Online writing workshop: science-fiction and pleasurable cities

04 June, 05 June, Online

Friday June 4 and Saturday June 5, Extra Extra in collaboration with WORM Rotterdam present a two-day online science fiction programme. Veering from gravitas to satire, sci-fi happens just around the corner and not solely in a galaxy far, far away – it might happen in the rooms of your own home. Together we’ll explore the sensual potential of the sci-fi genre and the adaptive and resilient communities of the urban. Roam in speculative futures, reimagine the streets we walk, experience impossible spaces, enjoy the film programme and think about what these visions mean for your writing practice.

We invite you to join us online for an inspiring talk, two writing workshops featuring acclaimed sci-fi devotees, and a film programme with an introduction.

Practical info
Besides the talk, which will be streamed through VIMEO, the programme is hosted through Zoom. You will receive an email with login instructions after purchasing your ticket. Arrive a few minutes early to make sure everything is working; our host will be there to assist if needed.

Program

Workshop #1: On Pleasurable Technologies

  • Friday June 4 | 14:00 – 18:00 | Host: Rachel Rumai Diaz
  • Tickets: €35,- including free access to the talk and film programme
This workshop is inspired by the essay Fierce.net by writer D. Travers Scott. In this text, Travers Scott reflects on his physical interactions with dating websites, considering the way an ideal internet would present itself to him. Participants of the workshop On Pleasurable Technologies will be guided by writer and spoken word artist Rachel Rumai Diaz into a reflection of their physical interaction with technology. Using these insights, we will imagine an alternative engagement with a familiar technology – such as an app – through writing.

About the workshop host
Rachel Rumai Diaz (1990) is a writer, poet, performance artist, cultural programme curator and teacher. She is also the creator and founder of the feminist literary festival Zus en Zo (Sister and Such), a platform that focusses on intersectionality and modern sisterhood. In 2020 she was nominated by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad as one of the 101 new talents in the cultural sector in The Netherlands and Belgium.

Talk: Afrofuturism and Sci-fi as a Space of World-building by Dan Hassler-Forest

  • Friday June 4 | 20:00 – 21:00
  • Tickets: €7.5,-
During Friday evening, we welcome writer and academic Dan Hassler-Forest. Navigating the work of Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany and Janelle Monáe, he will present a talk that explores afrofuturism and sci-fi as a space of world-building. Eurocentric science-fiction narratives have tended to replicate the binary tropes of liberal humanism: mind over body, male over female, white over black. Yet, through these pioneering artistic perspectives, emanating both from the past and present, Dan will explore the erotic in SF as a liberatory device. Dan Hassler-Forest is a professor at Utrecht University and is currently working on a book about popstar Janelle Monáe's cyborg-fixated entertainment, to be published in 2022.

Workshop #2: Sex and the Cityscape

  • Saturday June 5 | 12:00 – 16:00 | Host: Julie Phillips
  • Tickets: €35,- including free access to the talk and film programme.
Science fiction is famous for its richly imagined urban landscapes. From the grimy neon-lit alleys of cyberpunk to the cartoonish modernity of The Jetsons, from the Afrofuturism of Wakanda to the hybrid of nature and culture in solarpunk, sci-fi makers are always reinventing the built environment. This workshop on Saturday, guided by writer Julie Phillips, starts with an introduction to these fictional cities. Through writing exercises, participants will devise a science fiction cityscape and its present or future inhabitants. In the second half of the workshop, we will write about what it is like to walk around in this city. To roam, taste, feel, and sensually experience your newly created space and those who live there.

About the workshop host

Julie Phillips is an American writer and critic, connected to the University of Amsterdam. She is the biographer of, amongst others, science fiction author James Tiptree Jr. (AKA Alice B. Sheldon).

Sci-Fi Film Programme

  • From Friday June 4th to Sunday June 6th, at your own leisure | Moderator: Hugo Emmerzael
  • Tickets: €4,-
An online film programme, available to stream at your own leisure from Friday until Sunday, is available with video introductions by film critic Hugo Emmerzael. Claire Denis’ High Life (2018) depicts a motley crew of astronauts exploring a black hole who are subjected to sexual experiments by their medical officer. A master of art-horror, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish (2017), is a throwback to 1980s sci-fi, where aliens land on Earth and snatch not only bodies but memories, beliefs and values. And, in a stunning afro-futurist short, Afronauts (2014), Nuotama Bodomo reimagines the 1969 Space Race between America and Zambia.