2013 - 2015
Currently cross-translating between the visual languages of Indian miniaturist art, Blaxploitation, and the images produced by the Hubble Deep Field Telescope, the series AFRIKA GALAKTIKA takes on science fiction elements inspired by Afro-Futurism, a movement that critiques and re-imagines the experiences and future of Afrodiasporic peoples. The central themes of Neo-exoticism, or perceptions of ethnic female sexuality prevalent in Western culture – a set of (mostly manufactured) ideas used to market products to wealthy Anglosaxon consumers, as well as perpetuate an exoticized, idealized image of ethnic female sexuality - are explored further. This revolt on the picture plane is personified by the image of AFRIKA GALAKTIKA, a black heroine who travels through space and takes up arms with other warriors in displays of brutal, dynamic and arousing power – a counterbalance to white military spectacle as portrayed in propaganda on screen, print and other advertising media.
The body shapes are in opposition to contemporary notions of beauty, and an overt sexiness, both in pose and proportion, and the cultural implications thereof, are brought to the surface. The styles of armor and weapons are referential to and derivative of ethnographic photographs of tribal women still being published today; the legacy of colonial ethnography used to objectify and categorize those thought of as the ‘less civilized’ portion of the human population. Deep-space images and the influence of Afrofuturism go hand in hand as an inspirational launchpad. As these images begin to saturate global media, they also crystalize into the imaginations, hopes and dreams of displaced peoples. Other futures beg to unravel; fantastic and explosive, filled with revolution and paradigm shifts of thought and vision.