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ERIC Number: EJ787998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Afrofuturism/Chicanafuturism: Fictive Kin
Ramirez, Catherine S.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v33 n1 p185-194 Spr 2008
The concept of Chicanafuturism, which the author introduced in "Aztlan" in 2004, borrows from theories of Afrofuturism. Chicanafuturism explores the ways that new and everyday technologies, including their detritus, transform Mexican American life and culture. It questions the promises of science, technology, and humanism for Chicanas, Chicanos, and other people of color. And like Afrofuturism, which reflects diasporic experience, Chicanafuturism articulates colonial and postcolonial histories of "indigenismo", "mestizaje", hegemony, and survival. While it is indebted to Afrofuturism, the concept of Chicanafuturism was also inspired by the work of New Mexican artist Marion C. Martinez. Instead of applauding science and technology or condemning them altogether, Martinez's work shows how they have transformed Native American and Hispanic life and culture--and how one self-described "Indio-Hispanic" woman has transformed some of the tools of science and technology. Like black people, especially black women, Chicanas, Chicanos, and Native Americans are usually disassociated from science and technology, signifiers of civilization, rationality, and progress. At the same time, many Chicanas, Chicanos, and Native Americans have been injured or killed by and/or for science and technology. In addition, Chicanafuturism interrogates definitions of the human. El Teatro Campesino's "acto Los Vendidos", first performed in 1967 and thus one of the earliest examples of Chicanafuturism, offers a more expansive definition of "human" as it criticizes racist and classist perceptions of Chicanos and Mexicans, especially Mexican workers, as automatons. Finally, Chicanafuturism defamiliarizes the familiar. Like good science fiction, it brings into relief that which is generally taken for granted, such as tradition, history, or the norm, including normative gender and sexuality. (Contains 2 figures and 8 notes.)
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A