Aural Futures

Screen/Society Film Series:

September 23-October 26, 2018
Duke University

-- Curated by Ingrid LaFleur from AFROTOPIA & Negar Mottahedeh at Duke University

Often music is the first introduction to the cultural movement Afrofuturism. The Aural Futures series looks at how electronic music created a foundation in the development of Afrofuturism, explores the history of certain music movements like Afropunk that have introduced Afrofuturism to a larger audience, and how the Afrofuturist aesthetic is used to visually express the music and provide a narrative.

To complete the music ecosystem, we have curated a selection of storytellers and performers to create and Afrofuturist evening of musical vibes and visions. Hearing the music, watching the performance and the organic movement that it calls forth is an integral part of the Afrofuturist experience.

OCT 26, 9pm at Duke Coffee House (East Campus):
Afrofuturist music & techno-utopian narratives:   [ PDF Flyer ]

-- The Afronauts is an afrofuturist youth group in Durham that is putting out a mixtape via Pierce Freelon’s Blackspace this year.

-- 5p1n0k10 is an Afrofuturistic puppet show, about an Android who wants to be a real B-Boy, set in a post-apocalyptic future with an original score by Hip Hop producer Hir-O.

-- Artist by trade and DJ by craft, DJ Gemynii produces experiences that seduce the audience and lures them into her meticulously cultivated audiovisual realm.

Sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), the Forum for Scholars & Publics (FSP), the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts—Duke Arts, the Program in Literature, the Department of Cultural Anthropology, the Department of African & African-American Studies, Duke Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Duke Performances, Duke Coffeehouse, the Program in Dance, and the Department of Music.

This event is a part of Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom, a nine-week art exhibit and accompanying series of conversations, screenings, performances, residencies, and workshops at Duke University organized by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics. The exhibit is curated by Édouard Duval-Carrié and Ada Ferrer and is based on a digital humanities project called Digital Aponte. More information online at

last angel image

Sunday, Sep 23 @ 7pm (Rubenstein Arts Center)
The Last Angel of History

(John Akomfrah, 1996, 45 min, UK)

A truly masterful film essay about Black aesthetics that traces the deployments of science fiction within pan-African culture. Screening with Black Star: Rebirth is Necessary (2017) and Invocation for José Antonio Aponte: Lámina 26 (2017).






afropunk imageThursday, Oct 11 @ 7pm (Rubenstein Arts Center)
(James Spooner, 2003, 66 min, USA)

Afro-punk follows the lives of four people of color who have dedicated themselves to a punk-rock lifestyle. The film explores issues of loneliness, exile, interracial dating and black power, all thorny examples of the “double consciousness” required to be the only black kid at a punk show. Preceded by music video Petite Noir, “Best”.



future imageThursday, Oct 18 @ 7pm (Rubenstein Arts Center)
Future Sound of Mzansi
(Nthato Mokgata & Lebo Rasethaba, 2015, 88 min, South Africa, in English)

Future Sounds of Mzansi aims to explore, express, and interrogate South Africa’s cultural landscape 20 years into its democracy through the region’s diverse electronic music scene.



dirty imageThursday, Oct 25 @ 7pm (Full Frame Theater)
Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” + Shorts Program
(Andrew Donoho & Chuck Lightning, 2018, 48 min, USA)

Janelle Monae’s dystopian, album-length “emotion picture” produced to accompany her album Dirty Computer is presented alongside a program of contemporary shorts.




god said imageFriday, Oct 26 @ 7pm (Full Frame Theater)
Special presentation of a work-in-progress:
God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines

(Kristian Hill, 2017, 60 min, USA)

Against the backdrop of a struggling city, God Said Give 'Em Drum Machines tells the lost stories of the underground music scene in 1980's Detroit and how it revolutionized and changed dance music forever.  – Q&A w/ curator Ingrid LaFleur, and the film's director, Kristian Hill, and executive producer, Jennifer Washington



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Screen/Society screenings are free and open to the public.