African Futures

Interdisciplinary festival in Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Berlin – supported by the TURN Fund

African Futures © Goethe-Institut / Jonx Pillemer

“If you want to have any idea of the world that is coming, the world ahead of us, look at Africa!”, says Cameroonian writer and intellectual Achille Mbembe. From Lagos to Nairobi to Johannesburg, the continent is giving answers to global questions of the future. What might an African future look like? How do artists and academics imagine this future? And what forms and narratives of science fiction have African artists developed? These are some of the questions addressed by the project “African Futures”, organized by the Goethe-Institut.

Three concurrent interdisciplinary festivals took place in Johannesburg/South Africa, Lagos/Nigeria and Nairobi/Kenya exploring the future through narrative and artistic expression - within literature, as well as the fine arts, performance, music and film, including various digital formats. Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Spoek Mathambo (SA), Faustin Linyekula (DRC), Achille Mbembe (SA/Cameroon) and many others were engaged in building bridges between the arts, technology and critical discourse.

The project “The Incantation of the Disquieting Muse” at Berlin’s SAVVY Contemporary marked the conclusion of “African Futures”. Stories and legends of “witchcraft” are ubiquitous in many societies in Africa today. This project featured performances, lectures and an exhibition, which explore the extent of which these legends manifest themselves in cultural, economic and religious life.

African Futures was a project of the Goethe-Institut South Africa.

Curatorial board: Bonaventure Ndikung (CM/DE), Ntone Edjabe (CM/ZA), Raimi Gbadamosi (NG/ZA), Thenjiwi Niki Nkosi (US/ZA), Steven Markovitz (ZA)


Scheduled dates

Festival in Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi: 28 Oct. 2015 – 31 Oct. 2015, Goethe-Institut Johannesburg


TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.

More about the TURN Fund

Press Release

of the Goethe-Institut South Africa:

Press Release (external link, opens in a new window)


Goethe-Institut Südafrika

119 Jan Smuts Avenue

Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193

Südafrika (external link, opens in a new window)