Astonishing African Futures

Astonishing African Futures

Interviewers: Anne Strainchamps, Steve Paulson Interviewees: Mshai Mwangola, Nnedi Okorafor, Ainehi Edoro, Marlon James

In this fourth and final episode of Ideas from Africa Anne Strainchamps and Steve Paulson, producers and hosts of To the Best of Our Knowledge, explore what how African science fiction writers tell stories about their own imagined future, in three segments:

  • Deconstructing 'Black Panther': African Scholars Respond to the Hollywood Blockbuster: The "Black Panther" movies have been cultural touchstones. They’ve also sparked a lively dialogue on how Hollywood tells stories about Africa. Anne Strainchamps talked with Kenyan scholar Mshai Mwangola about her take on "Black Panther."
  • 'Africanfuturism' and dreaming of bigger, bolder African futures: Given the chance, how do Africans tell stories about their own imagined future? And how might the story be different? To get a sense of where African science fiction is heading, we talked with Nnedi Okorafor and Ainehi Edoro.
  • How Marlon James Created His African 'Game of Thrones': After Jamaican writer Marlon James won the Booker Prize, he plunged into the world of African witches and demons, tricksters and shapeshifters. James recounts how he created his Dark Star Trilogy by digging into old African myths and folklore.

Special thanks go to Anne Strainchamps, Steve Paulson, and Craig Eley for the production of this episode. Anne and Steve joined CHCI in Addis Ababa in January 2019 as part of the Consortium's African Humanities Initiative. This initiative is invested in supporting lasting opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary humanities research, publication, and community participation. Focusing on Africa and its global connections, this program draws upon CHCI's strengths in bringing together multiple types of humanities organizations beyond those located in universities such as galleries, museums, libraries, archives, publishing houses, street theatres, public radio, and a host of other creative media.

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