University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Arts and Creativities Research Group > Just As Quare As You Wanna Be: On Afrofuturism as Cultural Aesthetic and Method for Liberating Black Bodies

Just As Quare As You Wanna Be: On Afrofuturism as Cultural Aesthetic and Method for Liberating Black Bodies

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Informed by Black feminism, queer theory of color, and Afrofuturist theory, Wynn will present a new series of artwork exploring the myth of Drexciya, a mythology created by a late 1990s Detroit band of the same name, who envisioned a half-aquatic, half-human creature emerging from the enslaved Africans who were tossed overboard during the middle passage. Of this new series of artwork, they envision creating a new narrative in the mid-Atlantic, disrupting the current archive of the Middle Passage.

Looking to the history of erasure of Black femmes, queer, and gender non-conforming people as a form of violence, they will discuss the ways in which water has shaped their cultural production and its connection to fantastical forms like Afrofuturism. Charlena will also discuss the moves they have made to theorize Afrofuturism as a liberatory project for African peoples everywhere.

Charlena M. Wynn is an artist, graduate student, and scholar from the United States, interested in African Diaspora art and Afrofuturism as a method of decolonizing modernist curatorial and art education practices. Born and raised in the Southern United States, they are deeply connected to their southern identity as a Black queer artist and use these experiences in their artwork. In a world where Black, queer, fat, and disabled bodies are not valued, Charlena M. Wynn is informed by Afrofuturist philosophy, not only as a cultural aesthetic but philosophy of history informed by African Diasporic epistemologies.

This talk is part of the Arts and Creativities Research Group series.

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