OCTAVIA'S BROOD

Science Fiction from Social Movements An anthology of visionary science fiction and
speculative fiction written by organizers and activists.

[Coming April 2015 - pre-order discounted copy here!!]

 

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Gabriel Teodros and Walidah Imarisha on Sci-Fi, Social Justice and the Radical Imagination

 

  1. Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Radical Imagination

    Walidah Imarisha and Gabriel Teodros, with a special video discussion from Mumia Abu Jamal, examine the ways in which visionary science and fantasy fiction can inspire the radical imagination to envision the features of a socially just world.

    They discuss and read from the new edited collection “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements” (AK Press - [http://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html]) which seeks to demonstrate a connection between speculative writing and movements for transformative social change.  


    This event was sponsored by the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures [http://anarresproject.org/] and the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion. [http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/shpr]

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TP0qza7uqNs

The Only Fiction Recommendation from Moe's Books, in SF Chronicle

'Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha: This collection, inspired by the writings of Octavia Butler, features almost three dozen stories that exhibit the natural affinity between writing speculative fiction and reflecting on the means of making a better world.'

Check out the list here:

http://www.sfchronicle.com/books/article/Book-recommendations-from-Moe-s-Books-6350118.ph

Equal Time for Free Thought (radio)

'As many may already know, science fiction and speculative fiction in general can investigate and articulate the state of our nation and/or world in very direct but also metaphorical ways. We have talked about Star Trek, for instance, on Equal Time and how Gene Roddenberry was able to discuss humanism and naturalism via the small and large screen. And there have been many novels and short stories since at least the late 19th Century which have done the same.'

Check out the interview here: 

http://www.equaltimeforfreethought.org/2015/06/27/show-535-developing-a-progressive-narrative/

Octavia's Brood Tour Completes on Octavia's Birthday!!

We dreamed of an incredible 10-city tour for Octavia's Brood. We asked y'all to support this book getting out into the world, and you did so, helping us to book a vast and fantastic tour.
 
Starting in Chicago at the incredible INCITE Color of Violence gathering, and ending this past weekend with a smorgasbord of gorgeous workshops and a massive sold-out reading at the Allied Media Conference where we incubated this project for years, we have now pulled out 47 events in 22 cities!!

Nerdbrarian Reads Us For The Hugo Awards!

 

octavias_brood_postcard_front_final_revOn the short-story front, I’ve also been reading through the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, which I originally encountered via BoingBoing. The majority of the featured authors hadn’t been published before in the genre and yet managed to produce some real quality speculative fiction. My favorite short stories included Bao Phi’s clever take on the zombie genre, “Revolution Shuffle,” and Morrigan Phillips’ dystopian tale about state power and the control of history, “The Long Memory.”

 

Read the rest here: http://www.nerdbrarian.com/2015/06/reading-for-the-hugos-2016/

'in search of our better selves' blog LOVES Octavia's Brood

 

Every once in a while, you come across a book that seems too good to be true. A book that almost feels like it couldn’t exist, like it’s too good for this world. Almost as if the existence of the book itself is science fiction, not real life.

I came across such a book this week. It’s called Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements.

Read the rest here: https://insearchofourbetterselves.wordpress.com/tag/octavias-brood/

Octavia's Brood Set to Rock the AMC!!

Thursday, June 18 
 
10-5pm
 
Friday, June 19
 
9:00am - 10:30am
Moving Grief Through the Body
Grief lives in our bodies, long after what we grieve has moved on. It shapes us. This session will draw on tools including Octavia Butler's Earthseed, theater, dance, and somatics. We will learn more about how grief works in our bodies and how we can reshape our grief. Participants will build more space inside of ourselves for embracing our feelings and transforming our grief into gratitude, possibility, and wisdom.
- adrienne maree brown
 
11:00am - 12:30pm
Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute
Learn tools to apply emergent strategy to your organization/group work. Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. We will look at how to align our movement work with emergence principles. Participants will walk away with tools they can apply immediately to increase adaptation, resilience and possibility in their movement work!
- adrienne maree brown
 
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Holding Space: Anti-Oppressive Facilitation
How can facilitators hold space for gatherings that are truly anti-oppressive? Join us as we explore strategies for facilitation that center the needs of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, survivors, and other marginalized communities. Drawing on knowledge in the room, we will explore how words, structures, technologies, and activities can build solidarity and safety in group settings. We will deepen our existing skills and leave with shiny, effective new tools for liberatory facilitation. 
- autumn brown
 
4:00pm - 5:30pm
For nine years, Mangos with Chili has dreamed liberatory QTPOC performance art into life. As we prepare to transition our organization, join us to hear stories about lessons learned along the way – about power, leadership, art, grief, conflict, culture-making and liberation song. Through video presentation, conversation with Cherry and Leah, and a fishbowl discussion, participants will explore the nitty gritty learnings and grief work of QTPOC performance making and cultural organization building.
- leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha
 
 
Saturday, June 20 
 
9:00am - 10:30am
Nonprofit Trauma: Transforming Harm
After experiencing work-related trauma, we are told that we cannot tell our stories for fear of becoming “unhirable.” How do we find healing when our traumas are ignored? In this workshop we explore storytelling as survival, and how strategic story-sharing enables us to change the way nonprofits function and the way harms are handled. Utilizing drama therapy, participants will have the opportunity to embody their stories and collectively generate strategies for turning their stories into resources for transformation.
- autumn brown
 
2:00pm-3:30pm
Liberation for Divination in HJPS - listed under the skillshare tab in the Healers Schedule
 
 
4:00pm - 5:30pm
The People's Encyclopedia 2070
How do we keep track of our vision for the better world we are working towards? The People's Encyclopedia 2070 is a web-based tool to build our collective vision for what today means for tomorrow. Participants will get to work independently and in groups to write their own entries, engage in collective visioning and contribute to the growing People's Encyclopedia of 2070. - walidah imarisha and morrigan phillips 
 
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Surviving the Mic: Making Safe Creative Space
The consequences of trauma can echo throughout the lifetime of a survivor. Creativity captures that echo, helping survivor artists shape the sound of their healing. We will explore our experience with Surviving the Mic, a collaborative organization creating safe and affirming creative spaces for survivors of trauma. Participants will learn how we have impacted the way that other creative spaces now welcome the voices and vision of survivor artists. Participants will walk away with a model for how to build their own safe creative spaces. - tara betts 
 
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Book Release and Signing Event for Octavia’s Brood
Cass Commons (Corner of Cass and Forrest)
 
Join Octavia's Brood to celebrate the five year journey that culminated in this year's publishing of the anthology of original science fiction from social justice movements, which is already in its second printing! We'll have a delicious local meal, readings and music! Hosts include adrienne maree brown, Walidah Imarisha, Autumn Brown, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Morrigan Phillips, Tunde Olaniran and Dani McClain 

Catered by Ora Wise. Dinner is $15.00. 

Buy tickets here: https://store.alliedmedia.org/octavia-s-brood-book-release-and-signing-event 
 

We're in The Nation!


OPB Interview with the Co-editors! (radio)

From Ursula Le Guin to George Lucas, science fiction has always celebrated imagination’s power to re-shape society.

Now, there’s a brand-new anthology of science fiction stories with social justice and politics at their heart. It’s called Octavia’s Brood, (the title is a nod to the fantastically imaginative Octavia Butler, who gracefully brought a diverse range of social issues into her fiction). Portland author and organizer Walidah Imarisha and Detroit writer adrienne maree brown teamed up to write and edit stories for the book. We sat down with Imarisha and brown to ask how they came to science fiction, and where they hope it can take us. 

Hear the interview here: http://www.opb.org/radio/article/science-fiction-meets-social-justice-in-octavias-brood/

How Are You Using Octavia's Brood?

We've started hearing amazing things from people doing book groups, sacred readings and study groups around the book. We want to know - how are you using it? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook or post pics of it to our Instagram!

Celebrating the Black Fantastic (adrienne maree writes from the road)

This past week has been an explosion of black science fictional brilliance, and I want to share it with y'all, these are models of how to use Octavia's Brood to catalyze and deepen local movement work.

First, in Boston, we had two days of Black to the Future, hosted by Intelligent Mischief.

The first day was an afternoon training on Emergent Strategy. You may be a mercury retrograde denier, but that can't stop a day of mishaps like this one, and still, people showed up hungry to engage the ideas. The circle was small and the training adapted to work for the people in the room. Each emergent strategy training is an opportunity to keeping adding flesh to the skeleton of concepts - in preparing for this training I realized something very simple that I hadn't quite articulated before - emergent strategies are strategies for being. Strategy is usually associated with doing, and I am realizing that what I'm focused on is how humans are. Science fiction is one place to discuss that together without the usual limitations.

The next evening started with a reading from Octavia's Brood where I read with the delightful Morrigan Phillips, whose incredible fantastical analysis of Guantanamo Bay sits at the heart of the anthology.

Following that was a panel of local artists, activists, theorists and cooperative entrepreneurs. I told them this and it's true: my jaw was on the floor most of the time. I do love to be dazzled by black brilliance. A lot of what was shared was context-exploding - do you think you're in a small world where you know the rules? You aren't, you don't, expand.

Kenny Bailey from Design Studio for Innovation questioned the idea that concepts we now accept as a right or given, including justice and race, may be outdated one day, and can we imagine that, and who we will be in that future?

Terry Marshall from Intelligent Mischief reminded us that so many are currently dying, being shot down, because in the white imagination we are dangerous.

Moya Bailey shared that in her vision of justice in the future we would all relate to each other in very different ways - attending and listening to each other, changing together from the root.

I shared that I'm longing for a future where there are no enemies. To black children, to black people, to anyone. Otherwise we are just rearranging blood.

After the panel there was a period of what I can only call black delight in the 'green room' of the SEIU building, using what we'd heard to weave ourselves together.

A couple of days later the Black Futures Fest began in New Orleans, hosted by the Wildseeds, a circle of artists, organizers, and healers working in the lineage of Octavia Butler. There was a similar sense of wonder.

Walidah and I arrived into the costume party evening. I dressed as smitten kitten because I actually travel with head to toe leopard print gear and the only other option was Jersey Shore extra. Walidah dressed as her character Black Angel, and she was 'more terrible' than anyone could have imagined, with an actual burnt wing and all leather everything.

This fest featured incredible local artists, one after another, voices to break and heal the heart. Standouts for me were Monica McIntyre, Charm, and Michaela Harris. There was also a trio of gender queer vocalists who have been touring together and offered an incredibly emotional set.

I got to offer an emergent strategy session and Walidah led a sci fi and direct action training. We also got to take in incredible sessions including writer-thinker Rasheedah Philips teaching us about afrofuturism and time travel!

The great honor of the event was getting to do a talk and reading with Kalamu ya Salaam, an Octavia's Brood local contributor and incredible accomplished writer. He was deeply generous, encouraging us to keep growing this field of work, uplifting the warrior work of women.

This practice of using Octavia's Brood to catalyze celebration of the Black fantastic yields such generative and healing space. We are growing black futures! Feeling very grateful to all of the hosts and humans embodying their dreams in action.

Ms. Magazine Names Octavia's Brood in 'Great Reads for Spring 2015'!

From print magazine:

"Speculative-fiction writers and social-justice advocates have similar visions: Both strive to create a world vastly different from the one we inhabit. That's the premise behind Octavia's Brood, in which 20 writer-activists come together to 'write themselves into the future.' This stirring tribute to the late black sci-fi writer Octavia Butler inserts the narratives of marginalized peoples into the genre of superheroes, zombies and time travelers."

 

Feeding the Philanthropic Imagination (from Pia Infante)

From The Whitman Institute Blog:

'Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Octavia’s Brood, which is an anthology of science fiction stories by amateur writers who happen to be seasoned activists for social change. I’ve been carrying one of its premises in my heart since I read the introduction: those working to bring about social, political, and economic equity are imagining new narratives to carry the whole of us forward. 

 

With that as inspiration, I do not want to blog today about my quibbles with traditional philanthropy in the U.S. In the vein of lifting up new narratives, I want to point out a couple of creative catalysts in the field – Open Road Alliance and Kindle Project.'

Read the rest: http://thewhitmaninstitute.org/twi-blog/feeding-philanthropys-imagination/

 

Red Wedges Thoughtful Review of Octavia's Brood

 

The relationship between speculative fiction (sf) and human liberation is perhaps not as straightforward as the old formula “science fiction is progressive, fantasy is reactionary” touted by many leftist literary critics in the past few decades, but it is nonetheless important to understand the ways in which the fantastic can illuminate our world by laying bare its contradictions and oppressive structures. Octavia’s Brood is a collection of sf writings compiled by adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha which engages in a grand experiment to test this relationship by offering amateur writers — who happen to be social justice activists — the opportunity to publish original work which explicitly deals with themes of struggle and oppression. Alongside several non-fiction essays and excerpts from novels written by LeVar Burton (ofStar Trek and Reading Rainbow fame) and Terry Bisson (of the left-wing sf classic Fire on the Mountain fame), the collection represents a powerful collective project aimed at exploring the relationship between art and politics.

Read the rest here: http://www.redwedgemagazine.com/reviews/from-fantasy-to-collective-action

NY Journal of Books Reviews Octavia's Brood

'Octavia’s Brood is an intriguing collection. The stories are meant to be thought-provoking and they do indeed lead one to imagine our future should we stay our current course. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s essay, “Star Wars and the American Imagination,” helps to make connections between themes in the stories and science fiction in general and societal concerns. This is a collection that offers much for anyone concerned about the state of our world.' - See more at: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/octavias

 

Black Nerd Problems Reviews Octavia's Brood

'These writers and their characters are consciously Octavia’s descendants, and for my part I think Butler would be damn proud. Every story has at its core a revolution, a revolution for people of color, for the poor, the physically disabled, the mentally ill, and others of us who land at intersections of all of the above. Many of the authors are themselves first-time writers, coming from backgrounds in social justice advocacy and the like. This makes for a book that takes the importance of diverse books as an assumption and that utterly crushes any remnants of the centrality of white, able-bodied, CIS-gendered males in speculative fiction.'

Read the full review here: http://blacknerdproblems.com/site/octavias-brood-delivers-with-visions-of-the-afro-future/

Compiled Octavia's Brood Poem

A poem compiled by Professor Francesca T. Royster, who is the DePaul University's English Department Chair, of lines from Octavia's Brood.

 

Emerging Strategies

By Francesca T. Royster

 

“all that you touch you change” (Octavia Butler)

[this book] a shooting star (Sojourner Truth)

envision a world without war, without violence, without prison, without capitalism (Imarisha)

 

a messy plate of nachos…Pho (Phi)

a slender fish, oil on its scales … it was a hungry time (adrienne maree brown)

Zombies/ targeted communities (Phi)

The smell of mass-incarcerated flesh (Phi)

Her AK-47 (Phi)

Revolution? (Phi)

 

“Them white folks ain’t gonna take too kindly to a colored boy with superpowers.” (Walker)

They’d killed Martin, Malcom, Medgar, and so many others. (Walker)

All kinds of sparkling souls been weighted down all the way into the mud  (adrienne maree brown)

Bodies by the only overnight shelter, bodies in the fake downtown garden sponsored by coca-cola, bodies in potholes on streets strung with christmas lights because the broke city turned off the streetlights. (adrienne maree brown)

She wasn’t much on politics, but she hated  the shifts in the city, the way it was fading as it filled with people who didn’t know how to see it…Detroit. (adrienne maree brown)

 

The authorities were already here….No one was coming to help. (Imarisha)

The mother began scratching and biting the agent with all her might… The little girl ran to a dumpster and hid. (Imarisha)

The long memory…. We have a history between us (Phillips)

Listen! (Garcia)

 

A single guttural cry, and I force my body onto my feet, positioning the pack between my legs, assume a warrior stance. (Autumn Brown)

Mama, why do you keep saying “where are our sons?” when you are sleeping? (Garcia)

 

A crown or a veil. (Betts)

You’ve been alone. That’s over. We have too much to do. (Olaniran)

That very night O prepared her birds for flight. (Garcia)

Vibrations

Sent from the space world (Anderson)

She experiences it as peacock feathers, azure breath, the ghost of a word” (Piepzna-Samarasinha)

 

You remember that justice is no longer punishment. You affirm that the time of crime was an era of refused understanding and stunted evolution. We believe now in the experience of brilliance on the scale of the intergalactic tribe. (Gumbs)

 

Pattern, change, emerging strategy (Due/adrienne maree brown)

 

Cool clean waterfalls cascading down into cool green valleys, his mother’s hands cool on his hot forehead, the beauty of a grove of olive trees bright in the sunshine, his whole family, even the ones murdered and lost, gathered arm in arm. Peace. (Imarisha)

Breathe deep, beloved young and frightened self, and then let go. And then you will hold on. So then let go again.” (Gumbs)

 

Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless (Imarisha)

Bitch Reads Review

Powells Books and Bitch Magazine collaborate on Bitch Reads, a quarterly collaboration to bring the books lifted up by Bitch Magazine to readers. Check out the review here!

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