Call for Submissions: Let ‘Em Know We Watchin’
What is the value of the immense body of images, words, and stories shared on social media each day?
For one, a photo taken at the right time, at the right place, and posted to Instagram has the power to start a movement. One image can expose racial injustice, reaching across social barriers to tell a story that can’t be ignored.
But what about the violent lived experiences of Black people that still go unpictured? Or the pictures of police brutality that don’t spark national riots? What about images that are simply buried under a deluge of other information?
What do we do with these “failed” images? Join us in our effort to protect Black stories, especially the stories that would be considered too minor to tell.
From now through December 14, we welcome submissions that document this year in Black life and culture. We are looking for photos, artwork, stories, ephemera, interviews, diary entries, blog posts, and more. We welcome the big and the small, the individual, to the family system, to pop culture, to political policy, to international networks of creative people.
Your submissions will become part of a series of printed anthologies, to be published in 2021; a new online archive; and a digital oral history album available on Bandcamp. Proceeds from book and album sales will help fund the future of CAS programming in 2021 and beyond.
Submitted images, texts, and audio should make us rethink the idea of journalism and reportage: how do we go beyond mere documentation of our stories to the creation of a living archive that transforms us as it tells us its stories?
At the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, we want to cement the legacies of living Black artists while expressing our commitment to a long canon of Black artistic production that spans decades and nations. Our vision of Black futurity is far-reaching. Afrofuturism is not contemporary nor is it limited to American race politics.
We aren’t interested in being gatekeepers. This isn’t about finding the most compelling stories or the most aesthetically successful images. This is about finding a home for all the vestiges of Black life that would go unseen otherwise. For that reason, we welcome submissions from artists and non-artists alike.
To participate, submit by Monday, December 14 at 11:59pm EST. All submissions will be included.