February 19, 2018  ·  culture  ·  design  ·  style

Black Panther and Afrofuturism

So as we were saying, Afrofuturism as pan-disciplinary art movement has hovered just outside the mainstream of western culture at least as far back as the profoundly alien Sun Ra brought back a new kind of jazz from outer space. A few years ago the Studio Museum in Harlem's Shadows Took Shape exhibition writ large the breadth and depth of the asthetic by presenting over 60 works of futuristic art celebrating the African diaspora across multiple media.

Nonetheless it doesn't get more mainstream than a big-budget Marvel superhero movie so it's impossible to overstate the significance of Black Panther as a cultural milestone. To be African is to acknowledge change and conflict while daring to envision a peaceful, vibrant future.

For considerably more and better researched cultural context, check out Mashable's article on Afrofuturism. And don't miss Elle Magazine's interview with Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter on crafting the unique style of Wakanda.

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