Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts

Sorry I did not post for most of the week; I have a slight sprained wrist, so I had to slow down a bit on writing. But anyway, here is some news articles and written pieces from the week:

*Martin Luther King in Science Fiction on i09

*”Playing a Minority Forecaster in search of Afrofuturism: where am I in this future, Stewart Brand?:” (This post is part of a larger chapter that will be in Afrofuturism 2.0, an anthology I will be part of, too)”The mapping of the future still confronts the weighted language of colonial expansion, exclusion, conquest and erasure for imagining the dilemmas of racial identity and intersecting identities as we race to the future. Intersecting identities takes into account the fluid, complexity and contradictory nature of the social identities we inhabit and perform. The social identity categories of gender, race, class, age, ability sexuality, and their full expression and currency in

Jaszmine Asha Hawkins

anticipatory visions require greater not less diligence. ‘But let justice roll down like waters’ as we interrogate how science fiction capital operates and how we can expand its horizons for defining who partakes meaningfully in the future”

*Visual Artist Jaszmine Asha Hawkins And The Art Culture of Steampunk

*2006 “Interviewing the Oracle: Octavia Butler” from Indypendent

*Afrotechtopia Exhibition at the Samek Art Museum of Bucknell Museum in Pennsylvania: “Afrotechtopia starts with Afrofuturism and probes into the adjoining dimensions of Afrosurrealism and the Ethno-gothic. Afrotechtopia includes artists who use the languages of technology and mythology to rewind the past and set the future spinning.”

*Calls for Proposals for Liberation Technologies at Aliied Media Conference:

“The post-apocalypse is here and real, where ancient and varied cultures and technologies have been erased in the name of Empire and Progress. What do we do when access to memory/the past has been standardized, and the potential to manifest and (dis)embody the joyous unknown has been shamed and left behind?

This track seeks sci-fi and speculative themed session proposals that disrupt, deconstruct, and reframe oppressive mainstream media networks, narratives, and representation by using sci-fi possibilities to reorient existence.”

*Yeezianity is a religion now? Hmmm?

*The Black Aquatic and Afrofuturism Panel Discussion at the Studio Museum on February 6. “Organized by Jared Richardson, PhD candidate in Art History at Northwestern University, this discussion features Alexander G. Weheliye, Professor of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University.”

*30 Minutes with George Clinton Interview: My heart hurts a bit reading what he said about Miley Cyrus.

*Below is part one of “We Must Free Our Imaginations” – a six-part series in which Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina speaks on the fear of imagination, religious institutional control, challenging conventional thoughts and actions and outsider structures and perceptions influencing and controlling African societies, hatred towards homosexuals, how to confront “demons,” and the ecstasy of madness. Recently, he came out as a gay man.

See the rest here.

* “UT Scholar Tells Forgotten Story of African-American Psychiatric Patients:” “Records show that patients performed janitorial work at nearby hospitals, which Davis says raises troubling questions today. The records also show that African Americans were often admitted to the hospital simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“They were admitted because they sassed a police officer, they were admitted because they didn’t get along with an employer, they were admitted because they were on the wrong street,” Davis says. “The first person admitted was a woman named Edith Smith, and she was admitted because she was old and had no place to go.”

While mental health care has improved dramatically in the intervening century, Davis says that African Americans are still diagnosed with severe mental illness more than any other demographic group.”

I guess just being black and existing is a mental illness. Case in point: drapetomania.

*”Understanding anti-Black racism as species-ism: Reflections on Richard Sherman’s affective excess and the Twitterverse’s response:” “White supremacist culture dictates who and who does not get to be human. In order for people of color to receive a Human Card, they must assimilate: they must not use slang. They must be quiet. They must not wear hoodies. They must not curse. They must be gracious at all times. They must enunciate. They must not talk about racism. They must not listen to rap music. They must not sag. They must not brag. They must not laugh in public. They must not take up more than one seat on the bus. They must not ever ask for more. In short, you must be perfect. Robotic. Even if you are a professional athlete who performs for millions of Americans, playing a game in which aggression, testosterone, and energy are rewarded (demanded)… you must be quiet, gracious, calm, unassuming. Unscary. To be black and also be regarded as human, you must never make a mistake in your entire life, ever—ever—or you are a thug. Ghetto. Other. Your Human Card is denied.”

*Ralph Ziman’s Ghosts Project: “Part of an extensive series of works, this mural deals with the international arms trade and Africa: a trade that for the most part only goes in one direction. Into Africa. I had six Zimbabwean artists use traditional African beads and wire to manufacture several hundred replica bead/guns like AK-47s, as well as several replica bead/general purpose machine guns (GPMGs), along with the ammunition.In response to the guns sent into that culture, the mural represents an aesthetic, anti-lethal cultural response, a visual export out of Africa. And the bead/guns themselves, manufactured in Africa, are currently being shipped to the USA and Europe. This bead/arms project provided six months full time work for half a dozen craftsman who got well deserved break from making wire animals for tourists. The completed bead/guns were the subject of a photo-shoot in crime ridden downtown Johannesburg. The subjects were the artists who made the guns, several construction workers who happened to witness the shoot, and a member of the South African Police Services who just wanted his picture taken.”

*”On Living Vodou:” “Patrick Bellegarde-Smith descends from an august line of Haitian philosophers and statesmen. He is a scholar of Africology and a Vodou priest. This hour he sheds clarifying light on the inner life of the Haitian people. He offers historical and cultural context for events unfolding now. He also takes us inside the philosophical and spiritual world of Vodou, the religion of Haiti with ancient roots in Africa. Doctor Patrick Bellegarde-Smith: You know, I even hesitate using the word “religion” because it’s far more than that. It’s a spiritual system. It includes philosophy, technology, science, and everything else. It invades all systems and fields. It is something that occupies one 24 hours a day.”

*Finding the Funk documentary will broadcat on VH1 on February 4th at 10pm.

*Halle Berry will be starring in a new TV show, Extant. “The series will center on a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family, after she returns home after a year in space. Her experiences lead to events that ultimately change the course of human history.”

*”Black Consciousness in the Post-Heroic Age:” The need for a wider spectrum of who we consider our heroes in the black community.”

*New Music:

Siaira Shawn- Ghosts (It has a classic soul and R&B vibe that matches and gives weight to the electronic phantasmic sound)

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