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On the threshold: political aesthetics of futures past 
Dominique Somda (HUMA-UCT)
Fernanda Pinto de Almeida (University of the Western Cape)
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Arts and Culture (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S73
Thursday 1 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Welcoming new and speculative approaches to African temporalities, the panel invites interdisciplinary discussions of aesthetic projects materializing in diverse sites and artifacts that present thresholds of time and space, such as theater, cinemas, museums, and other public installations.

Long Abstract:

This panel proposes new and speculative approaches to notions of temporality in Africa. Our focus is on aesthetic projects that de-naturalize or de-essentialize Africa as neither a place oriented towards a static, cyclical ancestral time nor as a lens turned elsewhere, to extensions to otherworlds, the conquest of the galaxy, or fantasies of ‘progress.’ Our panelists are invited to examine various case studies, including but not limited to theaters, cinemas, churches, museums, and other public sites that present an intervention or are themselves thresholds of time and space. We encourage research that engages historical, artistic, visual, anthropological, and literary methodologies and considers the persistent appeal of secular and religious temporality and the haunting images of past futures. This will be examined alongside an exploration of cultural artifacts, aesthetic objects, private and public photographs, and other archives that congeal futurity beyond or at odds with linear, developmental teleologies. We welcome analyses where temporality offers itself as a contentious analytical register – times of war, religious rupture, decolonial struggle, and revolutionary time – revealing the political intersections of aesthetics and the future.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -