The AfroFuturist Affair

A Charity & Costume Ball

Posts tagged science fiction

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Books on Science Fiction and Black Speculative Critical Analysis

1. The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism and the Speculative (Black Studies and Critical Thinking) (2011) by Sandra Jackson - This critical collection covers a broad spectrum of works, both literary and cinematic, and issues from writers, directors, and artists who claim the science fiction, speculative fiction, and Afro-futurist genres.

2. Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film (2008) by Adilifu Nama - The first book-length study of African American representation in science fiction film, Black Space demonstrates that SF cinema has become an important field of racial analysis, a site where definitions of race can be contested and post-civil rights race relations (re)imagined.

3. Race in American Science Fiction (2011) by Isiah Lavender III - Race in American Science Fiction offers a systematic classification of ways that race appears and how it is silenced in science fiction, while developing a critical vocabulary designed to focus attention on often-overlooked racial implications. These focused readings of science fiction contextualize race within the genre’s better-known master narratives and agendas.

4. Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from 1890s to Present (2011) by Robin Means Coleman - Horror Noire presents a unique social history of blacks in America through changing images in horror films. Throughout the text, the reader is encouraged to unpack the genre’s racialized imagery, as well as the narratives that make up popular culture’s commentary on race. Offering a comprehensive chronological survey of the genre, this book addresses a full range of black horror films, including mainstream Hollywood fare, as well as art-house films, Blaxploitation films, direct-to-DVD films, and the emerging U.S./hip-hop culture-inspired Nigerian “Nollywood” Black horror films.

Filed under books scholarly afrofuturism textbooks reference film science fiction speculative fiction black imagination black african african american literature black science fiction fantasy critical theory critical theory critical analysis

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Don't Blame Science Fiction for Hollywood's Race Problem

(thanks for the love, flavorwire!)

Filed under afrofuturism science fiction black science fiction scifi afrofuture hollywood film literature Black presence response dialogue flavorwire

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Time Travel Convention | Pt. 2 - Activation * Recurrence Plot Book Release features a sound installation built by Moor Mother Goddess w/ a 7-track collection corresponding to Recurrence Plot novel debuting April 5 at Yell Gallery. You can hear the tracks now at https://soundcloud.com/AfroFuturist-affair/sets/recurrence-plot and be sure to listen again with the book in hand.

Time Travel Convention | Pt. 2 - Activation * Recurrence Plot Book Release features a sound installation built by Moor Mother Goddess w/ a 7-track collection corresponding to Recurrence Plot novel debuting April 5 at Yell Gallery. You can hear the tracks now at https://soundcloud.com/AfroFuturist-affair/sets/recurrence-plot and be sure to listen again with the book in hand.

Filed under recurrence plot moor mother goddess MMGZ afrofuturism music sounds instruments scifi science fiction black scifi speculative fiction independent artists black women writers novel experimental

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Black Sci-Fi - A 1992 Documentary Featuring Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany and Steven Barnes

samueldelany:

Here’s an extract from the 1992 documentary, Black Sci-Fi, produced and directed by Terrence Francis for Moonlight Films and broadcast on BBC2 as part of the Birthrights series. The documentary focuses on Black science fiction in literature, film and television and features interviews with Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Mike Sergeant, Steven Barnes and Nichelle Nichols. Three parts are included in this extract. In the first, Octavia Butler discusses “how her interest in science fiction developed and the genre’s potential for exploring new ideas and ways of being”. In the second part, Samuel R. Delany, Mike Sergeant and Steven Barnes discuss “the stereotypical portrayal of black characters in science fiction literature and cinema, including the predictable fate of Paul Winfield in films like Damnation Alley, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and The Terminator“. And in the thirs part, Nichelle Nichols discusses the significance of her character, Uhura, in Star Trek and Steven Barnes and Mike Sergeant consider how attitudes towards race and skin colour might develop in the (far) future.

Filed under black scifi documentary black science fiction science fiction scifi speculative fiction

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The Laundromat Project - Creative Conversations 2013: Sukjong Hong & Kameelah Rasheed

Over the course of several weeks, artists Sukjong Hong & Kameelah Rasheed exchanged email fragments, excerpts and other process notes on time-traveling Harriet Tubman, redaction, productive haunting, chopping and screwing time, the archive as a site of power, and the possibilities of science fiction for marginalized communities.

Filed under afrofuturism coding art laundromat project kameelah rasheed sukjong hong time travel kindred email haunting community science fiction scifi archiving redaction

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The term “Afrofuturism” is normally attributed to Mark Dery, coined in an interview with Samuel Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose that appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly in 1993, but even without this term to hand, Mark Sinker was outlining a specifically black sf in the pages of The Wire the year before. To many readers of SFS, Sinker’s pantheon of black sf—which included Samuel Delany and Octavia Butler, as well as Sun Ra, Public Enemy, John Coltrane, Anthony Braxton, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Jimi Hendrix, Afrika Bambaataa, Ishmael Reed, and Earth Wind and Fire—might not sound much like the sf we know. But sf is “a point of cultural departure” for all of these writers and musicians, because “it allows for a series of worst-case futures—of hells-on-Earth and being in them—which are woven into every kind of everyday present reality” (“Loving the Alien”). The “central fact” of the black sf they produce “is an acknowledgement that Apocalypse already happened,” that, in Public Enemy’s words, “Armageddon been in effect.”

Taking in contemporary music and sf, Sinker positions hip-hop in “the grand syncretic tradition of bebop, not ashamed to acknowledge that technological means and initial building material are always simply what falls to hand: but that meaning is nonetheless a matter of energetic and visionary redeployment, not who first owned or made this or that fragment” (“Loving the Alien”). Although cyberpunk has typically been discussed in terms of European avant-garde detournement or Burroughsian cut-up, its parallels and affinities with bebop and hip-hop3 have generally gone unacknowledged. Sinker does more than merely point to this omission, however. Just as Thomas Foster argues that cyberpunk “didn’t so much die as experience a sea change into a more generalized cultural formation” (xiv), so Sinker suggests that the black, urban, proletarian experience central to the development of these musical forms speaks directly to the experience of the global underclass created by the intertwined logics of capital, Empire, and race: more-or-less concomitant with the growth of hip-hop, cyberpunk, the “radical leading edge” of “white SF,” was “arguing that the planet, already turned Black, must embrace rather than resist this [relationship to technology]: that … only ways of technological interaction inherited from the jazz and now the rap avant garde can reintegrate humanity with the runaway machine age.”

from “The Ships Landed Long Ago: Afrofuturism and Black SF" by Mark Bould 

Filed under cyberpunk rap hip hop afrofuturism avant garde mark dery mark sinker black scifi afrofuture history scifi science fiction critical analysis

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Saturday Matinee: The Last Angel of History

John Akomfrah, director of Seven Songs of Malcolm X, returns with an engaging and searing examination of the hitherto unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing computer technology.

This cinematic essay posits science fiction (with tropes such as alien abduction, estrangement, and genetic engineering) as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation, and otherness.

Akomfrah’s analysis is rooted in an exploration of the cultural works of Pan-African artists, such as funkmaster George Clinton and his Mothership Connection, Sun Ra’s use of extraterrestrial iconography, and the very explicit connection drawn between these issues in the writings of black science fiction authors Samuel R. Delaney and Octavia Butler.

The film in its entirety, in three parts via Desultory Heroics. Film description via Icarus Films

Filed under last angel of history john akomfrah life hacks afrofuturism video documentary cinematic essay awesomes afrofuture scifi black scifi speculative fiction black speculative fiction science fiction film black film

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Leeway Foundation Presents: Emergent Strategies: Speculative Fiction & Radical Organizing

Join Leeway Foundation on December 8 to welcome writer and cultural organizer Adrienne Maree Brown for a lively conversation inspired by the work of visionary, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction author Octavia Butler. This discussion will explore the visionary qualities of science/speculative fiction with radical community organizing practice using Butler’s work.Butler’s writing in The Parable series and other works instigates and provokes new thinking about how we can bring into being the kind of society that we want and expands what we might imagine. Through her protagonists, Butler illustrated adaptive, intuitive, shared leadership in practice. This recurrent theme, dubbed “Emergent Strategy,” will be a key focus of the afternoon’s discussion.The event is free, but you must RSVP at http://leewayemergent.eventbrite.com/About AdrienneAdrienne is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit. She is co-editor, with poet/activist Walidah Imarisha, of the forthcoming anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements She has helped to launch the Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy Reading Network for people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework, and is building with the Octavia Butler Legacy Network on other ways of extending Butler’s work.This workshop is presented in partnership with the following organizations: The AfroFuturist Affair, Apiary Magazine, ART SANCTUARY, Blackprint, Bread & Roses Community Fund, GriotWorks, Media Mobilizing Project, Metropolarity, Myth Media Studios, Thread Makes Blanket, and Training for Change.

Join Leeway Foundation on December 8 to welcome writer and cultural organizer Adrienne Maree Brown for a lively conversation inspired by the work of visionary, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction author Octavia Butler. This discussion will explore the visionary qualities of science/speculative fiction with radical community organizing practice using Butler’s work.

Butler’s writing in The Parable series and other works instigates and provokes new thinking about how we can bring into being the kind of society that we want and expands what we might imagine. Through her protagonists, Butler illustrated adaptive, intuitive, shared leadership in practice. This recurrent theme, dubbed “Emergent Strategy,” will be a key focus of the afternoon’s discussion.

The event is free, but you must RSVP at http://leewayemergent.eventbrite.com/

About Adrienne

Adrienne is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit. She is co-editor, with poet/activist Walidah Imarisha, of the forthcoming anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements She has helped to launch the Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy Reading Network for people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework, and is building with the Octavia Butler Legacy Network on other ways of extending Butler’s work.

This workshop is presented in partnership with the following organizations: The AfroFuturist Affair, Apiary Magazine, ART SANCTUARY, Blackprint, Bread & Roses Community FundGriotWorksMedia Mobilizing ProjectMetropolarity, Myth Media Studios, Thread Makes Blanket, and Training for Change.

Filed under philly philadelphia emergent strategies octavia butler science fiction visionary speculative fiction black scifi adrienne maree brown workshop discussion politics strategy

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From the origins of the genres, images of Black people in fantasy, horror and science fiction or speculative fiction (SF) have been inauthentic at best in the imaginations of white creators. From the “Fantastic Voyages” of the 1700s where Black pirates kidnapped white explorers to far off “alien” lands, to technologically advanced futures where Black people didn’t exist in any significant population, to post-nuclear holocaust America where modern Blacks took on aggressive pre-civilized behaviors, many of these ideas have created lasting impressions in the minds of their audiences and future creators. And though there were a few attempts by some white writers to use the genres for social commentary, for instance on race relations, these efforts were few and far in between.

There is however a significant output of work by Black creators, who used the techniques and themes of the genres to write alternative stories and to produce films that spoke closer to the realities of Black life. At the turn of the 20th century, Black writers wrote utopian and fantastical novels set during the days of slavery and Reconstruction. Independent Black filmmakers created low budget feature films exploring the effects of science and fantastical religious beliefs on the Black imagination. Harlem Renaissance writers jumped into the genre with “mad scientist” and “end of the world” scenarios commenting on the American race relations. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, two powerful and original voices emerged in the SF world writing tales with more inclusive pasts, presents and futures. Also in the 1970s, Black anti-heroes utilized science and the supernatural to secure Black justice. And later, there was the emergence of Black superheroes, who, though ready, willing and able to save the entire universe, first had to fight a homogenous industry.

Brought to life via interviews, film and event clips, text, graphics, music and narration, this documentary ultimately reveals that though often intermittent and mostly unseen, there is a canon of artistic work by Black creators in the SF genres, creating a universe all its own.

(Source: vimeo.com)

Filed under Vimeo invisible universe documentary speculative fiction science fiction fantasy sf scifi blacksf blackscifi octavia butler samuel delany nichelle nichols trailer 2013 horror dark phase space afrofuturist affair

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Dark Phase Space Spotlight On: M. Asli Dukan | Invisible Universe Documentary

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ARTIST

M. Asli Dukan / producer and director 
DARK PHASE SPACE PRESENTATION
Invisible Universe: a history of blackness in speculative fiction / a feature documentary work-in-progress
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ARTIST STATEMENT
M. Asli Dukan is a producer, director and editor from New York City. She graduated from The City University of New York with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Media and Communication Arts in 1999 where she received the best editing award for her thesis film, Sleeping on a train in Motion. Her media works have screened at the Blowin’ Up A Spot Film Festival and the M.A.L.I. Women’s Film and Performing Arts Conference in Dallas and Austin, Texas; OnyxCon and the Octavia E. Butler Celebration of the Fantastic Arts in Atlanta, Georgia; Citivisions and the Imagenation Film & Music Festivalin New York City; the Black to the Future Science Fiction Festival and the Langston Hughes Film Festival in Seattle, Washington; and on Move the Frame, a community television program based in New York City. She received a grant from the Kitchen Table Giving Circle in 2012 and received an Urban Artist Initiative Grant/NYC in 2009. In 2000, she founded Mizan Media Productions to produce short and feature length films and music videos. She has produced and directed several music videos, including Boot for Tamar-kali and Do You Mind for Hanifah Walidah, which debuted on LOGO in 2008. In addition to the feature length documentary, Invisible Universe, she is in development on the feature length anthology horror film, Skin Folk based on the book by award winning SF writer, Nalo Hopkinson.

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ARTIST PORTALS
Invisible Universe Documentary website
Invisible Universe Documentary trailer
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M. Asli Dukan, filmmaker and creator of Invisible Universe Documentary, will be featured at AfroFuturist Affair 2013 Charity & Costume Ball: Dark Phase Space. She will be screening clips of Invisible Universe, as well as filming parts of the Ball to add into the documentary! 

Filed under dark phase space black filmmakers documentary black speculative fiction invisible universe octavia butler film black writers Samuel Delaney nalo hopkinson skin folk science fiction black science fiction black scifi valjeanne jeffers afrofuturist affair charity costume ball spotlight presenters feature m. asli dukan scifi fantasy black fantasy

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AFROFUTURISM, Agent of Change & Annual Charity & Costume Ball Nov 2013: Interview with AfroFuturist Affair’s Rasheedah Phillips

Check out our interview with The Nobantu Project! The Nobantu Project is a dynamic magazine project highlighting the art and life of the African Diaspora and Africa while exchanging with other stories and experiences from around the globe. 

Filed under nobantu project afrofuturist affair interview charity ball afrofuturism science fiction social commentary empowerment liberation art performance costumes black scifi interviews magazine

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materialworld:


In the loosely defined movement of afrofuturism artists use the imagery and language of science-fiction to construct visual narratives about identity, politics, and technology. Coined by cultural critics aiming to draw a connective thread through the work of artists and writers such as Parliament-Funkadelic, Sun Ra, Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, afrofuturism re-examines technology through the lens of ‘the other’ Space is the Place features a mix of new, recent and historical work from Guillermo Gómez-Peña, David Huffman, Wendy Red Star and Saya Woolfalk in an investigation of the evolution and maturation of afrofuturism as these artists break away from the movement’s original constraints. All four artists create distinct landscapes and narratives that examine ‘the other’ in radically different ways. Together, these works form a constellation of new perspectives that explore the boundaries between fantasy and identity, drawing attention to how these themes affect our day-to-day social interactions.

(via Space is the Place - Saya Woolfalk, Wendy Red Star, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, David Huffman - Exhibitions Events)

materialworld:

In the loosely defined movement of afrofuturism artists use the imagery and language of science-fiction to construct visual narratives about identity, politics, and technology. Coined by cultural critics aiming to draw a connective thread through the work of artists and writers such as Parliament-Funkadelic, Sun Ra, Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, afrofuturism re-examines technology through the lens of ‘the other’ Space is the Place features a mix of new, recent and historical work from Guillermo Gómez-Peña, David Huffman, Wendy Red Star and Saya Woolfalk in an investigation of the evolution and maturation of afrofuturism as these artists break away from the movement’s original constraints. All four artists create distinct landscapes and narratives that examine ‘the other’ in radically different ways. Together, these works form a constellation of new perspectives that explore the boundaries between fantasy and identity, drawing attention to how these themes affect our day-to-day social interactions.

(via Space is the Place - Saya Woolfalk, Wendy Red Star, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, David Huffman - Exhibitions Events)

Filed under afrofuturism black scifi space is the place science fiction

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AfroFuturist Affair + Metropolarity Upcoming Events and Appearances (non-exhaustive)
9/27 -  Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Laser Life @ A*Space
10/12 - Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Philly Zine Fest @ The Rotunda
10/18 - Appearing at Philadelphia Printworks Fall Launch Party @ The House of Future Sciences 
10/? -  AfroFuturist Affair x Blu Dahlia AfroFuturist Mask-making Workshop @ Red House Boutique & Sewing Creative Workspace 
11/7 - Black Tribbles x AfroFuturist Affair Return to Octavia City on G-Town Radio 
11/8 - Metropolarity tabling at PHILCON @ NJ Crowne Plaza Hotel
11/9 - AfroFuturist Affair 3rd Annual Charity & Costume Ball Presents: Dark Phase Space @ MythMedia Studios
11/23 - Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Philly Feminist Zine Fest @ William Way LGBT Center
For more info: afrofuturistaffair@gmail.com

AfroFuturist Affair + Metropolarity Upcoming Events and Appearances (non-exhaustive)

9/27 -  Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Laser Life @ A*Space

10/12 - Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Philly Zine Fest @ The Rotunda

10/18 - Appearing at Philadelphia Printworks Fall Launch Party @ The House of Future Sciences 

10/? -  AfroFuturist Affair x Blu Dahlia AfroFuturist Mask-making Workshop @ Red House Boutique & Sewing Creative Workspace 

11/7 - Black Tribbles x AfroFuturist Affair Return to Octavia City on G-Town Radio 

11/8 - Metropolarity tabling at PHILCON @ NJ Crowne Plaza Hotel

11/9 - AfroFuturist Affair 3rd Annual Charity & Costume Ball Presents: Dark Phase Space @ MythMedia Studios

11/23 - Appearing w/ Metropolarity crew at Philly Feminist Zine Fest @ William Way LGBT Center

For more info: afrofuturistaffair@gmail.com

Filed under scifi black scifi afrofuturism science fiction black science fiction black speculative fiction metropolarity laser life afrofuturist affair philly philadelphia DIY scifi space ratchet events phase space scifi reality fall autumn black writers