Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), the radical Philadelphia-based collaboration of musician and poet Camae Ayewa (AKA Moor Mother) and writer and activist Rasheedah Phillips, perform in Australian for the first time.
As BQF Ayewa and Phillips mobilise the revolutionary potential of Afrofuturist thought to manipulate and reorient perceptions of the past and present in ways that make alternative futures imaginable. Their vision derives its facets, tenets, and urgency from science-fiction, futurist traditions, and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space. BQF’s work incorporates workshops, radical pedagogy, community activism, DIY art practice, writing and experimental music.
Camae Ayewa is best known for her work as Moor Mother, a moniker through which since 2012 she has released music prolifically. The Moor Mother sound is deliberately abrasive; a noisy torrent of free jazz, hip-hop, poetry and punk (or, in her own words, ‘project-housing bop, slaveship punk, witch rap‘) collaged into experimental noise poems that speak to violence, trauma and the radical political struggles of black history. The album Fetish Bones, released in 2016, is already considered a contemporary masterpiece. Pitchfork described it as ‘a reminder of the hardships of love under the regime of historical trauma’ – an album ‘you will never be able to unhear’, and The Wire was moved to describe Moor Mother as ‘the most radical Afrofuturist artist to emerge for years’.
Rasheedah Phillips is a community housing activist, a mother, writer, the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, the co-creator of Black Quantum Futurism, and a founding member of Metropolarity Queer Sci-Fi collective. In 2014, she published her first speculative fiction collection, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales), followed by an anthology of experimental essays from Black visionary writers, Black Quantum Futurism: Theory & Practice Vol. I.