Photo: Duarte Amaral Netto

Bridging Afrofuturism and Arab SF: Locating the Contemporary Algerian SF within the Postcolonial Speculative Fiction

Ali Bouacha Oualid, Amar Telidji University – Laghouat

Kaid Nassima, Djillali Liabes University – Sidi Bel Abbès

Abstract | Afrofuturism synthesizes Science Fiction (SF) with African attributes resulting in a cultural celebration through futuristic visions encompassing popular art forms including literature, music, cinema, etc. Nevertheless, the term has inherently been associated with black Africa, disregarding the remaining ethnic and racial groups within the same continent. Intriguingly, black authors comprise the exclusive producers of any artistic work associated with Afrofuturism despite the potential enrichment that nonblack African cultures may add to the subgenre. This paper explores the reasons behind the unshared influence of the black diaspora SF authorship on their African counterparts, particularly apparent in the themes treating racial and gender issues. This article also examines the similarities and differences between Arab SF and the African one in order to situate Algerian SF within the postcolonial SF scene in general, and Afrofuturism in particular. To achieve such purposes, this paper juxtaposes Arab SF with Afrofuturism by reflecting on their colonial and postcolonial experiences respectively. Moreover, we inquire about the intriguing lack of such literary endeavour in the Arab world, specifically in North Africa, taking into consideration the historical commonalities witnessed throughout the continent, which should have promoted similar artistic expressions.

Keywords | Science fiction; Postcolonial; Afrofuturism; Arab SF; Algerian SF