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This interactive seminar aims to explore the concept of equality, being the cornerstone of democracy. Yet, democratic nation-states are no equal spaces. Increasing awareness about intersectional inequalities is met with growing backlash. How can we prevent the reproduction of existing inequalities in our thinking about a more solidaristic future?
Event details of Democratic Futures: Decolonial and Afrofuturistic Perspectives
13 June 2024
10:00 -12:30

How can we prevent the reproduction of existing inequalities in designing the future in scholarship, policy making and the arts? We tackle this question in an interactive seminar. Three speakers will give a 10-minute introduction to start a collective thinking process about the future with the speakers and the audience.

Pamela Ohene-Nyako will delve into Black-European Afrofuturism. She will discuss the historicity and practicality of afrofuturism by an examination of Oshadi Mangena’s (1931-2015) antiracist, feminist, and Black Christian activism in the Netherlands. Darshan Vigneswaran will trigger our thinking about drafting the constitution for a spacefaring species. In the coming decades humans will establish a lasting presence in outer space. He will focus on the political dimensions of this problem. Micha Hamel will give a presentation about the large-scale musical and visual installation

Earth Workers Requiem/Jubilate, which is inspired by geological time scales of the deep past and deep future. Visitors are invited to take a seat in the landscape as fossils-in-the-making among the fossils of the past and future: as earthworkers among earthworkers, who, in a landscape of contemplation, crisis and protest, are incited to radical solidarity, uniting to fight for a collective deep future.

We actively invite policy makers, politicians, artists and scholars from a variety of disciplines to register and engage in this discussion.

About the Speakers

Pamela Ohene-Nyako (PhD candidate, University of Geneva) works on Black European women’s internationalism and intersectional thought from the 1960s to 2000s. She is the founder of Afrolitt’, a bilingual literary platform that seeks to promote black literature and stimulate critical thought.

Darshan Vigneswaran is an Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Director of the Decolonial Futures Research Priority Area. He has written extensively on the politics of migration in Asia and Africa. His current research focusses on the politics of outer space colonization. 

Micha Hamel is an artist and composes for amateurs, professionals, choirs, ensembles and orchestras as well as for theatre companies. He published five collections of poetry and works also as a performer, artistic leader, poet and researcher.

About the Organizers

Liza Mügge is Associate Professor in political science at the University of Amsterdam. She leads several research projects on the politics of diversity in which she draws on interdisciplinary thinking and mixed methods. 
Thijs Bol is professor in Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality studies. His work focuses on understanding inequality in education, the labor market, and science.