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2020 | 34(1) | 63-83

Article title

Black utopian and dystopian technological simulation: Tupac Shakur’s holographic persona at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival



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Tupac Shakur’s holographic persona at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California is a point of departure for discussing the Black utopian and dystopian imagery in a future world through technological innovation. In conversation with hip hop studies and critical race theory, Afrofuturism is used as an aesthetic and humanistic methodology to interpret the manner in which Tupac’s posthumous representation complicates ethical, cultural, and theological debates about idealistic and undesirable depictions of Black virtual reality. Understanding Tupac’s routine through an Afrofuture perspective presents a model for assessing perceptions of virtual Black life in the context of a range of social issues, including the perspectives of alternative Black religious futures, resistance of Black artists to White appropriation and altering of Black dead people for the purposes of profit-making. Tupac’s performance underscores the need for broader dialogue, not only on the racial implications of post-human mediations in public space, but also the ideological challenges that Black scholars of future studies face due to larger cultural concerns, especially those of the White hegemony in a hyper-commodified digital age.





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