// Slick City showcasing our elders with the drip : Afrocentric ARTificial Intelligence //
Wassup wassup fam. I hope that you are all well and if you're not trying to end the year strong, hopefully you're trying to end the year by giving yourself enough rest. On the note of resting, while I was chilling and roaming the social media streets, I came across some dope visuals that seemed to provoke the perception of most people around fashion. Yes, I came across Malik Afegbua's work captioned "A fashion show for the seniors". His work showcases dope fashion moments that got all of us hooked.
Conceptually, this has to be among some of the dopest and innovative digital work I've come across this year, and so I had to stop resting and reach out to the brother to find out more info. Malik is a multimedia creative, film director ( Cinema / Television ) and Virtual Reality (VR) developer with just over 12 years experience within the creative industry. He is based in Lagos (Nigeria) and he's the CEO of Slick City Media (a 360 production company touching every single arm of media, from film/tv production, consultation & creative services, media technology, publishing and so on).
I was privileged to have a brief chat with him just to get an idea of the inspiration behind the latest work he shared online. It has sparked a lot of interest within a short space of time, but I'm sure he's used to this, because even his previous work has received a lot of attention and recognition. He showcased work at this year's edition of Fak'ugesi, and for those who are already familiar with his work, I'm sure they would all agree that Malik has a unwavering passion for digital storytelling. He told me that one of the reasons behind the concept of his latest work is "shining a light on unrepresented/under-represented people", and I believe this is one of the factors that has generated such a significant fascination among people who have engaged with the afro-centric work. His work basically provokes the norm, because our eyes are not used to seeing our elders on the run way, and Malik even made sure that each subject has that "run-way" facial expression. Like damn! I also love the way he used the lighting & depth of field in these images, as well as the amount of detail in each piece.
His background and experience within film, and desire to experiment with immersive media as a tool for storytelling are key facets to his work. It's amazing what one can create when we begin to reimagine and provoke certain norms using the technology at our disposal. His ability to find synergies between the different tools he uses, his experience and passions, reminds me of Xabiso Vili's latest work, so I was glad (and not surprised) that he was familiar with his work as well. There's really no limit to what one can create when you take advantage of tools such as AI generators and Adobe software (among other programs), and Malik is definitely a creative you should keep an eye on, because you don't want to sleep on this brother's dopestry.
We shared the same sentiments with regards to the recent buzz around the Lensa app (a photo-editing app available on iPhone and Android that allows you to upload selfies and turns them into avatars). At first glance, I was like, this app is really impressive, but then after a bit of research I find out that it presents major problems around ethics, artist rights and privacy. I won't go into detail about this (you can find out more here) but long story short, the app is basically creating the images from a database with artists work without the artist's permission/ recognition. Some of the images generated even still have the original artists signatures/watermarks, but let's get back to Malik guys. This brother is doing the most, and personally, I am inspired.
I really envy what his CV looks like, because he's been selected as 1 of the creators for the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme and has worked on the Made by Design documentary that's available on Netflix, just to name a few achievements. I really enjoy the authenticity of his work, and it's really refreshing . The golden thread in most of his work is evidently themed around reimaging Afrocentric creativity using technology, and he'll soon be updating his site and socials with some of his latest work/ current initiatives that he's involved in. In the meantime, do follow him and his company on the socials, continue spreading the love, and I look forward to more of the work he will produce in the near future. Don't forget to drop a comment on this article and share with others. Stay blessed fam.