painted by Darius Baber

Ingrid LaFleur is a cultural producer, arts advocate, pleasure activist, founder of AFROTOPIA, and former candidate for mayor of Detroit. LaFleur has developed and organized art exhibitions both nationally and internationally with a curatorial focus on Afrofuturism.  

In 2013, LaFleur founded AFROTOPIA. Based in Detroit, AFROTOPIA is an evolving creative research project that investigates the possibilities of using the arts movement Afrofuturism as psychosocial healing.  LaFleur explores ideas around historical traumas, myth-making, transcendence, and the role of spirit science and technology within Black American socio-political movements.  AFROTOPIA includes a film series, classes for youth, monthly book club, a Dj-in-residence program, a performance art festival and an Afrofuturism Archive.

Within her artistic practice, using sculpture, sound, site-specific installation and performance, LaFleur further unpacks ideas around trauma, which have arisen as a result of audience engagement through AFROTOPIA. She has exhibited in BOOM City Detroit curated by Dashboard Co-op (2015); the Something Else Off Biennial, Cairo, Egypt curated by Simon Njami (2015); Future Africa-Visions in Time at the Iwalewahaus at University of Bayreuth, Germany (2015-ongoing); Traveling to Turiya: The Future Mapping Project at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College; Take Root Among the Stars at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Known for her expertise on Afrofuturism, LaFleur has presented at Centre Pompidou (Paris), Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA), TEDxBrooklyn, TEDxDetroit, Iwalewahaus at the University of Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany), Ideas City, New Museum (New York), AfroTech Conference (Dortmund, Germany), and Black in Design at Harvard University, among others. She is a recipient of the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Award and serves as board chair of Powerhouse Productions, a founding member of the Detroit Culture Council, board member of the Cooley Reuse Project and ONE Mile, and advisory board member of Culture Lab Detroit. LaFleur is based in Detroit, Michigan.