Humanizing the Landscape from the Edge(s) of Empire: Wakanda-Geographies of the Global South

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This paper offers South geographies as real-world activations of “Wakanda” zones, zones at the edges of Empire. It offers Southern black expressive cultures (specifically, the Global South nation of Trinidad) as Afrofurtural in their capacities for articulating new calibrations of black freedom (in relation to real-world enduring structures of black capture). This paper focuses specifically on the invention of the steelpan in the Afro-Trinidadian village of Laventille, showing that the geography conditioning the instrument’s production is Wakanda-like. As such, it reads, in the technological invention of the steelpan, an Afrofutural articulation of a black freedom. Unlike the black freedom central to the cinematic rendition of Wakanda, the black freedom of Laventille’s steelpan world is not completely disentangled from global systems of anti-black violence. However, steelpan’s expressive culture does establish, in the present, a futural gesture of what it means for black living to overflow such global systems of black death-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalNew Political Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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