"Alive... again." Unmoored in the Aquafuture of Ellen Gallagher's Watery Ecstatic

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The marine life and aquatic worlds depicted in Ellen Gallagher's Watery Ecstatic series of artworks conceive an aquafuture through Afrofuturist aesthetics. They feature the black Atlantic in countermemories that reinscribe the historical murder of African women through a myth of their survival and transformation into aquatic beings.

The artworks defy contemporary eliminations of, and assaults on, black lives to claim a spectacular present and posthuman future. This essay explores the artworks' queer politics and undoing of race and gender binaries through interdisciplinary means conceived of both in the spirit of the artworks themselves and the cultural boundlessness of Afrofuturism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-263
Number of pages18
JournalWomen's Studies Quarterly
Issue number1&2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Apr 2017


  • Ellen Gallagher
  • "Watery Ecstatic"
  • Black Atlantic
  • Afrofuturism
  • queer politics
  • race
  • gender.


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