Afro-now-ism is the “Now-Now” of Afrofuturism

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  • Title: Afro-now-ism is the “Now-Now” of Afrofuturism: The Nexus of Afrikanness, Design, and Cultural Production
  • Author(s): Bruce Cadle
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Designed Objects
  • Keywords: Afrofuturism, Afro-now-ism, Afrika, Afrikanness, Design, Culture, Production
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: October 19, 2022
  • ISSN: 2325-1379 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1395 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Cadle, Bruce . 2022. "Afro-now-ism is the “Now-Now” of Afrofuturism: The Nexus of Afrikanness, Design, and Cultural Production." The International Journal of Designed Objects 17 (1): 27-43. doi:10.18848/2325-1379/CGP/v17i01/27-43.
  • Extent: 17 pages

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The phenomenon referred to as “Afro-now-ism” is a response to the popularization of the term “Afrofuturism,” coined by diasporic Africans in the United States and largely applied to musical, literary, and artistic practice that “imagines” a future or fantasy space where the Black voice exists outside of Eurocentric, modernist thinking, and creative practices. This article considers Afro-now-ism in relation to Afrikanness and cultural production in design and visual communication and argues for ownership of culturally significant production by continental Afrikans. Because an empirical analysis is insufficient to determine the “essence” or “feel” of artifacts, Hall’s “negotiated reading” visual methodology and Pauwels’ visual analysis model are used to make the case for design that embodies tradition, culture, history, and appropriation, to express this Afrikanness—the essence of Afro-now-ism.