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Afrotopias - clearing pathways into African futures 
Magnus Echtler (Leipzig University)
Antje Daniel (University of Vienna)
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Arts and Culture (x) Sociology (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S68
Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Afrotopians imagine better futures by questioning classic utopias and asking what is African about the future. We are interested in artistic and philosophical visions of Afrotopias, as well as in the ways in which social movements, political actors or religious communities strive to realize them.

Long Abstract:

What is African about the future? If the Afro-pessimistic narratives of decline have given way to tales of "Africa rising", what is the yardstick that measures Africa's position in the world? If Africa is the last frontier of capitalism, will that lead to a good life to Africans, or to further exploitation? These are central questions for Afrotopians. Like other utopians, they criticize the present state by imagining an ideal society in the future, and by striving to build this ideal in the here and now. However, they challenge the Western episteme of classic utopias. They draw upon African pasts to break the straightjacket of present day coloniality and enable the emergence of truly African futures. On the one hand, there are imagined Afrotopias in philosophy and the arts that create African visions of the good life, and that draw upon indigeneity, Pan-Africanism or Afropolitanism to relocate Africa in the world. On the other hand, there are political movements or religious communities that build lived Afrotopias by challenging or transforming hegemonic social structures and moralities.

In this panel, we look for practices and ideas that criticize the present order by pointing at a better future. We invite presentations from the humanities and social sciences that discuss lived of imagined utopias that put Africa into their futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -