Surge: Multidimensional, Transcultural Afrofuturism Festival

Hester Karlton
UC Santa Cruz

Surge is a festival featuring online and in-person events that was held between the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz municipal Museum of Art and History in May 2022. The festival was spearheaded by UC Santa Cruz faculty Karlton Hester, Professor of Music and Digital Arts and New Media, Gerald Casel, Associate Professor of Theater Arts, and Gina Dent, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies and Legal Studies, with support from the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. Surge introduced audiences from the university, the Bay Area, and tourists to the region to scholars, artists, musicians, dancers, and filmmakers from across the University of California and beyond working within Afrofuturist traditions. Bringing together the university community and the broad public through radical experimentations in aesthetics, Global African innovation, and social justice, the performances and talks highlighted different sonic, visual, technological, and embodied forms intent on creating more equitable worlds.