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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


Melanie “Coco” Mccoy

*The Sci-fi anthology, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction From Social Justice Movements, will be released in Spring 2015 by AK Press! The anthology includes short stories from LeVar Burton, Terry Bisson, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Alixa Garcia, Autumn Brown, Bao Phi, David Walker, Dani McClain, Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Gabriel Teodros, Jelani Wilson, Kalamu ya Salaam, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mia Mingus, Morrigan Phillips, Tara Betts, Tunde Oluniran, Vagabond, adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, as well as an introduction by Sheree Renee Thomas.

*Kickstarter fundraiser for Latino/a Rising , an anthology featuring U.S.-based Latino/a science fiction work.

*Fundraiser for “Kindred: School-Wide Summer Reading” class project (Ms. Durkin‘s Books project at Coppin Academy 432 in Baltimore, MD): Help every student in the class receive a copy of Octavia Butler’s book!

*Afropunk’s “FEATURE: Visual Artist Melanie “Coco” McCoy Unravels The Mystery of Sankofa & Afrofuturism:” “When you scroll through Black Twitter or Tumblr you see a lot of young, Black radicals talking about protesting the injustices against our communities and wanting to change the mainstreams ideas pressed on us. However, how many of those “activists” do you really see out in the streets making that wanted change? Visual artist and writer Melanie “Coco” McCoy is regularly amongst the mobs of protesters on and off the computer screen. She stands for Black liberation, feminism/womanism, Black history, spirituality, Afrofuturism, Black female sexuality, and Afrocentric ideals. Many of these resonate in Coco’s paintings. She uses the ideas she studies at Temple University as a African American Studies major and incorporates them into much of her work. Much of her work is based on Sankofa. Sankofa is an Akan word (originating in Ghana) meaning, ‘to go back and fetch it.’ Coco believes deeply in that saying (that we’ve all heard time and time again) ‘you don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from.’”

*Atlanta Blackstar’s Blerd’s “Black Speculative Tech – Uses of Technology in Black Science Fiction, Part 1:” Rasheedah Phillips (The Afrofuturist Affair) is looking for other examples as well.

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts and New Music


Support this blog by donating to my Paypal (send donations to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com) or my become a patron on my Patreon page!

*Growing up, I remember seeing shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch or movies like The Craft, and wanting to see women of color as witches (although The Craft did have Rachel True). If I did see women of color as witches or magic(k) women, they were usually stereotypically portrayed in a degrading manner, like Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean or Tituba in the recent show, Salem. That is why I am happy to find out about MisSpelled, a show featuring witches of color, and written and created by Lindsey McDowell. I wish I found out about this show earlier, but they have a Kickstarter where they are raising funds to continue producing more episodes. See the Kickstarter video and promologue below:

*Black Girl Dangerous’ “Reclaiming the Sacred Black, Indigenous QTPOC Science of Sustainable Living and Survivor-Ship Magic:” “When most people think of scientists, they think of white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual men in lab-coats cooking up ways for other white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual people to survive sci-fi horrors like dinosaurs—but who, for what ever reason, can never think of ways to sustain the world’s need for electricity without stripping the earth of vital minerals. These Ivy-League educated, so-called genius scientists who send people to the moon and other planets and calculate the distance between this planet and our neighboring planets in order to speculate the probability of a select few humans living in those other planets, are the same ones who can never seem to figure out and implement ways of making this planet safer for ALL its inhabitants…So many people look to “modern (see western, imperialist, eurocentric) science” as the one true signifier of human brilliance—people who berate Indigenous wisdom as folklore and imagination, people who believe African science to be nothing more than superstition, people who look for “cold hard facts” and never ponder or consider the amount of suffering, exploitation, and oppression that has gone into garnering those facts. These are people who, somehow, believe that western, modern-day science happened in an “objective” vacuum and that it has not consistently worked, hand in hand, with white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism.” (Reading this reminded me of Elizabeth Nunez’s When the Rocks Dance.)

*Amazing Stories’ “Interview: Kaitlyn McKnight YA Author of a YA Novel:” This 12-year-old is the author of her own book, The Zodiac Saga 1: The Search fpr the Temple, Friends, Foes and the Zodians.

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


Submit to the Afrofuturist Affair’s 4th Annual Ball and Mont-long Celebration- Black Holographic Memory

Support this blog by donating to my Paypal (send donations to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com) or my become a patron on my Patreon page!

*Check out my two features on Atlanta Blackstar’s Blerds series, “Using Afrofuturism to Power New Modes of Tech,” and The Root’s My Thing Is series, “Maybe My Weird Version of Blackness Isn’t That Weird.

*Newswise’s “Science Fiction Through Lens of Racial Inclusiveness: Prestigious grant will fund exploration of ethnic futurisms at UCR in 2015-16:” “The University of California, Riverside will expand that universe with a yearlong exploration of ethnic futurisms that have been largely overlooked or marginalized until recently, a program of events funded by a prestigious $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Alternative Futurisms,” which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.”

*Listen to Africa Writes 2014 – Imagining Future Africa: Sci Fi, Innovation & Technology panel discussion featuring ” Ivor W. Hartmann, writer, editor, publisher and visual artist; Tade Thompson, writer, psychiatrist and clinical director for Adult Mental Health at St James Hospital, Portsmouth; and Geoff Ryman, writer and senior lecturer at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester. Moderated by Emma Dabiri, PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University and teaching fellow at SOAS.”

*Books Live’s “Bulawayo, Oduor, Huchu, Kahora and Chela Tackle the Tricky Subject of African Writing, and Hail the Rise of Afro-futurism

*Afropunk’s “FEATURE: ‘Juniper Leaves‘ fantasy book features Black kinky-haired queer nerd:“”AFROPUNK contributor Jaz Joyner is self-publishing a fantasy book featuring a Black kinky-haired queer nerd as the main character. She tells us: “After a year of reaching out to agents and publishing firms with the continuous response that the book ‘sounds good but may not be marketable,’ I decided to take matters into my own hands and self publish.”
Click here if you’d like to support the project (Kickstarter campaign).”

*Huffpost’s “Sci-Fi Artist Saya Woolfalk Creates A Hallucinatory Human Mandala From Dancers:” “The artist, whose father is African American and white and whose mother is Japanese, conjures mythical utopias to explore ideas of race, sexuality, difference, hybridization, cooperation and creativity. Her multimedia works summon viewers on a multicolored trip through mythical research, bunk biology and bizarre costumes, exposing cultural rituals as the fantastical occurrences they have been all along.

Her 2012 exhibition “The Empathics” introduced viewers to a bizarre breed of women who, after encountering genetically unusual buried remains, begin experiencing psychedelic visions that transform them into part plant, part animal hybrids.

This uncanny species, dubbed the Empathics, are an extremely porous culture, literally absorbing their cultural influences and physically mutating as a result. When searching for an iconography suitable for her mythical breed, Woolfalk incorporated the mandala, a nest of squares and circles that, to many, represent the cosmos.

For Buddhist practitioners however,” the Asian Art Museum explains, “mandalas are not just images to view, but worlds to enter — after recreating the image in their mind’s eye, meditators imaginatively enter its realm.”

*Black Girls Code received $190,000 from Google for their Initiative, “which will teach 75 black and Latina teens how to build a mobile app in one day.” Awesome!

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Afrofuturism/Afrosurrealism, Moving on the Wires, News

 

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts and New Music


Brer Rabbit:The Opera. Poster by LaRonda Davis.

*Atlanta BlackStar has a new series called blerds, which features topics on technology, lifestyle, education and the arts. Rasheedah Phillips of The Afrofuturist Affair (correction) is one of the writers of the series and here is one of the articles, “Afrofuturism: Black Presence in Sci-Fi Worlds of Technology, Magic, Fantasy:“This is where afrofuturism as a genre, lens, community, and practice becomes important, not as a response or reaction to the lack of representation, but as testament to the fact that not only have Black folk (along with other marginalized groups) already made it into the future, we are, in fact responsible for shaping it.” Also stayed tuned to a feature I will have on the series in the future.

*This show will not premiere until January 2015, but the art for it already looks cool! Greg Tate revealed an up coming show from Aisha Cousins and The Burnt Sugar House of Ideas, Brer Rabbit:The Opera at BRIC in Brooklyn. It is as he described a fabulation upon gentrification. Poster by LaRonda Davis.

*Black Girls Code partnered with General Assembly to bring more underrepresented groups into tech with Opportunity Fund scholarships. If you are part of an underrepresented group (women, person of color, veteran), apply here.

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Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts


*Today is my Birthday!!!! Officially 24! You can give me a gift through support of my blog by becoming a patron on my Patreon page or sending donations to my PayPal account (email: svfreebird87@gmail.com). Any amount is appreciated. Thank you!

*I haven’t been able to post as frequently lately, since I have been working on other projects, but thank you for continued reading. Also, if anyone wants to help with the blog, click on the Contact/Submissions page.

Here are news and other important posts from the past few weeks:

*”Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos” on Open Culture: “In 1971, he served as artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley and offered a spring semester lecture, African-American Studies 198, also known as “Sun Ra 171,” “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black man in the Cosmos.” The course featured readings from—to name just a few—theosophist Madame Blavatsky, French philosopher Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, black American writer and poet Henry Dumas, and “God,” whom the cosmic jazz theorist reportedly listed as the author of The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (otherwise known as the King James Bible).”

*Support Joy Kmt and bekezela mguni’s Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception Creating the World: “We transform the world with words, stories, art, ritual & activism. The Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception is dedicated to producing work that disrupts time as we commonly understand it and centralizes the humanity and stories of black women. The TOIP also works to create environments that are slightly alternate other-worlds, using soundscape, storytelling, poetry, interactive ritual and visual arts.  When you pledge, you support innovative creation, workshops, ritual and art that is about creating space by and for black women….We will also keep you updated on the progress of the work of the Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception, which includes Testify, a traveling interactive performance-ritual-, workshops like Liberation Science, Shrining, You as Tabernacle, and more. We hope to bring it to your city soon!”

*Upcoming events from CCCADI:

-Spirituality and Social Justice in Brazil- A Panel Discussion on August 15th: “The Schomburg Center, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), Home Slice Magazine and Veterans of Hope co-present an evening celebrating African ancestry and activism in Brazil through the lens of Iyalorixá Valnízia Pereira, a priestess and activist from one of the most prominent candomblé terreiros (ritual temples) in the state of Bahia, Brazil. As Iyalorixá of the Terreiro do Cobre, Valnizia Pereira is responsible for the preservation of sacred rites, ritual music, dance, pharmacopeic knowledge and liturgical African languages that have been passed down to her for more than seven generations.”

-Mulheres de Axe, Celebration of the Sacred Power of Women of Spirit on August 27th: “Silvana Magda and Brazilian Week join with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and Senator Bill Perkins to present “Mulheres de Axe”, an event shedding light on the Brazilian women, the keepers of Afro Brazilian sacred traditions who have formed a network to challenge and combat misrepresentation of their historic sacred traditions and practices, violence against women, condemn racial discrimination, gentrification and the lack of resources available to youth and families of economically poor and disenfranchised communities. Visitors will enjoy a display and discussion of Ritual Candomble Dresses of Mulheres de Axe (Women of Axe) representing the different Orixas, African Yoruba Divinities, of the varied Candomble Temples of Brazil, a musical presentation of the diverse rhythms honoring the varied Orixas of Candomble, a panel discussion, and more.”

*Check out Floyd Webb’s timeline, Afrofuturism:Reframing Afrofuturism, a Historical, Spiritual and Conceptual History. Also, “The Strange Story of Afrofuturism” on Cool Accidents and “Afrofuturism: Space Is the Place” on Viva Scene.

*Afrofuturism takes flight: from Sun Ra to Janelle Monáe” on The Guardian: “A new generation of artists are exploring afrofuturism – Outkast and Janelle Monáe take the philosophy to the mainstream, while Flying Lotus and Shabazz Palaces push jazz and hip-hop to their extremes.”

*Conversation on Chronicles of Harriet about the relevance and problems of the term Afrofuturism.

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Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts


*Become a patron and support my blog and other writing endeavors on Patreon!

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This post has been missing for the past couple of weeks, so here is a combined one:

Rasheedah Phillips’ “Black Quantum Futurism” theory

*Should Science Fiction and Fantasy be Included in the “New Wave of African Writers”? on Books Live: Since Science Fiction and Fantasy are still considered genre fiction and not high literary fiction, I can see why this happened. Still not right though.

*”So I Geek Yeeah: Six Black Women Geeks You Should Know” on For Harriet.

*”Afrofuturism through the eyes of Bill Campbell” Interview on Oak Park: “Oddly enough, I’m one of those artists who’s not really into definitions. However, I think of Afrofuturism as an artistic movement spanning the different disciplines where the Diaspora gets to examine its own past and future, its own humanity within the context of speculative fiction. It is global and quite disparate and, to me, incredibly hard to pin down in just a few words. I think that’s why I like it so much. There are so many possibilities within Afrofuturism — and within all of us.”

MLK, science fiction, innovation, creative thinking and Afrofuturism” Interview with Ytasha Womack on Chicago Tribune: “[Afrofuturism is looking at alternate realities through a black cultural lens. It’s expressed in so any different mediums, but it brings in science, math and philosophy. It provides a window to look at all these different ideas.”

*Submissions call for next issue of Joint Literary Magazine: “Capitalist Realities and Their Consequences.

We are looking for work that responds to the question, “How do capitalist conceptions of time expand or limit how we perceive reality and negotiate our identities as persons within the African diaspora?” Consider capitalist notions about time and space, the commodification of body and/or intellectual resources, etc.”

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Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts


*Become a patron and support my blog and other writing endeavors on Patreon!

*Update: This Thursday is the opening reception for I Am Here: Blacking the Internet at Superchief Gallery in NYC featuring the work of Azikiwe Mohammad, Terrell Davis, Nandi Loaf, Devin Kenny & Palmtrees Caprisun Citrusblast and Juliana Huxtable. The run of the show is from tommorrow, July 1st to July 14th.

*The documentary Brandon Easton’s Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21ST Century documentary will be on DVD on July 15th and and currently available for download via Paypal by sending $7.99 to ShadowLawComic@gmail.com.

*Nettrice Gaskin’s “Black Futurism: The Creative Destruction and Reconstruction of Race in Contemporary Art:“Contemporary black artists often refute conventional notions or images of blackness and replace them with altered realities. Their works exist in the social imaginary between the symbolic and the real—avatars with alternate, hybrid, or cyborg identities, surrounded by worlds that stimulate the viewer’s awareness of the future.”

*”Girls of Afrofuturism: The future is in our past” on Vanguard.

*”Janelle Monáe Is The Most Defiant Artist Of Her Generation” on HuffPost: “It’s a little more confusing when it comes to sci-fi understandings of her past (wait, is she literally an android?), but when we talk about identifying sexual preference or identity there is a certain power to Monáe’s refusal to participate in the media cycle associated with her rising level of fame. Why should we be privy to that personal information or have access to yet another means of classifying her? “The lesbian community has tried to claim me,” she told Rolling Stone, when asked yet again about how she identifies. “But I only date androids. Nothing like an android — they don’t cheat on you.”

*Rejected Princesses Tumblr. Imagine if Disney was bold enough to make films about these women.

*K. Tempest Bradford’s “Women Are Destroying Science Fiction! (That’s OK; They Created It) on NPR: “So are women destroying science fiction? Yes. Women created it, so it’s only fair. (Most would cite Frankenstein author Mary Shelley here, but others point out that preceded her.) In destroying it, women are creating a larger space for themselves within science fiction; one filled with their voices, dreams, experiences and realities.”

*Octavia Butler-related articles and posts in honor of her birthday last week:

-Adrienne Maree Brown of Octavia’s Brood published Reflections on Octavia Butler’s Earthseed on Scribd: “A book to use for reflection and meditation towards deepening practice with Octavia Butler’s Earthseed philosophy (from the Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents). Gathered by adrienne maree brown, including Alexis Pauline Gumbs, dream hampton, Moya Bailey, Autumn Brown, Ayana Jamieson, Bilen Berhanu, Adela Nieves, Lynnee Denise, Tanuja Jagernauth, Alta Starr, Peter Hardie and more…”

-Brown’s article in Yes Magazine’s “Change Is Divine: How Sci Fi Visionary Octavia Butler Influenced This Detroit Revolutionary:“The ideas in Butler’s fiction challenge us to contend with our own choices and take responsibility for our own power.”

- “16 Things You Didn’t Know About Octavia Butler” on Buzzfeed.

-Finding Estella⇢ an Octavia Butler research pocket

-“Octavia Butler Fans Psyched Over 2 New Science Fiction Tales” on The Root.

-““There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns”: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables by Gerry Canavan” on LA Review: “What Butler had ultimately hoped to do was write four Parables sequels: Parable of the Trickster, Parable of the Teacher, Parable of Chaos, and Parable of Clay. The titles suggest a shift from a Christian idiom (Sower, Talents, and Trickster all reference Biblical parables) to an Earthseed one (Teacher, Chaos, and Clay seem likely to be parables drawn from Olamina’s life, not Christ’s).”

*“Octavia Butlers fictional religion of ‘Earthseed’ inspires real religious movement on IEET: ” The Terasem religion.

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