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Fakery, fiction, and futurism 
Katrien Pype (KU Leuven University)
Wale Adebanwi (University of Pennsylvania)
Victoria Bernal (University of California (UCI))
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Anthropology (x) Futures (y)
Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal XIa
Thursday 1 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Lines between fact and fiction have blurred, offering spaces for creative expression of alternative futures. Looking at engagements with fakery, fictions, and imaginaries, we ask: What are the everyday digital modalities through which Africans imagine or construct personal and collective futures?

Long Abstract:

We have already entered a future where the lines between fact and fiction have blurred, where

what was once unimaginable has happened, and people struggle to determine the real from the fake, or work to keep the faith in what they believe to be true even in the face of contradictions. Such blurred boundaries and slippages offer productive spaces for the play of imagination, deception, and creative expression in the present, and for the envisioning and developing alternative futures. Afrofuturism has emerged as a significant form of cultural expression imagining futures from an Africanist perspective with science and technology at the centre. Digital media as well have opened up new opportunities in this regard. In various African countries, fake social media accounts have emerged through which political leaders are critiqued, mocked, and exposed. These generate various political discourses, assessing the ills of the present, and formulating visions for "better" political futures. Looking at diverse mediated practices of engaging with fakery, fictions, and imaginaries of the future, this panel asks: What are the everyday digital modalities through which people on the continent and among African diasporas imagine or construct personal and collective futures? How are digital media mobilized in assessing, accessing, leveraging and/or contesting emergent opportunities for the production of documentary evidence? What are the digital aesthetics of these alternative futures? How are these narratives plotted? What genres appear? Additionally, how is "Africa" imagined in these futuring practices? We solicit papers that engage with these topics empirically and conceptually.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -