The Reverb
Published in

The Reverb

Writing New Worlds

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, in conversation with Walida Imarsha, and Alexis DeVeaux at the Allied Media Conference

I think of visionary fiction as absolutely rooted in Blackness and in the experienc of oppressed peoples creating decolonized dreams of the future. … It is not visionary fiction if we are not rooting in the understanding that those who have held the liberated dreams of the future, (who) were told again and again were science fiction are the oppressed and the marginalized, are Black and brown folks. They are the ones who dreamed impossible dreams and then changed the entire world to make them all of our lived realities. [Walida Imarsha on the connection between Black speculative fiction and visionary fiction]

Art by Amir Khadar for Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Re-Imagining Gender in Wakanda

It allows me to see the limits of my own imagination and it allows me to . . . be creative there, which then means I’m not being reactive to the present situation, I’m being expansive in my imagination . . . . To say, “what is the most beautiful thing I can imagine, and how can I be there — put myself there — through my art?” . . . Visionary fiction has made me a more generous participant in the present, because I understand that I have a creative role in not just the future that we can have but, importantly, the future that we can imagine.

[Alexis Pauline Gumbs on her relationship with visionary fiction]

We know that we can change the future because we’ve done it again and again and again. I want us to claim the future with the same certainty with what came before. [Walidah Imarsha on the connection between Black activism and movement — and visionary fiction]

Part of my practice as a writer [is not only to] write against something like whiteness or homophobia or transphobia or ageism or a multitude of structural injustices but my question to myself as a writer for every project is “what am I writing toward?” Not just what I’m writing against because that holds me constrained by that imagination, but when I write towards a sermonic text …Is my writing a sonic project? Can it be heard — is it heard? Is it vibrational, meaning does it have breath? Is it disturbing the air? . . .[Alexis De Veaux on her writing process]

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Resonance Network

Resonance Network is a constellation of people building a world without violence, rooted in deep relationship, vibrant community, and connection to our planet.