CARIBBEAN FUTURISM ©2007 Thomas Talawa Prestø
Are acts of Futurism which draw from non-Western cosmologies. Caribbean Futurism is a process of Ancient Future. Caribbean Futurism, due to the deep cultural practices of Voudun, Santeria, Condomblé and other African cosmological constructs that are indigenous to the Caribbean experience, a stronger link with African Futurism than the African American Diasporic practice of Afro-Futurism.
Throughout the last several centuries of global enslavement and wages, Non-European people’s lives, work, and acts of resistance in the Caribbean have directly innovated the foundations and value systems of global capitalism. In connection they have also influenced the frameworks of histories, sciences, and representational aesthetics.
Their acts of resistance have hybridized past cultural, social, political, and religious experiences from around the world. Because of the impossible future of the enslaved and disenfranchised, progress itself is an act of futurism with a cost. As such Caribbean philosophy and practice of art are in themselves acts of Caribbean Futurism which simultaneously create such a future. Bob Marleys songs of “until the philosophy that holds one race superior” and “One Love” are Futurism, much like Martin Luther Kings “I have a dream” is also a futuristic speechact. Caribbean cultural forms have developed a conscious capacity to play with time and space, especially within the last century. For example, a Caribbean novel can leap “forward,” as well as “backward,” as well as speculatively vault “across” times, because its people have been integral to the creation of how human activity is narratively measured. As well, a Caribbean choreography can traverse lands from around this world and others because its people, their ancestors, and new generations travel these vast distances.
These cultural forms–“Caribbean Futurisms”–interweave within a diasporic malleability of “Afro-Futurisms.” Notably, they manifest a uniquely hybridized and condensed position in which Afro-Futurisms can play with Latinx-Futurisms, Indian-Futurisms, Indigen-Futurisms, Asian-Futurisms, and Arab-Futurisms. Furthermore, Caribbean Futurisms (and African-Futurisms) dramatically contrast with, for example, the militarist Italian Futurism of Filippo Marinetti, and the Artificial Intelligence Futurism of Ray Kurzweil, to name a few incompatible projects of the namesake.