Missing Black Technofossils Here (2020-2023) addresses the lack of representation of people of African descent in the public sphere by revisiting select regional public spaces and monuments through an AR experience. Users can rediscover narratives that have been excluded from history and digitally disrupt, decolonize, and insert their own speculative landmarks in public space. These landmarks can subsequently be documented and preserved forever in digital form, either on the users’ devices (which become technofossils of their own) or on the World Wide Web.
In this Montréal iteration, Missing Black Technofossils Here will feature six historical sites, where you will be able to take pictures and videos to add an Ancestral Technofossil to any chosen public space.
Missing Black Technofossils Here is informed by the Afrofuturism movement, which uses technology, speculation, metaphysics, and, in some cases, science fiction together with African diasporic and continental legacies to explore healing and evolution from an African perspective. This concept of connecting the past, present, and future is referred to as “Sankofa,” and the practice of it is called “Sankofanology.” Afrofuturism and AR highlight the potential and power of the speculative as a catalyst for change and transformation of a person’s reality and experience. As a Sankofanology practice, AR connects to Afrofuturism by allowing for shared imaginative experiences through a platform where time and space are altered.
The Missing Black Technofossils Here walking tour was inspired by and is in dialogue with other initiatives, such as Camille Turner’s Miss Canadiana Heritage and Culture Walking Tour (2011), which took place in Toronto; Dr. Dorothy W. Williams and Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)’s memoryscape, Living History: 100 Years of Black History, Culture and Heritage; and Rito Joseph’s Black Montreal Experiences.