Afrofuturism is a literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past. First coined by Mark Dery in 1993 and explored in the late 1990s through conversations led by scholar Alondra Nelson, Afrofuturism addresses themes and concerns of the African Diaspora through a technoculture and science fiction lens, encompassing a range of media and artists with a shared interest in envisioning black futures that stem from Afrodiasporic experiences. wikipedia


When I discovered Sheeba Maya’s art shop on Etsy and fell in love with the beautiful faces and detail in her pieces, I couldn’t look away.. so I had to make your life better as well and share. They are truly magical to me and I’ll be treating myself to one of her works soon.



Support and follow this gifted artist.

all artwork ©Sheeba Maya

19 thoughts on “afrofuturism

  1. Hi Kelley! Have you ever watched Pumzi? It is a short movie available on YouTube by a Kenyan director, in the genre of afro futurism. It depicts blackness/femininity after WWIII. It is mindblowing. I think you’ll like it. Would love to hear your thoughts!

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    1. So only half a lifetime later… I finally gave it a gander. Seriously packed a punch in just 20 minutes! Thank you so much for your recommendation. I loved it, so simple yet visceral. The major point I took from it was that Asha(I think) was willing to sacrifice her life for the wellbeing and future of the planet, including the humans who condemned her curiosity. She went against the grain and even though she may not be able to see it (from her human form), she made a huge impact.

      And so much of the life depicted in this short is modern-day reality! e.g. lack of communication. Squeezing the life out of of the planet/parts of the planet are dead. Questioning authority is punishable. Dreaming and forming unique thoughts is prohibited. Big brother is always looking and listening.

      It’s funny that Asha was expected to do her part to maintain 100% self-sustainablity, but only “their” way.
      Is this where we’re heading, 0% pollution, 100% self-sustainability? Knowing there’s a big beautiful world out there, I’d hate to see that future. On the other hand, what is everyone doing to help sustain this planet?

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      1. Ahh – I’m so happy you finally checked it out! I like your interpretation of it. I agree: a lot of what was depicted in this film is less a prediction than a reflection of reality.

        It is funny you talk about the need to sacrifice for the earth. I just watched a LiveStream talk by Angela Davis from an event tonight in my city and she was talking about how struggle. She said that during the struggle for freedom, we will need to imagine ourselves in a different temporality – as being beyond just ourselves in the present. We will need to see ourselves as connected to the past and the future. The first step towards sustaining the planet is to, as you would say, G-check ourselves and realize it’s not all about us. There are other people on this planet, and there will be many more people who still have to inhabit this planet. In this context, like you said, questioning authority is punishable. One of the first acts of tyranny Trump imposed was to prevent scientists from government agencies from reporting to the public without clearance. A main reason for this is because he is a climate-denier. It is easier to destroy the planet when scientists have been silenced. So yes, definitely, this is what is already going on!

        This film has always stuck with me since I saw it in class a few years ago. Very powerful! I am glad you liked it, too =D

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        1. YES! Thank you again for sharing.
          Whistleblowers and even holistic healers are coming up dead. They really want everything-every dollar, every life-to cycle back to them somehow. Enough is never enough and the bottom 99% is paying for it.

          Angela is right. Don’t you love her? My sister and I got our parents to start composting and being more health conscious by asking “don’t you want your grandson to be able to breathe clean air? Don’t you want to be not only around, but around and healthy when he does ___, ___ and ____?” We are so conditioned to just be so wasteful and dependent and blind to so much in the U.S. It’s disgusting. It’s not the “third-world” countries that need a G-check, but us. Chiggity check!

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          1. That is good that y’all got your parents to start composting and more aware! Excellent strategy to make your point. We have to start with those close to us and locally. The amount of food we waste while other people starve is upsetting. I used to work at a supermarket – and at the end of every day, they would throw away the wrapped sandwiches that they didn’t sell. A co-worker of mine started taking them home. What did the bosses do when they found out? They fired her for “stealing” sandwiches they were throwing away. Maybe if they paid her a living wage, she wouldn’t have to do that! They’d rather waste food than help others. Sometimes I flip through the TV channels and I pause on the Cooking Network … and it angers me because we take food for granted. At the same time, we airing those “80 cents a day” help a child commercials. We need to check ourselves.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. So true! This is one greedy, backwards, savage country! That is really upsetting about your co-worker too. Too many things are lawed the opposite of what’s right.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Exactly: there is a huge difference between what is legal and what is moral/ethical. Too often we conflate them. The biggest atrocities in history were legal (slavery, colonization, the holocaust etc) but none of that was morally right. The challenge is to bring them together.

            Liked by 1 person

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