Imagining Future Africa: Sci Fi, Innovation & Technology
Sunday 13 July, 16:30 – 17:30
BL Conference Centre, FREE
Panel discussion with Ivor W. Hartmann, writer, editor, publisher and visual artist; Tade Thompson, writer, psychiatrist and clinical director for Adult Mental Health at St James Hospital, Portsmouth; and Geoff Ryman, writer and senior lecturer at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester. With a contribution from Jonathan Ledgard, director of Future Africa – Afrotech Lab at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and author of Submergence. Moderated by Emma Dabiri, PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University and teaching fellow at SOAS.
In recent years, Africa’s engagement with technology and innovation has exploded. From telephone banking to the development of cargo drone routes, Africa is coming up with ideas and tech solutions that could be applied to the rest of the world. But what is in store for the future? The rich and complex field of contemporary African science fiction may hold the key to some of the answers. Focusing on African sci fi, speculative and fantasy writing, this panel will explore literature’s relationship to innovation and technology. How are African writers imagining their own futures and how do their visions align with those of scientists and technology entrepreneurs? What do their stories tell us about the continent’s future? What narratives and themes are emerging? And how do these relate to ancestral cultures and traditional systems of thought and story-telling? Join us to discuss our bold manifesto for Future Africa!