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Flying Lotus to Headline Carnegie Hall’s 2022 Afrofuturism Festival

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On Saturday, February 12, Carnegie Hall in New York will kickstart its 2022 Afrofuturism Festival in honor of Black History Month. It comes with a live performance from award-winning record producer, DJ, and rapper Flying Lotus.

With creative activities planned until April 3, the celebration is composed of over 80 live and virtual festivities—counting in visual arts and technology exposition, film screenings and committee deliberation that will be offered by over 70 cultural institutions in partnership—Apollo Theater, The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, The National Black Theatre, and The Africa Center included.

Musical presentations will be rendered by Sun Ra Arkestra with Kelsey Lu and Moor Mother, Nicole Mitchell and Angel Bat Dawid, Chimurenga Renaissance and Fatuomata Diawara, the Car Craig Synthesizer Ensemble and Theo Croker, in the weeks to come.

Mere days prior to showtime, headliner Flying Lotus and Adriaan Fuchs, director of festivals and special projects at Carnegie Hall, were interviewed by the media. Both spoke about the importance of Afrofuturism and the significance of the Afrofuturism Festival.

Fuchs said, “With each of the festivals we do at Carnegie Hall, we rely on external advisors to provide us with the expertise in terms of artists we should be booking and partnering organizations that should be involved.”

“We turned to a team of five incredible Afrofuturism advisors—Reynaldo Anderson, King James Britt, Louis Chude-Sokei, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Ytasha L. Womack—and they have been shaping this festival for the last two years,” he added.

“Plans got derailed because of the pandemic,” he confessed. “But we really wanted to include both legacy artists that have been at the forefront of Afrofuturism and the new torch bearers of the genre.”

The concert is another blessing in Flying Lotus’ already booming career. “With where my music is heading currently, this feels very appropriate.”

“[Carnegie Hall] is a different atmosphere for the things I’ve been doing and it’s an opportunity for me to move in a new direction musically that is fitting,” he adds. “I have so much music in my catalog that I couldn’t play at a normal music festival because people want to dance and party. With this, everyone will be sitting down, so it will fall into more of a cerebral experience.”

Among 80 festival events, Fuchs stated that he’s specifically expecting the online Afrofuturist Writing deliberation between highly regarded authors Samuel R. Delany and Namwali Serpell, with Smaran Daval as moderator. The commemoration will be hosted by Columbia University’s Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America.

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