Public Engagement

General Public

Afrofuturism Conference 2016: #Black is Viral

Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center , and UL 103, UL 104, and UL 105 (lower level) 63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100, New York, NY 10003

The 2nd annual Afrofuturism Conference, put on by Students of the African Diaspora of The New School, explores Afrofuturism as a cultural and aesthetic movement for the radical emancipation of people of color.

Last year's conference created a space in which people could be in conversation with one another in dissecting the concept of Afrofuturism and designing new narratives to empower the African Diaspora.

This year, The New School is excited to host what will be an inspiring, 3-day event entitled AfroFuturism: #BlackisViral. Students plan to continue the conversation and bring to light the virality of blackness by hacking the cultural divide with a cadre of makers, thinkers, artists, scholars and innovators to explore the matrix of Afrofuturism as a narrative for liberation. This will be done through a series of art happenings, performances, lectures, panels, workshops, theater pieces, film festival, music, scholarly works, and community events, etc, all of which will examine the platforms and products of black creators as art, language, and tools of subversion. 

"To be black and viral is remarkable. To be infectious and influential in spaces never designed for black, queer, immigrant, low-income voices is a testament to the ingenuity of black folks. To turn the products of tech companies manned by mostly white and mostly wealthy men into communal safe spaces for learning, laughing and affirmation is an amplification of how we create analogous spaces IRL. On a good day, these spaces stretch so far and wide that it's easy to forget that not all of the internet is black. In the robust American tradition of appropriation, the black creators of viral culture are unpaid, uncredited and excluded from the leadership of tech companies. But black is not only viral, it is infinite and it is plotting." - Ruth Gebreyesus, writer


Visit the conference website for a full schedule of events, including an off-site event on Friday, April 29th.

Event Type

Conferences and Symposia


General Public


Fashion, Fine Arts, Global Studies and Migration, Film, Politics, Storytelling and Communication, Social Justice, Video, Audio, and Web-based media, Race and Ethnicity




Free for New School Students, suggested donation of $5 - $25 for general public

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