Session 1 :
Where the Griots gather – creating an Afrofuturist platform in real and cyberspace
Abstract: AfroFuturism as a genre focuses on speculative visions rooted in the black imagination. From Wakanda to Wondaland, sonic fiction and graphic novels alike have transported us to new ways of seeing blackness, whilst questioning our perceptions of reality and society.
One question for us is, what are the spaces we can create to encourage the practical flourishing of creatives who want to explore this genre, or simply have a space to call their own? During this panel, we’ll be discussing our attempts at creating such a space, in the form of AfroFlux and it’s spin off mini con, FluxCon, which prepares for its third year in 2019.
Facilitators/participants: Florence Okoye, Juice Aleem, Charlotte Bailey
The session will begin with a discussion about the ways in which black thinkers have engaged with speculative fiction to critique existing racist hegemonies and imagine news ways of being. The speakers will give examples of how this process has not only informed their work and practice but also what it means for future generations as digital creative technologies and avenues for self funding become more accessible.
Juice Aleem will discuss his journey creating AfroFlux as a part of the Birmingham Hip hop and street art festival, how it has developed and expanded to include conversations from black history to black health. We will then be outlaying our plans for FluxCon 2019, the culmination of several years worth of experimentation and community building in Birmingham and beyond.
Following from the first hour, we’ll be spending time with Charlotte Bailey, comic artist and chief organiser for Laydeez do Comics Birmingham, who will host a workshop on creating and distributing zines. Through this session, we’ll get another perspective on how zines can be the place where Afrofuturist thought finds itself embodied in form of print and ink, where speculative imagination meets real space practice.