© 2018 by Onye Ahanotu

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • SoundCloud - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle

Afro-Presentism

Presentism, is the philosophical view that the present is the only ‘Time’ that exists, and that past and the future do not. This series seeks to call attention to the present day on The Continent, along with the mix of old & new, transitions, and warnings that come with modernity. Presentism acknowledges the past, but realizes that the present should hold the spot-light, that is to say one cannot languish in recounting the wrongs of yesterday. It is the road that leads to the future and through inspection of the present as well as the events that have led to them, is vital to moving towards a better future. 

 

The Afro-Futurism movement, that started within the African-American community in the 1960’s sought to paint a very different view of the future than what they were being told was “possible”. Artists such as Sun-Ra, laid the foundation for the genre. However, in present day, it seems that the Afro-Futurism movement is quite different and gaining popularity in the Western Art World. The current movement seems to play into the dystopian future of Africa or the impossibly contradictory (e.g. nomadic villagers traveling space). While exploring a surrealist space,

such concepts have little to no connection with reality. While these may have their place, it is dangerous for such to become popular, while there is still relatively no understanding for the realities on the continent, beyond the starving children paraded by charities, remote communities and wildlife.

While there are many challenges in the ‘Global South’, compared to the ‘North’, there are many conveniences and contributions that the North will never enjoy and in away are trying to create complex systems for problems which have simple solutions. With development comes some benefits but also come restrictions (e.g. on food sale, business, and transportation). This series looks to document this pivotal time in Nigeria, while giving insight into the day-to-day experiences, celebrations, and regional distinctions among just a small part of the country: Delta, South East, and Central regions.