Art New England | Then, Now and Tomorrow: An Exploration of Afrofuturism

A Conversation Across Mediums (Part 1), by Shanta Lee

Some say that pop music artist Prince lived it. Others say Octavia Butler was the early scribe of it. Artists like Sun Ra manifested it through sound. The “it” in question is Afrofuturism. You may have heard the phrase or you may have some idea of what it means. It is no surprise that this expansive yet hard-to-contain-within-a-specific-fixed-point term takes on different shades of meaning across New England. Maine has a number of Afrofuturist artists; the state’s Humanities Council was awarded $250,000 in 2022 to share Afrofutursim texts throughout the state. Maine is also credited with being home to an earlier Afrofuturist feminist text by Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Of One Blood published in 1902. This feature is in two parts, starting with conversations with artists Liz Rhaney, Arisa White, and Brian Evans on how they define the term and how they engage with their craft within Afrofuturism across the mediums of light, sound, writing, choreography, and movement. In part two, the conversation continues with Maine Humanities executive director, Samaa Abdurraqib, on how Afrofuturism created a bridge across all citizens of Maine. Continue reading at