CANCELLED We Are Not Aliens: Arthur Jafa, Martine Syms, and Afro-Futurism 2.0

** This event has been cancelled. **

This exhibition assembles select artistic projects that investigate emancipatory futures of justice opposed to historical and contemporary racism, socioeconomic inequality, and state violence. It centers around Arthur Jafa's startling and moving video "Love is the Message, the Message is Death," which offers a short account of anti-black police brutality as well as speculative visions of African-American emancipation, collective resistance, and poetic love. The piece includes a short passage of artist Martine Syms delivering her "Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto" in which she states "We are not aliens”—critically distancing herself from earlier formulations of Afro-futurism and making a powerful case for its contemporary reinvention. The exhibition will reproduce her text as an artistic wall painting and also include an hour-long KCET video that explores the inspirational ideas behind the Manifesto, which lays out visions of African-American creativity dedicated to the radical imagination of a coming world of liberation.

The exhibition is part of Beyond the End of the World, which comprises a year-long research and exhibition project and public lecture series, directed by professor T. J. Demos of UCSC's Center for Creative Ecologies. The project brings leading international thinkers and cultural practitioners to UC Santa Cruz to discuss what lies beyond dystopian catastrophism, and how we can cultivate radical futures of social justice and ecological flourishing.

The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture, and administered by UCSC's Humanities Institute. For more information visit BEYOND.UCSC.EDU

*     *     *     *     *
FREE and open to the public.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 2, 5:00-7:00PM 
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, April 2–Saturday, May 9, 2020
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 12-noon to 5PM and Wednesdays until 8PM
Parking permit required (available at paystation in parking lot or from attendant, if present).

Image credit:
Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome. 
Arthur Jafa
Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death
Video (color, sound)
7 minutes, 25 seconds
(AJ 001)

Friday, April 3

Sesnon Gallery, Porter College
Baskin Service Road, Santa Cruz, California 95064

Event Type


Invited Audience

Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students, Prospective Students, General Public, Graduate Students


Arts & Culture


Arts Division, History of Art/Visual Culture


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