On Friday, June 9th please join us for a special screening event where we will be showcasing a series of eclectic contemporary Afrofuturist cinematic works. This will be taking place in person in Montreal at 435 rue Beaubien Ouest.
Afrofuturism is an expansive creative movement that spans philosophy, literature, film, and various other art forms. Rooted in science fiction, futurism, and the temporal it makes connections between Black and Afro-diasporic history and culture in a way that strives to look forward while being in dialogue with the past and present. The films we are showcasing through this event take us on voyages from Newfoundland to Rwanda and through the interwebs. They delve into the past to look forward into possible futures in brilliantly nuanced ways. They root us in the here and now while also transporting us to new places, levels, spacetimes. Come on this journey on Friday, June 9th.
The screening event will feature the short film Afronautic Research Lab: Newfoundland Edition by award winning artist Camille Turner. The evening will also include Welcome to the Alter-Ego Citadel by KanikaXx. Neptune Frost, directed by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman will be the feature film of the night. You don’t want to miss this! Doors open at 6:00PM.
There is no end
To what the living world
Will demand of you
– Octavia E. Butler, Parable Of the Sower
Black folks have known, felt, survived, and perished through multiple apocalypses. Worlds have ended in our collective and individual, cultural and geographical histories and apocalypses too will cycle in our Black Futures. Our Personal Apocalypse is a two-day workshop spent in the space of sitting, listening, carving out, and recognizing our personal apocalypse through the lens of Afrofuturism. Within our time portal together, we will offer study guides from our collective knowledge banks from writers the likes of Octavia E. Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Oforokor as well as lesser-known radical storytellers who are attuned to the afterlife of apocalypses. As we grow into an understanding of apocalyptic transformation, there will be ample time to write and sharpen new creative skills. As always, the ending of a world also signals the beginning of a new world.
This is a Black-only space. The first session will be generative and exploratory. The second will be in service to some form of witnessing: an open mic, a critique, a sharing, it is up to us to determine what’s needed. We encourage folks with a preexisting writing practice (however, not mandatory).
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Whitney French (she/her) is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, and publisher. She is the editor of the award-winning anthology Black Writers Matter (University of Regina, 2019) the winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing 2020. She also is the editor of Griot: Six Writers Sojourn into the Dark (Penguin Random House, 2022) Canada presented by Nia Centre for the Arts. Whitney French is also a certified arts educator. Her writing has appeared in ARC Poetry, GEIST, the Puritan Magazine, WATER Magazine, CBC Books, and Quill and Quire. As a Hurston Wright Foundation and Watering Hole fellow, Whitney French is a self-described Black futurist, who explores memory, loss, technology, and nature in her works. Language is her favourite collaborator.
Whitney has lectured and presented in spaces such as Spellman College, Festival of Literary Diversity, Wayne State University, SOHO House, Aga Khan Museum, and Howard University. Having worked as both a developmental and acquisitions editor, French is now the co-founder and publisher of Hush Harbour, the only Black queer feminist press in Canada. Currently, she lives in Toronto.
On December 8th, 2022 from 5pm - 8pm, we have a special evening lined up to celebrate the launch of Library of Infinities TV - a web series that showcases the work of emerging Black storytellers in Canada. The series, directed by Ayo Tsalithaba and inspired by 90s public access tv, follows Canadian artists and writers such as Omi Rodney and Kais Padamshi from the anthology Griot: Six Writers Sojourn into the Dark, multidisciplinary artist and poet Assiyah-Jamilah Touré, and selector Sahra Soudi in the vibrant world of the Library of Infinities.
The evening will include a Library of Infinities Submission Station for guests to submit IRL to the digital archive of afro-diasporic literary work, a screening, and artist talk with the Artist and Creative Director of the Library of Infinities Shaya Ishaq and Director Ayo Tsalithaba.
The artist talk and screening will be moderated by adé abegunde from local.global.
For the launch of Library of Infinities at Printed Matter, two limited edition series of works designed with Shaya’s creative direction will be released. A collaboration with multidisciplinary artist G L O W Z I that celebrates the launch of the Library of Infinities as a digital platform will be showcased. Additionally, a series of posters and tote bags designed by Simon Guibord will also be available. These memorabilia celebrate the humble beginnings of the project and exhibition that took place at SAW, an artist-run center in Ottawa, during the summer of 2021.
Pass the Vibes is a grassroots arts collective aimed at fostering an inclusive and accessible ecosystem of QTBIPOC and other BIPOC creatives in Ottawa. Celeste Alcena and Mars Ramlogs, founding members of PTV, co-facilitated a workshop that covered historical, technical and practical aspects of DJing the weekend of September 11th in the Library of Infinities. Participants got the chance to have hands-on practice with both DDJ and CDJ controllers.
This workshop took place as part of Pique, a new forward-thinking, artist-driven quarterly event series featuring eclectic musical, visual and multimedia artists produced by Debaser. Debaser is one of Ottawa’s leading independent and underground music presenters, best known for its experimental music curation and inclusive events. Shaya was an invited curator of this season’s round of Pique.
Produced by Youth is a grassroots organization that leads music production workshops for black youth in Ottawa. They are dedicated to creating safe(r) spaces where youth can explore their creativity, be empowered, and build confidence. During the exhibition period of the Library of Infinities, Shaya teamed up with the founders (Tafari, Lealem, and Samuel) to facilitate a sample based music production workshop that fit into their curriculum. We used the vinyl library as a starting point to select records and make samples using midi controllers as well as the SP-404.
SENSING was a dynamic creative writing workshop presented as part of the exhibition Library of Infinities. Participants were invited to explore the exhibition and other prompts through ekphrastic practice to engage our various senses. As part of this offering, an original syllabus was developed that can be found on our resources page.