“breathe deep, beloved young and frightened self, and then let go. and you will hold on. so let go again.”
— Alexis Pauline Gumbs
— Alexis Pauline Gumbs
“Activist Imagination and the Politics of Hope,” was a class designed by Tamara Myers under the Comparative History of Ideas Department at the University of Washington, Seattle, in the Spring of 2016. As a class, and group of activist-dreamers, we read the stories of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, in the hopes of relating the visionary imagination of the authors to our own social-justice work. During the course, members of the class envisioned, strategized, analyzed and connected the works of Octavia’s Brood, and produced creative practices that can be used immediately in any activist circle. Here are those practices.
The works of Octavia’s Brood were put together under the collective efforts of Editors Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, with the purpose of showing how the imagination that goes into writing science fiction stories is directly relatable to the imagination activists must use to envision a better world. The inspiration for Octavia’s Brood is rooted in the writing of science fiction author Octavia Butler, who uses the space of science fiction to call attention to social justice issues relevant in contexts beyond the imaginative. The authors who make up Octavia’s Brood work towards achieving their envisioned realities by using the methods of Octavia Butler as a resource for direct action through writing. In honor of these authors, fellow-activists, and risk-takers, we have compiled short biographies featuring the stunning artwork of classmate Kathryn Shanahan.
To learn more about Octavia’s Brood and to support the project click here.
To learn more about Octavia Butler click here.
Octavia’s Brood was formed when a group of activists and organizers channeled their visions for a more just world into the realm of science fiction writing. Creates were the next step to developing these visions. Individually imagined, the creates come from unique experiences which shape their meaning and purpose. They are practices designed for the immediate utilization of individuals or organizations through the identification of specific goals to envision, connect, analyze, and/or strategize the just world of our imaginations.