Politics and cultural revolution is a popular theme for many sci-fi writers -- utopia, dystopia, hidden kingdoms, secret societies offer readers new possibilities of how the world could be molded. Writers dream of societies that have no crime, or poverty; or conversely, a place where everything has gone wrong and people suffer except for a tiny elite ruling class. Yet, the realities speak of genocide, racial hatred and social insanity. In the 1800s, there were many black leaders (and not just Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas or Nat Turner) who believed that drastic actions were needed to ensure that people of African descent would have a viable future in the United States of America. Fast foward to the 21st Century. African Americans are challenged with new realities.
Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies presented the symposium “Ferguson is the Future — Incubating Alternative Worlds Through Arts, Activism, and Scholarship” on Monday, September 14, 2015 at Chancellor Green Rotunda. Discussions and panels included topics such as: How does visionary fiction offer us models for creating new possible worlds? Can the combined insights and interventions of artists, activists, and scholars plot a different course forward? “Ferguson is the Future” is part of an ongoing collaboration to imagine and create alternative worlds that are more just and representative of humanity.
This symposium brought together a multigenerational panel of speculative fiction writers, activists, filmmakers, academics, and artists to discuss the historical, present-and-future manifestations of a social reality we wish to create and thrive in. As we work to shape change, this space was used as an incubator and laboratory to grow new visions of the worlds we want to exist. You can follow their progress by contacting the individuals involved.