Arte: Detroit’s Afrotopia Holds Call to Artists for Spring 2015

AFROTOPIA invites artists to re-imagine Detroit through the lens of Afrofuturism for the upcoming exhibition DETROIT IS AFROTOPIA taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, spring 2015.

The landscape of Detroit is at once utopian and dystopian. The belief that Detroit is a depressed city relies heavily on a post-apocalyptic interpretation that has shaped revitalization efforts. This dystopian point of departure negates its long standing cultural legacy that has flourished for over the past 80 years, a product of the voluntary Black migrants from the south of United States.

After the 1967 rebellion, Detroit became the largest major US city where Black Americans are the majority, now at 82 percent. Although social injustices continued, the auto industry helped to close the economic gap for a historically under-recognized and under-privileged group. This unique Black experience in the US has given birth to years of experimental artistic practices and radical ideas.

Choosing an utopian perspective and building upon Detroit’s Afrofuturist heritage, DETROIT IS AFROTOPIA centralizes Black cultural production and technoculture in the envisioning of Detroit’s future. AFROTOPIA invites artists to address the challenges Detroit now faces using Afrofuturism as a framework for transformation.

We are accepting multi-disciplinary submissions: visual art (illustration, photography, painting, sculpture, video, etc.), fashion, literature, sound, dance, theatre, design, film, culinary art, etc…

DETROIT IS AFROTOPIA is a part of the award-winning curatorial project AFROTOPIA created by independent curator Ingrid LaFleur. Using the contemporary arts movement Afrofuturism as vehicle for social change, AFROTOPIA activates the city of Detroit through education and the arts. AFROTOPIA aims to inspire and create space for radical creative practices that bring about positive transformation. The project includes workshops for youth, exhibitions and events.


Submitting artists don’t have to be from Detroit, just a Detroit lover. Knowledge of Detroit must be demonstrated in the work of art. Each submission must re-imagine one or more of the following areas:

Security, ie alternative policing systems
Urban landscape
Lighting systems, ie street lights, traffic lights
Urban farming and food distribution
Please include in your submission:




Title of work





Artist statement about the submission and Detroit (optional)

Artist bio

Images of work

Acceptable formats for images: jpeg, pdf, mp3 or link to sound project. For fashion, a sketch or brief statement of concept is fine. We just need to get an idea of the project.

Submissions are due by December 15, 2014

Email submissions to with Exhibition Submission in the subject line.

Forward questions to Ingrid LaFleur at

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