Lu Ain-Zaila’s Sankofa and Brazilian Afrofuturism: Akan Philosophy and Black Utopia in a Postapocalyptic World

  • Emanuelle K.F. Oliveira-Monte Vanderbilt University
Keywords: Afro-Brazilian literature, science fiction, Afrocentrism, Adinkra symbols


This article examines how Lu Ain-Zaila’s postapocalyptic Duologia Afro-Brasil 2408—(In)Verdades: Ela está predestinada a mudar tudo (2016) and (R)Evolução: Eu e a verdade somos o ponto final (2017)—places Akan philosophy at the center of her Afrofuturistic project. Ain-Zaila builds her narrative around Ghanaian Adinkra symbols, using them as moral and ethical guidelines for her characters and as tools for readers to reflect. I propose that her literary project provides an alternative to the Western philosophical tradition, one that emphasizes Afrocentrism and Afro-Brazilian consciousness and experience. I also argue that her duology envisions a utopic future based on Black people’s ancestral knowledge and Afro-Brazilians’ struggles for recognition, equality, and social justice.