Lectureseries Critical Futures - Natasha A. Kelly

Natasha A. Kelly - The Comet. Afrofuturism 2.0

Lectureseries / 17.12.2020

Within the series "Critical Futures" Natasha A. Kelly will do a online lecture.

For this lecture series we have invited scholars and artists who will talk about the critical work of anti-racist and queer-feminist futurisms with regards to their own artistic practice, research, and writing.

Who envisions the future? Common imaginations of the world to come tend to mirror ideologies that leave social power structures untouched, with disastrous and devastating consequences for those oppressed by the utopias of the privileged. Especially in the face of wide-spread insurgence of rightwing politics, ongoing structures of systemic racism, social inequality, and environmental injustice, the imminent future feels distinctly dystopian. Perhaps more than ever, the state of the world calls for alternative models. Combining speculative fiction and activism, afrofuturist and queer-feminist discourses give agency to those who dare to dream, make unthinkable futures thinkable, encourage critical reflexivity, drive social and political progress, and influence the way we problematize and contextualize our past, present, and future.

About the lecture: When W.E.B. Du Bois wrote his speculative short story "The Comet" in 1920, the last global pandemic came to an end. Triggered by white racist terror, the so-called "Red Summer" followed. Numerous black people took to the streets and protested against it. 100 years later, history repeats itself: Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic and the death of the black US-American George Floyd, not only in the USA, but people around the world are on the streets and demonstrate against anti-black racism. But what have we learned from the past or have we missed something? Through an afro-futuristic lens, it is possible to create a broader perspective on current events and speculate about the future beyond colonial imagination.


Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology. She is the author and editor of five books. Her first art installation "The Poison Cabinet" dealt with racism in/and language and was shown at the German Historical Museum Berlin in 2016/17. Based on this idea, she developed a "Cabinet of Curiosities" during a visiting fellowship at the University of Virginia in 2019, in which her students could banish objects of everyday racism. With her award-winning and internationally acclaimed documentary "Millis Awakening", she made her film debut at the 10th Berlin Biennale, winning the Black Laurel Film Award for Best Documentary Feature in San Francisco in 2018. Film installations and screenings followed throughout Europe, in India, Australia, Brazil and the USA. Based on her book “Sisters & Souls” (2015) the sequential theater performance “M(a)y Sister”, in commemoration of the Afro-German poetess May Ayim was staged under her artistic direction at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theater in Berlin from 2016 - 2018. However, her directorial debut was with the theater performance of her dissertation “Afroculture. The Space between Yesterday and Tomorrow” (2016) in three countries and three languages in 2019/20. Her forthcoming book “The Comet” is a documentary of the Afrofuturism symposium of the same name which she curated at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theater in Berlin in 2018.

17.12.2020, 6 pm
Watch Online:

Internal access via Microsoft Teams: Click Link - Like it is known via Hfk-Teamsaccount.

External access via Microsoft Teams Webapp (just via Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer):
Click Link - Click Option "Stattdessen im Web teilnehmen" - set a name - mute microphone (right switcher/shifter in the window) - Click "Jetzt teilnehmen" - Waiting till moderation let you in.

Or via Stream:https://digitalmedia-bremen.de/lectures/


Series-Font „Ascentis“ by: Emily Jung Sum Chan https://www.emilyjschan.com/ascentis

The Comet_U1_gr Kopie.jpg
Lectureseries Critical Futures - Natasha A. Kelly


17. December 2020, 18:00