The Vibe Was Silver: Beyoncé Brings Afrofuturistic Feminism to the World Stage

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour has been making waves across Europe for the last month. Many of us were unprepared for the power she would unleash. We had to be in our seats an hour before the show began, and the venue was buzzing in anticipation. When she finally appeared, in a metallic body suit with winged shoulder pads, it quickly became apparent that the vibe of the show was Afrofuturism. Her 2020 visual album Black Is King has already been analyzed through the lens of this cultural movement, and it seems Beyoncé is continuing these futuristic visuals on her world tour.

Afrofuturism is a trending movement in literature, music and the visual arts, seen as a way of understanding the African diaspora, not by looking back, but by looking forward. This gaze towards the future is a hopeful gesture that moves beyond the traumas of the past (and present). Characterized by elements of science-fiction, technology, cosmic exploration and alternate realities, it has been exploding in popular culture.