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Visionary Fiction in Post-Conflict Communities

How can the world we live in today lead to the world we want in the future?

In post-conflict communities, citizens are daily engaged in conversations about how best to deal with the legacy of the past as well as how to move together toward a shared future.

The craft of visionary fiction presents a unique opportunity to help create new worlds for communities in transition.

Éist is pleased to present an emancipatory approach to storytelling that uses fantasy as a way to envision the future.

ob_cvrWalidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, co-editors of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movementsdescribe visionary fiction as “fantastical literature that helps us to understand existing power dynamics, and helps us imagine paths to creating more just futures.” The genre encompasses science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, alternative timelines and more.

Based on the work of Black feminist science fiction writer Octavia Butler and in collaboration with the radical thinkers behind the Octavia’s Brood anthology, Éist will explore how visionary fiction can create space for those who have been marginalized to take control over the narrative of progress in their communities. Workshop participants will use the lessons of the past and the realities of the present to explore and play with how to get to a socially-just future.


Rewriting the Future: Visionary Fiction, Storytelling and Social Justice in Belfast

octavia6We are currently fundraising to support a special, international collaboration with Octavia’s Brood and Diversity Challenges:

In 2017,  Éist, in collaboration with Diversity Challenges and Irish playwright Laurence McKeown, will offer a series of participatory workshops on visionary fiction led by contributors to Octavia’s Brood in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Inspired by the writings of Black feminist writer Octavia Butler, Octavia’s Brood is an anthology of radical science & speculative fiction written by organizers & activists, based on the idea that those working to change the world are sci-fi/speculative thinkers. Butler’s work centered primarily on social justice issues and featured women of color as heroes engaged in changing the world.

Brood editors adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, along with contributing author Autumn Brown, will lead participants in a series of workshops focused on collective storytelling and writing based on current political issues; fiction writing as a tool for healing from trauma; emergent strategy; and generative somatics. Participants will explore how to imagine how the world we live in today can lead to the world we want in the future and to express those desires through the craft of visionary fiction.

This program is the first of its kind, and we have put together a very ambitious schedule. We are currently seeking direct and in-kind donations to help make our vision a reality.

Our budget includes cost of travel and stipends for workshop leaders and organizers. Attendance at the workshops in Belfast will be free of charge for participants.

To find out how you can help, please email kate@eistworks.org.

“It is only through imagining the so-called impossible that we can begin to concretely build it. When we free our imaginations, we question everything.” – Walidah Imarisha