The future is frightening, but we are strong. We will prevail.
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We Are Vibrant, Still

Trying to process the results of the United States election has been exhausting and terrifying. Hope is sorely needed, and to me, that means recognizing vibrancy and life. This week we feature optimistic projections of the world that all of us might create, and images of the future we want for our children.

The New Clothes of Eddy Ilunga

Colorful circuit-board painting by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga.
Colorful circuit-board painting by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga.
Back in March, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga was featured on African Digital Art. Ilunga is a Congolese artist who lives and works in Kinshasa, DRC. From his artist's statement:
"Despite defying colonisation [the Mangbetu people] nevertheless suffer from a phenomenon of acculturation caused by the postcolonial will to modernise. The last survivors of the Mangbetu culture are today struggling to save their heritage from extinction."
Ilunga's artwork shows the fusion of info-industrialization with traditional clothing. Modernity literally covers the bodies of his subjects, but they are still distinctly themselves, displaying traditional patterns, colors, and forms.

In other words, melting pots still have distinct ingredients.

A Profusion of Faces by Wayne Lawrence

Two smiling women in matching outfits. Photo by Wayne Lawrence.
A man sits in a chair in front of the ocean. Photo by Wayne Lawrence.
Melancholy? Joy? Tranquility? Annoyance? Photographer Wayne Lawrence captures a wide array of human emotion with his lens, both in street photography and commercial work. Human nature is full of idiosyncrasies, which Lawrence's photographs celebrate.

The Next World, Imagined by Cristina De Middel

African space explorer. Photo by Cristina De Middel.
In an eerily beautiful photo series called Senegal, Cristina De Middel depicts an African space explorer stranded on a strange planet. He explores the buildings, oceans, and plants he finds there. The aesthetic is very quiet, augmented by artful lighting and simple statement costumes. Elon Musk should take a look at this one.

Señor Salme's Neoclassicism

Illustration of a robot dancer by Señor Salme.
Señor Salme is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Málaga, Spain. His drawing of a robot ballerina shows that even the human creations we think of as industrial or inhuman can be full of grace and beauty.

Salme also created the artwork below. The image file was labeled "Atenea" — the Spanish name for the Greek goddess Athena. She's the goddess of wisdom, but she's willing to go to war.
A woman in an elaborate headdress stares back at the viewer.
As I said before, the past couple of weeks have been rough. In times of struggle, art takes on oversized importance. It helps us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and redefine who we are in this altered world. Grieving is okay. Being scared is okay. Channeling creative energy into protesting and resisting this new regime — that's crucial. ✊🏾

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