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adrienne maree brown on the Marc Steiner Show

"Science Fiction and Social Justice. With: adrienne maree brown, Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, blogger at The Luscious Satyagraha, and co-Editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Activists; and Dr. Lester Spence, Center for Emerging Media Scholar-In-Residence and Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University."

Listen here!

Full Stop Review of Octavia's Brood

"While some of the stories in Octavia’s Brood ask us to indulge ourselves by imagining the best and most inspiring, peaceful futures possible for ourselves and for each other, others insist that progress is a difficult and downright dirty process. As much as they beg conversation from the reader, they are too in conversation with each other about how best to achieve the highest successes for the largest percentage of the downtrodden. However they may or may not contradict each other, they are bound together in their resistance to marginalization, exploitation, and destruction."

Read the full review here!

Walidah Imarisha in Bitch Magazine

Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

"For me, that's one of my basic beliefs as a feminist—it's about moving those folks who have been marginalized to the center, not so we can assimilate into an existing oppressive power structure, but so that we can look at liberation through new eyes. Leah Lakshni Piepzna-Samarasinha's story, "Children Who Fly," is an amazing example of total liberation when it's viewed from the intersecting identities of those folks who have been marginalized. The idea being, these are survivors of trauma, most of them survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and they engage in the process of dissociation—which we're told is a problem, right? We're told that is something you should work to cure, and you go to therapy to cure. But in the story, instead of saying that these women of color, these trans folks, are broken, instead their ability to leave their bodies means that they can join their energy together and begin to heal this broken world. I think that's an incredibly powerful reframing.  What if everything we know is wrong? How do we begin to dream new worlds into the space we've cleared out?"

Read the full interview here!

Walidah Imarisha Interviewed in Bitch Magazine

Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

"For me, that's one of my basic beliefs as a feminist—it's about moving those folks who have been marginalized to the center, not so we can assimilate into an existing oppressive power structure, but so that we can look at liberation through new eyes. Leah Lakshni Piepzna-Samarasinha's story, "Children Who Fly," is an amazing example of total liberation when it's viewed from the intersecting identities of those folks who have been marginalized. The idea being, these are survivors of trauma, most of them survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and they engage in the process of dissociation—which we're told is a problem, right? We're told that is something you should work to cure, and you go to therapy to cure. But in the story, instead of saying that these women of color, these trans folks, are broken, instead their ability to leave their bodies means that they can join their energy together and begin to heal this broken world. I think that's an incredibly powerful reframing.  What if everything we know is wrong? How do we begin to dream new worlds into the space we've cleared out?"

Read the full interview here!

Fugitive Dreams (Portland Mercury)

Fugitive Dreams 

From Portland's Walidah Imarisha, a New Vision for Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Future

"I HAVE ALWAYS been into superheroes and comic books," says Walidah Imarisha when we meet up at Coffeehouse-Five on N Killingsworth. Perhaps best known for her writing (everything from poetry to criticism), teaching (at Portland State University), and her public scholarship on race in Oregon, Imarisha's now putting a social justice lens on science fiction. As co-editor ofOctavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, out now from Oakland's AK Press, she's also written a story for the anthology, about a "grumpy" black angel.

Read more here!

IO9 Thinks We Are Essential!

We are on the floor in total nerdgirl faints because io9 has named us one of the Most Essential Sci-Fi and Fantasy Readings for April!!!! Check us out here!

The Portland Mercury interviews co-editor Walidah Imarisha

You know Walidah Imarisha: When Gizmodo ran a piece earlier this year about race in Oregon, she was the scholar quoted throughout. We've written about her revolutionary approach to science fiction and social justice right here in these very pages. And now she's co-edited an anthology of science fiction from social justice movements, Octavia's Brood, along with Adrienne Maree Brown.

Octavia's Brood: The Blurbs

People said really beautiful things about this project. We wanted to share some of those loving words with y'all.

Like Butler's fiction, this collection is cartography, a map to freedom. 

 

Our radical imaginations are under siege and this text is the rescue mission. This is the text we’ve been waiting for.

--Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier

Butler could not wish for better evidence of her touch changing our literary and living landscapes. 

-- Octavia E Butler Legacy Network 

 

Imagine a World Without Prisons: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes, and Prison Abolition

by Walidah Imarisha

“And then the orcs stage an uprising and seize the means of production, since they are not only the soldiers, they are also the exploited labor of Middle Earth. If they rise up, Mordor grinds to a halt!”

This unlikely strategy came out of a workshop called “Imaginative Fiction and Social Change,” at the Allied Media Conference, an annual gathering in Detroit of radical activists, artists and media makers. The facilitator (and Octavia's Brood contributor), Morrigan Phillips, broke participants into small groups and each one got a fictional land: Oz, the Death Star, Hogwarts, Springfield (of Simpsons fame). Participants then analyzed the conflict and came up with direct action tactics to move their cause for justice forward...

The first and fundamental lesson is that all organizing is science fiction. The question of how do we ensure communities are safe, whole and accountable outside of a criminal justice system created to criminalize and incarcerate many of our communities is a central focus in social justice work. And it is a central question in science fiction as well...

This principle is the foundation we started the anthology from; that when we talk about a world without prisons, a world without police violence, a world where everyone has food, clothing, shelter, quality education, a world free of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism – we are talking about a world that doesn’t currently exist.

Interview: Octavia's Brood

 

[ Read Original: cherwell.org ]

By: Matt Broomfield

“We believe it is our right and responsibility to write ourselves into the future.” This is the powerful mission statement of Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown, the co-editors of a forthcoming anthology of radical speculative fiction written by social justice activists.

Social justice and science fiction initially seem to have little common ground. There is no overt relation between radicalism and a genre perceived as the preserve of overweight white men in Cheeto-stained slacks. Women are objectified in wallpaper roles, while colonial parallels emerge in narratives of space exploration. The editors recognise that science fiction has reacted to minority writers “through a lens of hetero-normative white male supremacy, even when there has been curiosity or good intention.”

Interview: Walidah Imarisha on Octavia’s Brood

 

[ Read Original: reddoorproject.org ]

By: REDDOOR PROJECT

Walidah Imarisha is proud to be a nerd. The Portland-based writer, organizer, educator and performance poet is obsessed with sci-fi, and she’s equally passionate about social change. Those two interests collide in Walidah’s newest project with adrienne maree brown, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, an anthology of visionary science fiction and speculative fiction written by organizers and activists, inspired by prominent science fiction writer Octavia Butler.

Octavia’s Brood reached its funding original goal on Indiegogo earlier this month, and is currently seeking contributions for stretch goals. You can read more about the project and contribute here.

We interviewed Walidah last week about Octavia’s Brood, her relationship with Butler’s work, and why it might be time for Uhura to give Captain Kirk a piece of her mind.

Check out ‘Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements’

 

[ Read Original: http://scifipulse.net ]

By: Ian Cullen

Since I first got into science fiction through television shows such as ‘Star Trek’ it’s never ceased to amaze me at how much of an inspiration science fiction can be.

Science Fiction and my love of things such as Star Trek, Doctor Who and many other shows, movies, comics and books empowered me to start this here website back in May of 2001.

Excerpt from “Black Angels and Blue Roses”

 

[ Read Original: hoodedutilitarian.com ]

By: Walidah Imarisha

[Note by Noah: This is an excerpt from a story by Walidah Imarisha which will be included in the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, edited by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. The book is a collection of sci-fi stories by social activist writers, inspired by the work of Octavia Butler. The editors are currently running a funding campaign on indiegogo, where you can find out more about the project.

Thanks to Walidah and Adrienne for running this excerpt here!

… The gang stayed for a few hours, drinking copious amounts of whiskey and making more noise than the rest of the bar put together.

Science Fiction + Social Justice

[ Read Original: ilovereveiller.com ]

By: Levi Dugat

Perhaps it’s because of my lifelong obsession with musicals, biographical dramas and romantic comedies that I was late on this, but I was well into my twenties before I fully grasped the power of science fiction as a social justice movement platform. Even though I had been engaged in activist communities for years at that point, it just never occurred to me that fiction could be a highly effective medium for presenting the ideals of social justice movements.

Taken out of context, the same activist ideals and principals many non-activisty folks might find off-putting, irrelevant or heavily stigmatized in their own lives, become causes they eagerly consent to stand behind emotionally. In the context of science fiction, our tendencies towards apathy are often absolved, and we’re given permission to consider the possibilities of worlds where it’s actually possible to overturn injustices and heal. I suppose the intention is that, this liberating and emotionally inspired experience you’re having in the theater, or with your nose in a book, will somehow filter back through into your real life, altering your established perspectives on what is possible in our world. That’s a pretty empowering prospect.

At the forefront of this realization for me, was trailblazing science fiction writer, and one of my favorite authors ever, Octavia Butler. When I stumbled upon the project, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, I was naturally enthralled, and immediately inspired to rally support. At the helm of this project are Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha, both community organizers, educators, writers, and self-proclaimed nerds. Amidst their working to “bridge the visionary qualities of science/speculative fiction with radical community organizing practice,” Octavia’s Brood was born.

Octavia’s Brood Wants to Bring You Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements

[ Read Original: colorlines.com ]

By: Walidah Imarisha

I’m a big fan of the Allied Media Conference, which is held at Detroit’s Wayne State University each June. It’s always a place where activists, artists, and ordinary people come together to think up innovative ideas. Case in point: for the past several years, activist Adrienne Maree Brown has been facilitating a popular workshop on acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler and helping people think up ways to use lessons from her work in their own organizing. Now, it seems that work is branching out to places far outside of Detroit.

Allied Media Conference: Imagining the Future of Media for People of Color

 

[ Read Original: iexaminer.org ]

By: CHRISTINE CRUZ GUIAO

Every year, about 1,600 people from all over North America converge in Detroit for the Allied Media Conference (AMC), an experiment in social organizing disguised as a conference on media and technology. Using a participatory model, the AMC is organized by over 60 coordinators, relying heavily on feedback from attendees to shape content and structure. This past June the AMC celebrated its 15th year.

I had been hearing about the AMC for years. Many of my activist friends of color got a glassy faraway look in their eye when they talked about their experiences there. Conferences rarely interested me, especially the political ones, even if they were as diverse and as radical as everyone raved about the AMC. Frankly, I didn’t want to spend an entire weekend in the Midwest bemoaning capitalism, heteropatriarchy, racism and all the other horrible things about our world — I could do all of that really well at home! (And besides, as a community-builder and healer, I work to build a more positive approach to social justice.) However, when I heard about the Healing Justice Gathering at the AMC, I shook off enough of my cynicism and went to check out all the hubbub.

 

1) AfroAF/BlackSF site reposted creative process video.
http://therealdashen.tumblr.com/post/57355007114/oeblegacyarchive-last-voices-of-octavias-brood
Aug 4, 2013
 
2) Colorlines, Octavia's Brood Wants to Bring You Science Fiction From Social Justice Movements.
http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/08/octavias_brood_wants_to_bring_you_science_fiction_stories_from_social_justice_movements.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Aug 5, 2013
 
3) Reveiller, Science Fiction + Social Justice
http://ilovereveiller.com/2013/08/02/science-fiction-social-justice/
Aug 2, 2013
 
4) Hooded Utilitarian, excerpted Walidah's Piece
http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2013/08/excerpt-from-black-angels-and-blue-roses-2/
Aug 4, 2013
 
5) SciFiPulse.net, Check out Octavia's Brood
http://scifipulse.net/2013/08/check-out-octavias-brood-science-fiction-stories-from-social-justice-movements/
Aug 3, 2013
 
6) Red Door Project, Interview: Walidah Imarisha on Octavia's Brood
http://reddoorproject.org/news/blog/interview-walidah-imarisha-on-octavias-brood/
July 17, 2013
 
7) Cherwell.org, Interview: Octavia's Brood
http://www.cherwell.org/culture/art-and-books/2013/08/01/interview-octavias-brood
Aug 1, 2013
 
8) International Examiner, Allied Media Conference: Imagining the Future of Media for People of Color
http://www.iexaminer.org/2013/07/allied-media-conference-imagining-the-future-of-media-for-people-of-color/
July 22, 2013