African Renaissance, Afrotopia, Afropolitanism, and Afrofuturism: Comparing Conceptual Properties of Four African Futures

Sharing core norms and values
Posted Sep 06, 2022 | GIGA Africa Spectrum

In Africa, the late 1990s and early 2000s saw a crisis of post-coloniality as African modernities negotiated unresolved contestations of multi-layered representations of indigenous tradition, European-Christian heritage, and Islamic cultures. Lena Kroeker notes in her article for GIGA Africa Spectrum that since the turn of the millennium, the African continent has produced a range of African futures. These are part of the multiple non-western modernities existing simultaneously:  modernities of revolution, reform, and restitution. She analyses four recent concepts: the idea of the “African Renaissance,” proposed as government policy in South Africa and which led to the creation of to Pan-African political bodies; “Afrotopia” a term that emphasises identity politics; “Afropolitanism” which proposes an African-style modernity; and “Afrofuturism,” a term in literature, music, and visual arts that proposes Black futurity. The author assesses these concepts in the concluding section.  


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