret, engage, design, or alter reality for the re-imagination of the past, the contested present, and act as a catalyst for the future (Anderson, 2016). Second wave Afrofuturism or Afrofuturism 2.0, and the Black Speculative Arts Movement are indebted to previous movements like the Black Arts Movement (BAM), Négritude, The Harlem Renaissance, AfriCOBRA, African liberation movements, and other continental and diasporic African speculative movements. Our understanding of the multi-dimensionality of the Black experience, the good and the bad, the respectable and the undesirable are explored.
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