The Future Weird & The New Inquiry present a FREE screening of Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s sci-fi thriller Les Saignantes at the Morbid Anatomy Museum to mark the release of The New inquiry’s “Mourning” Issue.

WHEN: Saturday 30th August
7PM doors + admission to Museum of Morbid Anatomy
8PM screening followed by discussion + drinks

WHERE: The Morbid Anatomy Museum, 423 Third Ave, Brooklyn, NY

RSVP on Facebook

The Future Weird: an interview with Derica Shields

This interview was so much fun. Thank you cesaire and blackgirlstalking for all your Future Weird love <3 <3

blackgirlstalking:

BGT is approaching its second birthday (we can’t believe it!) and we’re delighted to have a new team member joining us as we move into our second year and continue to expand. Fanta Sylla has joined BGT as our new social media editor, and as you’ll see from the interview below which she conducted, Fanta is a wonderful addition to the BGT crew. Fatima, Ramou, Aurelia and Alesia will still continue to post content and, of course, record the podcast and you can still always reach us all here or through Twitter. Welcome Fanta!

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Creating a space to show films which document the future from a non-western, non-white and queer perspective, that was the desire behind THE FUTURE WEIRD a film screening series co-founded by Derica Shields and Megan Eardley that explores experimental, speculative and sci-fi films from Africa, the Global South or directed by people of color. We discussed this project with Derica Shields, as well as the concept of what is weird, and whether the future should be saved. — interviewed by f. sylla

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Black Girls Talking: Remote Control is the fifth instalment of THE FUTURE WEIRD after Non-Resident Aliens, Supra-Planetary Sovereigns and Visions of Excess. Can you talk about this project and what the inspiration was behind it?

Derica Shields: The Future Weird was born in July 2013 and there have been five programs: Visions of Excess; In Search of a Black Atlantis; Supra-planetary Sovereigns collaboration with Spectacle Theater); Remote Control; and Non-Resident Aliens.

The Future Weird emerged from a number of desires. I’d been wanting to do a screening series for a really long time. There were so many films by black and brown directors which I’d heard about but couldn’t find anywhere, or which I had seen and thought were interesting but they had not secured distribution. So one aim was just to screen these films because they weren’t readily available online or in theatres.

When I thinking about the screenings, I was keen to get away from a tendency I’d noticed to treat African film as though it’s a genre. I’m increasingly compelled by the move to theorise from the global south, rather than the north/West and wanted to have a space where we could privilege the conversations among black and brown people, without the constant reference to whiteness that emerges as a norm in white dominated spaces. So the screenings are organised thematically, and in that way, they tend to follow certain trains of thought or circle around ideas. “In Search of a Black Atlantis” came out of thinking I’d been doing while at grad school and before, since I’ve long been obsessed with water as a site of black cultural memory, loss, forgetting and rebirth. The films look at water as a cleansing force, what returns to us in the water as detritus, and as a site of myth too - black mermaids, mami water, drexciya/atlantis.

Another reason was that I’d moved to New York and it was lonely. I wanted to find people I could talk with about the things I was thinking about. In some part I also wanted to watch these films with other people rather than have this atomized YouTube viewing experience.

BGT: How do you select your films?

Shields: I usually have one or two films that are in my head at any given time, and then I’ll tease out threads from it and try and find points of connection with other films that I’ve seen or read about. Sometimes it involves lots of casting about - writing to people asking them to send you screeners of their films.  I also keep a notebook with a list of films I want to screen and I’ll look over that looking for the nexus of interrelations.

BGT: What is your definition of weird?

Shields: Weird means unruly, uncontained, and situated outside of the mainstream, or at an awkward angle to it. Weird is the creative invention of the marginalised majority. It’s like, people from populations who are exposed to destitution and premature death and organised abandonment are making things. I’m not trying to say that every black, brown, woman or queer filmmaker is from an abject social position, but currently our systems of recognition still fail to register black, brown, queer, trans* work as work, or art as art, or thinking as thinking.  With The Future Weird I want people to get in a room and talk about the work itself, not just to “celebrate” it in this liberal way which is like a pat on the head, but to say “hey we recognise your art/work/thinking and we are here to talk and think about it.”

The word weird also invites invention and reimagination rather than acceptance of the terms already on offer. Weird means an end to bargaining for inclusion on other people’s terms, and in turn, struggling towards your own terms for art, thought, politics, prosperity…. As a younger person I was definitely weird, but I as I got older I increasingly caved to the discipline of fancy universities, I stopped being weird, which meant that I stopped demanding what seemed impossible. But imagining and then demanding what seems impossible is so powerful, especially when our world is so inadequate and deadly.

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lupercos:

hi there! i’m bo and i’m making a short 2D animated film for my final year of university! it’s about gay girls and family and mars and i need two voice actors. you can contact me at any point via tumblr or ninebluebirds@gmail.com 

quick things to note:

  • payment to be discussed according to your rates
  • please be 16 or older (for legal reasons re: university policies)
  • it will deal with themes of parent death and violence
  • you will be credited under whichever name you choose
  • you must have access to decent recording equipment (at the very least, a microphone that won’t pop, etc) unless you live in wellington, nz, in which case i can get that for you
  • both characters are queer so only queer people can apply, the main character mercury is a trans girl so only trans girls/transfeminine people can apply for her role, both are POC so only POC can apply, etc
  • minor elements of the plot and dialogue are liable to change in the near future. if the changes make you uncomfortable or unwilling to continue to work on the project, that’s fine. i aim to not have that happen and if changes were made that required further voice work you would be compensated duly

plot background: humans came to mars about 30 years ago from the time the film is set to find a bizarre but habitable planet that already has its own ecosystem and wildlife. humans started to settle in and build cities, struggling with issues of poverty and an inhospitable environment, and within ten years people began to get ill with a strange sickness that was suspected to come from drinking too much of the local unfiltered water on mars. this sickness drained colour from people and made them behave strangely. a regime within the cities is constructed in order to eliminate people showing signs of the sickness in an attempt to stop it from spreading. the overwhelming poverty and difficulty of life on mars meant that people continued to get sick, with resentment building towards the wealthy few who didn’t get sick + the law enforcers. 

now, onto the characters!

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Mercury is a trans girl, African-American/Pakistani, about 16 years old. She lived with her mother Maya until she was about 14, at which point Maya died of a degenerative long-term illness unrelated to the water sickness. At age 6, Merc and her mother met a strange lady called Ruby while exploring the ruins of an old Martian temple. Ruby and Maya date and Merc soon sees her as a parent figure. When Ruby is killed by police soon after Maya’s death, Merc struggles to come to terms with this and has to survive by herself up until the present day (the time of her narration). Like many poor people in the city, she also has the beginning stages of the water sickness, which makes her more of a loner than she would otherwise like to be. Merc has the majority of dialogue, as she does a voiceover throughout the course of the film. Mercury’s dialogue examples are here. Looking for a black and/or middle eastern trans lady/transfeminine person who can sound approximately 16-18 (character ages can be varied somewhat).

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Ruby is of an indeterminate age (around 20-30, potentially) and is not human.  This voice role can go to someone who’s either trans or cis. When Mercury and Maya met her in the ruins, she was a martian creature called an oona, which is able to imitate the forms of others. Oona are responsible indirectly for the water sickness, and Ruby has what would be considered a bad case of it, although in her case its due to oona being poor at mimicking pigment. She has not told Maya or Mercury that she isn’t human, although she suspects they may have guessed. She is usually light-hearted and mischievous, but in the dialogue section she has, she is discussing Maya’s recent death with Mercury and is trying to comfort her, while being quietly distraught herself. Ruby has limited dialogue (about 40 seconds, give or take). Ruby’s dialogue examples are here. Looking for a woman of colour who can sound between 25-35.

if you have any questions, please direct them to either my tumblr or my email. signal boosts are appreciated very much and if you’d like to follow the progress on the short film itself, there’s a tumblr here that doubles as a workbook, or this tumblr itself. thank you!

(via blackfoxx)

aidahrasheed:

If You Build It closes this weekend..if you’re in New York check it and make sure to check out kameelahwrites installation..

"My installation, No Instructions for Assembly, Activation IV functions as an ephemeral and portable archive of my family who struggled through years of homelessness. I engage these traces and residues of displacement using both found and original images, objects and texts, all functioning as specters or ghosts of the past showing up in the present, refusing to leave. Into these material traces the audience is invited to activate the space and begin mapping their own histories by installing objects, photographs, letters and other material culture of their own in a way that either establishes a relationship to the existing materials or begins a new dialogue. This process is designed to move away from audience participation to audience collaboration, activation and curation. The additive and collaborative nature of this installation mirrors the process of democratic archiving and storytelling where the space is no longer formed by an institution that dictates what stories are told, but rather a space where all stories hold weight.” -Kameelah Janan Rasheed

 

(via kameelahwrites)

LUPITA ON WANGECHI | by Zina Saro Wiwa

Back in 2010, as part of her project “This is My Africa”, Zina Saro Wiwa interviewed Lupita Nyong’o about her love for the work of Wangechi Mutu.

"She creates these new bodies, they’re very elegant, very loud and sensual at the same time, really primitive and yet futuristic […] In Africa there’s all this talk about tension between tradition and modernity, but when these two clash, so many other things come out. And that’s what I feel Wangechi captures, that complexity, that new identity that comes out of an Africa that’s flexing it’s muscles and trying to find its place. - Lupita on Wangechi

derica:

THE FUTURE WEIRD: remote control
Wednesday 26th MARCH 2014 @8PM, Spectacle Theater 

The Future Weird is back with REMOTE CONTROL, an evening of films concerning witches & bitches – women who see, take, and sell things they cannot grasp. Whether they wield powers to possess, or are somehow controlled, the technologies these films document are deployed without regard for reciprocity or consent. 

REMOTE CONTROL is both the loss of individual agency, and the thrilling ability to inhabit another’s body. Presenting weird clips alongside shorts by Zina Saro Wiwa, Elaine Castillo, Fyzal Boulifa, and the U.S. Premiere of TOUCH by Shola Amoo, we’re talking possession, surveillance, “brain to brain interface”, and the sinister compulsion to repurpose the humanoid. Join us on Wednesday 26th March @8PM as we contemplate the human of use of human beings.

More details & RSVP via the Facebook event page 

The Future Weird is a screening series dedicated to sci-fi/experimental/weird film by black, African & Third World directors created by Derica Shields & Megan Eardley. Find details of previous programs and follow us here & here

We’re taking this program to the Museum of Arts & Design, this Saturday 9th August at 3PM — more details & RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1443886595875661/

Debra Shaw at Alexander McQueen S/S 1997 

"This iconic moment comes from the collection La Poupée, which in French means ‘doll’ or ‘puppet.’ This particular moment involved the model Debra Shaw wearing a manacle. When she walked down the runway, she was constrained by her elbows and her knees. Seeing her walking down the runway with these movements that looked so painful was very difficult to watch at the time. McQueen always denied the fact that it had any connotations of slavery and referenced the fact that the collection itself was inspired by the artist Hans Bellmer’s dolls. But when you first saw it, it was unavoidable to see the undertones of slavery." - Andrew Bolton

(via cesaire)

derica:

On Saturday 9th August at 3PM, THE FUTURE WEIRD presents REMOTE CONTROL at the Museum of Arts and Design’s MAD Biennale, in association with Spectacle Theater
REMOTE CONTROL is a program of short films concerning witches & bitches – women who see, take, and sell things they cannot grasp. Whether they wield powers to possess, or are somehow controlled, the technologies these films document are deployed without regard for reciprocity or consent. 
Presenting shorts by Zina Saro WiwaFyzal Boulifa and Shola Amoo, we’re talking possession, surveillance, “brain to brain interface”, and the human use of human beings. 
THE FUTURE WEIRD is a screening series dedicated to speculative, experimental and weird film by directors from Africa and the Global South. 
WHEREMuseum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle
WHEN: Saturday 9th August 2014 @3PM
TIX: $10/$5 concessions