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Space Is the Place (15) (LC)

Journeys across Afro-Futurism

A still from Space is the Place

The film is an eccentric mixture of African iconography and space age technology, structured around the persona of renowned jazz musician and Astro traveller Sun Ra.

This cult classic captures, and in many ways establishes, the visual appearance of Afro-Futurism.

The starting point both of the film and of Sun Ra’s persona transports the figure of the African American into an unspecified future, informed by a Space Race obsessed 1960’s US and the desire for closer connection between African traditions and cultures.

By doing so, the stereotypical, racist caricatures and attitudes created by White America during this period are subverted, by presenting Blackness through this connection between African traditions and technology. It creates an aesthetic that is both steeped in recognisably African emblems, icons, music and colours, and informed by space-age futuristic technology. John Coney's film becomes an origin myth of sorts for the character of Sun Ra. 

US 1974 Dir John Coney 85 min

Here is the Imagination of the Black Radical 
UK 2021 Dir Rhea Storr 10 min

LC = Local classification

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