January 25. Radicalizing speculation: emancipatory imagination in an age of future fatigue. Hosted by Jorge Vega, with Edna Bonhomme and guest TBA

Saturday, January 25, 19:00
Radicalizing speculation: emancipatory imagination in an age of future fatigue
Hosted by Jorge Vega, with Edna Bonhomme and guest TBA

Octavia Butler called Science Fiction ‘the freest genre in existence,’ based on the author’s perceived freedom to define their own limits or boundaries, especially those that transcend the limits or boundaries of contemporary society. The power of speculative fiction lies in its capacity to conjure what Ursula K Le Guin identified as ‘realism of a large reality.’

More often than not, speculation is tied to the future. And the future as territory is subject to the same historical dynamics of colonization, exploitation, appropriation, co-optation, and commodification: at best to sell technoscientific solutionism and humanize market narratives, at worst to normalize – in its mass media incarnation – the state of emergency and its ideologies of self-alienation and collective nihilism.

When can speculation transcend its aesthetic and recreational consumption, into the realm of transformative change? Whose voices and which values set the metaphorical conditions that can guide our escape from Mark Fisher’s capitalist realism or realize Angela Davis’ vision of Critical Resistance? And how, both as an artistic and political practice, might speculative fiction become what adrienne maree brown called a “way to practice the future together”?

In this discussion circle we’ll invite researchers and practitioners rooted in speculative practices and future narratives to shed light on how they approach and understand Speculative Fiction, especially that framed by narratives from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and generally responding to the need for alternative visions of futures built on transformative change, multi-species emancipation, planetary healing, and restorative justice.

This discussion circle is invited by Luiza Pado de O. Martins as part of her residency at TIER, In Weaving Shared Soil.

Edna Bonhomme is an activist, historian, writer, curator, and lecturer whose research interrogates disease, gender, surveillance, and embodiment. Edna earned a PhD in history of science at Princeton University with a dissertation that examined plagued bodies and spaces in North Africa and the Middle East. She is also co-host of the podcast Decolonization in Action. Her creative work is guided by diasporic futures, herbal healing, and bionic beings. Follow her on Twitter @jacobinoire

Jorge Vega. Born in Puerto Rico (1987). For the past 8 years has worked as an ethnographer and design researcher, in places like São Paulo, Lyon, Guangzhou, and Jeddah. The output varied, but most projects have involved understanding emerging systems and behaviors, often demystifying the technologies and cultural context underpinning them. Speculative fiction and narratives and symbols pertaining to the social imaginary of the future underpin his work.
He is currently focused on artistic and projects under ‘Peripheral Intuitions,’ an ongoing collaboration with artist Chaveli Sifre. They mix artistic interventions, immersive spaces, and education guided by the senses as a way to break from logic-driven oppression while championing cultures in flux and marginalized subjectivities as agents for collective change.