Black Sci-fi Writers and Artists Gather at Princeton for 'Ferguson is the Future'
This past September DJ lynnée denise participated in a historic event hosted by Princeton University's newly accredited African American Department, “Ferguson is the Future.” The symposium brought together a multigenerational panel of speculative fiction writers, activists, filmmakers, academics, and artists to discuss the historical, present-and-future manifestations of a social reality they wish to create and thrive in. A well executed conference, the organizers, Moya Bailey, Ruha Benjamin and Ayana Jameson set out to shift the national conversation on police brutality and structural racism, exploring words, images and sounds created by Black science fictionists around the nation.
lynnée denise's work in spaces like these is to introduce organizers and fellow participants to new ways of engaging the DJ, moving the understanding of a DJ from the restrictive role of purveyor of party music, to one that sees the DJ as a cultural archivist whose work, more often than not, happens outside of the context of a club or the dance floor. lynnée denise presented on “Music Technology and Rhythm Justice.” She spoke to a range of topics related to L.A. and Pacific Northwest artists who are pushing the boundaries of the city’s post 92 Rebellion identity. She used the work of filmmaker Khalil Joseph and underground sci-fi soul music produced by groups like Shabazz Palaces and Flying Lotus to speak to this underground community of visionary futurists.
The event featured some of brightest minds in the world of Black Speculative Fiction and brought in other genre stretching artist activists like the hyper-talented Be Steadwell and visual artist John Jennings to extend the reach of this dialogue. ‘Ferguson is the Future’ was successful in that it brought a special kind of attention to the role that radical imagination must play in the restructuring of a system rooted in strategies that simply transform the violent methods by which savage social inequalities and racialized brutality are enforced.