Guest editorial for themed section Black Panther and Afrofuturism: theoretical discourse and review


This article proposes that Black Panther, with its aesthetic and thematic emphasis on Afrofuturism, as well as its spectacular technical production, makes a unique contribution to cinematic history in several significant ways. In order to establish these noteworthy contributions, both the film and Afrofuturism are engaged with. This article is divided into three distinct parts. Part I provides a brief theoretical overview of Black Panther and Afrofuturism. Part II, a short review, follows. Co-authored by Mark Kirby-Hirst, the review contextualises and analyses the film within the bounds of Afrofuturism and twenty-first century art and film criticism, in an effort to argue for the relevance and import of such a unique and yet mainstream piece of cinema history; which, we conclude, is owing in no small part to the rise in popularity of decolonising tendencies in the humanities, in art, and in wider twenty-first century visual culture. The last section of this article, Part III, provides a brief synopsis of the contributing articles to this special themed section of Image & Text.