Collective Story Writing from Ferguson is the Future (most exciting thing ever!!)

(From September 12, 2015)

While we were gathered together (for Ferguson is the Future), we (Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Sofia Samatar, Rasheedah Phillips, Nisi Shawl, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, adrienne maree brown, Walidah Imarisha, Daniel Jose Older, Andrea Hairston, Lisa Bolekaja) did a timed writing exercise weaving together science fiction and social justice. First we worked together to generate a scenario – here’s what we created:

our writing scenario:
topics we wanted to weave together:
race, justice, community

violence: environmental, economic, generational, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, etc
intraracial erasure of black queer women
violence vs women
movement/barriers to movement

characters!

1. sandra (invoking sandra bland). 13 year old storyteller. an empath who uses art to heal. lost legs as a punishment.

2. joey, the sentient lizard. carries sandra as a symbiotic relationship. receives food and companionship.

3. gbassi. 60 yr old queer woman of color. physicist.

4. kudzu. outsider, stranger, think they are bringing justice. plant based biology. believe mobility is punishment, so them being here means they are likely criminal on home planet.

5. underground superfungus

setting:

– age of punishment is 10 and above
– tech divide (smart houses and symbiotic beasts)
– not seen as dystopic
– structured to stop gathering
– nonlinear parallel earth time
– majority of people think punishment is to make immobile

conflict:
– violence is normalized. sandra’s story challenges that.
– sandra is considered a criminal
– conflict around mobility! sandra vs kudzu, or sandra plus kudzu.

Then, in a total of 25 minutes, with one break for feedback, these stories were generated.

Read the stories here: https://blacktothefuture.princeton.edu/collective-story/