Fiction writer and screenwriter Michael Roach has recently been published Te Mao. This Afrofutarist novel focuses on outsiders seeking to find the land of their ancestors, buried somewhere beneath a technology-futuristic city. Conference.
Your novel is part of science fiction, and more explicitly part of aphrodisiacism. What is Afrofuturism?
Afrofuturism is a multifaceted movement in science fiction. It’s not just about literature, it’s about music, movies or the plastic industry. It was clearly identified in the 1990s, although its origins date back to the second half of the XIX.And During the Century American Civil War or the African Colonial Occupation, artists used speculative fiction as a tool for political liberation. Afrofuturism, from its origins, combines advanced technology, mysticism, and Afrocentric themes. It is a movement of futuristic narrative that focuses on characters who are often marginalized in traditional Western science fiction.
However, the development of Francophone aphrofuturism is slow. It is the lack of culture and collective imagination that we have to work with because it is so rich in both images and ideas and it would be a shame to deprive the world of these elements.
In which future world does the plot of your novel take place?
Te Mao Set in the universe of Lanville, a huge megalopolis that stretches horizontally from Cuba to Venezuela, connecting the ancient islands. It is a vast city that has covered and hidden the islands we know from our Caribbean arc. So it spreads vertically, at the social level: those that exist, are withdrawn to the heart of Lanville and are in touch with the rest of the world. The plot took place in this city around 2070-2080, in a high-tech, cyberpunk world.
“Francophone is slow to develop aphrodisiacism. It lacks the culture and collective imagination that we have to work with because it is so rich in both images and ideas and it would be a shame to deprive the world of these elements.”
The characters we follow are what they are looking for in All-World, which will be the land of their ancestors stuck somewhere under the tower of Lanville. This search is actually a relational search for “stay together”. It is a transformational quest to create a universe with all the diversity of a republic from its original universality.
Holograms, blockchains, artificial intelligence, many technologies are mentioned in your book.
These are technologies that are in the process of evolving, including our first outline of development and energy. We can already guess at them to imagine what their use will be in the world of tomorrow, even if they are not yet democratic.
The technical method, however, is secondary. I became more and more attracted to the social aspects of the future, which is really at the center of the novel. The question of my interest is the body that goes through a finite system, driven or intervened by a technology whose tragic powers surpass it. I ask questions and I try to represent the lives of people in this universe. The cyberpunk side acts as a tool to allow the characters to free themselves from their status, deepening their relationship with society. With Te MaoI subscribe to the Afrofuturist Exploration extension, where the relationship to future technology is a metaphor for a world that escapes the heroes, or it allows them to move on.
For this book, I was inspired by what my daily life consists of, the culture that surrounds me, but also by reading it. All-world agreement By Edward Gleesant or Storyteller, night and basket, Patrick Camouflage’s latest novel. These are the foundations of the social thought employed in the novel.
When you talk about the screen, you are talking about the colony, the screens are manipulating the behavior and moving away from reality.
I mean, colonialism is an element of our current society. Coming out of the colonial empire, the social construction of the relationship of domination has not evaporated, it still exists in a more systematic way. But new colonization – by the screen – has gone beyond the construction of the last century, especially ethnic and gender, and is now based on this use of the screen. This, in fact, allows a manipulation of the public that will not be separated from the ethnic or social origin of the people.
“The question I am interested in is whether the body that goes through a finite system is informed or abused by a technology whose tragic powers transcend it.”
The Lanville screen and their guesses take my characters away from reality. They are fighting against the conjecture of others. They blind themselves, practically creating the reality they feed on with imagination and superstition, and forgetting that it is detached from their daily reality, disconnected, closest to their bodies, that they must begin to fight: the struggle against self-exploitation.
In your work, different languages are present, such as French, Creole and Verlaine. Why?
It is a way for readers to experience the whole world that is present in the book, looking for ways to keep in this world relationship, to be intricate and to isolate themselves. The use of all these languages allows the reader to approach the process of Creolization, which uses the words of Edward Gleesant, a process by which different cultures are brought into contact, in a brutal and accelerated way, and consequently an unexpected manifestation of a new cultural truth. This process continues and develops on its own without ever fixing the identity. Readers can take a position like this: either enter into a relationship or withdraw within themselves.
The use of these languages depicts the relationship between different levels of society, from top to bottom and from the heart to the surroundings. This communication through language, both characters present in Lanville where the whole world comes together and in expansion, the practice that readers practice, is the first step towards respect and concern for difference.
Te MaoMichael Roach, La Volte, € 18.