The Future of the Multimedia and Telecommunications Infrastructure
A Plausible Scenario for the Year 2005
Africa Ascendant/Borderless World
Presented by Marilyn Nance
December 10, 1997

The Interactive Telecommunications Program
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
New York City

Africa Ascendant/Borderless World Script:

Year two thousand and five. Borderless World.

How did we get here?

Its all in the code.

Let’s go back to the 15th century.

The 15th to the 18th century was the time of the European invasion of the
continent of Africa.

African centers of higher learning, the initiation schools, were
suppressed by colonial powers, and the esoteric teachings that integrated
art, science, medicine, technology, and religion went underground. African
people were dispersed.

The forbidden codes of the African universities were imported into the New
World and were expressed and communicated in dance, music, in gesture, in
speech, and foods. The entire world is informed by expressions of the
African code such as ragtime, jazz, bebop, rhythm &  blues, boogie
woogie, soul, hip hop, tango, mambo, reggae and rap. These African timing
devices are pieces of code that have resurfaced in the Americas. 

The African code tempers and modulates the rule of the key
invention of the modern industrial age–the clock. In the Western world,
time moves on because the clock says move. In Africa, time is formed by
the activities of humans–by events. If nothing happens, time stops. 

Clock-consciousness produces terror in the Western mind that's on its way
to a late appointment (or for that matter, on the way to the millennium). 

The non-Western mind thinks, “The party starts when I get there”.

Being of both minds. I developed the following scenario:

Africa, The Motherland of the Ancient and the New Codes

1960 to 1997: Through music, and music videos, African American (African) 
culture spreads throughout the world even to places without an African
presence.  Everybody is into this groove. 

In 1997, genetic researchers release a study of mitochondrial DNA which
indicates that all living humans descend from one maternal source--
christened Mitochondrial Eve. 

Mitochondrial Eve lived in Africa between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.

The Year 2000: The year 2000 is significant but not for the reasons that
we may think: In the year 2000 The HUMAN GENOME PROJECT is completed and
unveiled. All human genes have been mapped out. 



This realization, once it sinks in, creates a remarkable transformation in
the thinking of all people towards Africa. 

Genetics has put the last nail in the coffin of racism! 

There is a new ethos of openness, as we all finally realize that we are
all brothers and sisters, having come from the same maternal ancestor.

Defining oneself by race or nationality is seen as backwards and corny.

There is an increase in interest in the study of African history and
culture, worldwide. Uganda, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, The Congo,
Nigeria and the United States become the leading centers of study.

The African schools of higher learning that were driven underground by
European invasions resurface physically and on-line. These
"universities"  become extremely popular among computer programmers and
developers of multimedia and communications software (many who have
previously studied and applied Hindu, Buddhist and Native American
concepts to their work).  These digital professionals travel to Africa
seeking to be educated in African schools of philosophy. 

Excited by the limitless possibilities of creating and developing out of
another worldview, another paradigm, they train, and become initiates in
the once-secret societies, engaging in rituals that allow them to see
other realms. There are no boundaries between the studies of art,
religion, science, technology, mythology, magic, medicine, and
metaphysics.  The initiates emerge out of their magic circles and sacred
groves, speaking in a new code. 

This new code is expressed in the software and devices developed by the

The public "adopts" this new code subliminally. Our brains are changed
electrically, chemically, and physically as we interact with the newly
created devices and software. Different neural pathways are set up. 
Others are torn down.

Due to the favorable environment and business opportunities, many of the
students decide to stay in Africa to live and work. Lots of multimedia and
communications enterprises emerge and prosper. The entire continent
convulses with business activity. Boomtowns sprout up all over the place. 
Uganda, located in the heart of Africa, becomes the great innovator
nation and the incubator of new ideas with the vast majority of
innovations in new media and telecommunications happening there. Citizens
of Uganda shape the core technologies and infrastructure of the remainder
of the 21st century. 


No technological advance in history has taken place 
without the commission of African resources. 

How can a scenario for the future be developed
without mention of the continent of Africa?

There is only one race, the human race. 
Africa is the motherland of us all. 
Identifying with Africa and becoming more African 
will be synonymous with becoming more human.

By the year 2005, we will have seen the beginning of the flip of social
and political codes. Human connections, modulated by the values of African
philosophical systems, and facilitated by advances in the
telecommunications infrastructure, will soar above the barriers
instituted by Western rule.

The "haves" will be the people who have maintained their humanity; 
"the have nots" will be those who have not.

Marilyn Nance, December 10, 1997
New York City

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“Keeping the Faith in this Electronic World”