Welcome to the mothership!
Sherese Francis is a southeast Queens-based poet, speculative fiction writer, blogger, workshop facilitator, and literary curator. She has published and will publish work in journals and anthologies including No Dear, Apex Magazine, The Pierian Literary Review, Bone Bouquet, African Voices, Newtown Literary, Blackberry Magazine, Kalyani Magazine, and Near Kin: A Collection of Words and Arts Inspired by Octavia Butler. Additionally, she has published two chapbooks, Lucy’s Bone Scrolls and Variations on Sett/ling Seed/ling. Sherese is the poetry editor of SpokenBlackGirl.com and co-editor of Harlequin Creature’s Social Justice Subscription Series. Her current projects include her Afrofuturism-inspired brand, Futuristically Ancient; and her southeast Queens based pop up bookshop/mobile library project, J. Expressions.
Futuristically Ancient/A Future Ancient
Key Terms: Writing & Editing Services| Art Programming & Consulting | Mythic and Media Literacy | Black Speculative & Visionary Work of the African Diaspora | Afrofuturism
Futuristically Ancient/A Future Ancient is the umbrella brand for Sherese Francis’ work as a writer (poet/speculative fiction), editor, workshop facilitator/teaching artist and literary artist/curator (J. Expressions).
When I began Futuristically Ancient in 2011, it started as a blog exploring the intersections of the past, present and future through an Afro-diasporic lens. Then its main focus turned towards the movement of Afrofuturism. Since then I have grown as a writer, artist, and thinker, publishing work that reflected my studies in the areas of afrofuturism, speculative fiction and mythology. Now I am looking towards making Futuristically Ancient (and my social media handles A Future Ancient) my official artist brand.
In addition to Sherese Francis, my alter ego name is Aker. If you do not know already, you might wonder what Aker means. Aker (Pronounced Ah-Care) is an ancient Egyptian god, represented by two lions facing back to back with the sun in the middle. The god represents yesterday, today and tomorrow, and deified the horizon. He also guarded the underworld through which the sun passed through, thus creating the night, and when it came out, the day would come. My logo is based on this representation except that the lions look more active than in the original (the reason for that is I see the past, present and future as all alive and in dialogue with one another, and their positions fit well with the logo matching my official name’s initials, S.V.F.). Also, I am a leo, so I like lions!
Why would I use Aker as the symbol for my blog? Well, I think it represents much of what was the mission of my blog and now my brand, Futuristically Ancient, which is to create an ark of knowledge weaving together past, present and future. Aker also sounds similar to the word ark. Two of my favorite sayings are: “We do not live in a vacuum” and “Nothing is new under the sun” (the last phrase fits with my logo). We did not come from nothing. There is always something before us that we are manifesting in the now and carrying into the future. We are the accumulation of everything around us. Everything from religion to mythology to art and culture to politics have deeper meanings that are related to one another. I want my work to conitnue to uncover and explore what others have tried to cover up; to explore that which is not given as much mainstream attention and to re-examines popular ideas of ourselves through afrofuturist and other black visionary perspectives.
Below are a few articles that discuss further my thoughts: