INVISIBLE UNIVERSE

(a documentary work-in-progress)


#blackscifidoc

#StruggleAndSpeculation

    

MEDIA
THE DOCUMENTARY
The Invisible Universe documentary reveals the history of the representations and participation of Black people in the genres of fantasy, horror and science fiction, or speculative fiction (SF). Framed through the POV of a time traveling Archivist, the documentary explores 150 years of speculative fiction literature, its origins, developments, key personalities and current state, all through the perspective of Black people and history. The documentary demonstrates how the genres, which were premised on the ideology of white supremacy, have been adopted and adapted by Black writers as a form of artistic resistance for envisioning different worlds and futures.

The story is revealed to the audience through the comprehensive, independent research of the filmmaker, M. Asli Dukan, who began HD production in 2011. Ms. Dukan has compiled an extensive interviewee list of Black creators who have been producing SF works where Black people not only exist in the future, but are powerful shapers of their own realities, whether in magical lands, dystopian settings, or on distant worlds. In addition, she has documented an impressive number of academic, community and arts events dedicated to the work and analysis of Black SF, as well as to building connections between creators, organizers, academics and fans. In the past decade, the filmmaker has documented the cultural shift around Black SF and its development into an informal network and movement.

This feature length documentary includes interviews with Black writers of SF like Samuel R. Delany, the late Octavia E. Butler, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Brandon Massey and N.K. Jemisin, actors like Nichelle Nichols and Wesley Snipes, filmmakers like Julie Dash and Ernest R. Dickerson, cultural organizers like Yumy Odom and Rasheedah Phillips, scholars like Moya Bailey and Ayana Jamieson, academics/artists like John Jennings and Nettrice Gaskins, social justice workers/artists like adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, as well as numerous other filmmakers, artists, academics, archivists, fans - a virtual who’s who in Black speculative fiction.
THE FILMMAKERS

M. ASLI DUKAN

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER

M. Asli Dukan is an independent filmmaker who embraces the futuristic, fantastic and imaginary genres of speculative fiction (SF) as a way to explore the possibilities of social transformation in society. She has written, produced and directed several short SF films that have screened at distinct festivals across the country including the ImageNation Film and Music Festival in New York City and the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. She has been the recipient of several grants and awards, including the Urban Artists Initiative Grant (2009), the Kitchen Table Giving Circle Grant (2012), and from the Leeway Foundation – the Art and Change Grant (2014, 2016) and the Transformation Award (2016). In 2016, she also had the honor of being named an NBPC360 Fellow with the National Black Programming Consortium in New York. She holds an MFA in Media and Communication Arts from the City College of New York and is the founder of Mizan Media Productions where she has produced her own films, as well as numerous promotional projects for innovative, progressive and radical artists and organizations. Some work produced by her company include her films Orishas (2001), 73 (2008) and M.O.M.M. (2011) and her music videos Boot (2006) for Tamar-kali and Do You Mind (2008) for Hanifah Walidah. She is currently in post-production on two feature length projects, Invisible Universe, a documentary about the historical representations and the participation of Black people in the genres of speculative fiction and Songs for Nina, a music and travel documentary following the “Daughters of Nina” orchestra on their French tour as they pay homage to the late singer/pianist, Nina Simone. Her next projects are the SF web series, Resistance and the anthology horror film, Skin Folk, based on the book by the award winning SF writer, Nalo Hopkinson. Ms. Dukan also tours the country as one of the leading voices lecturing about Black Speculative Fiction history.

"I have been a fan of speculative fiction for as long as I could remember. SF gave me a way to escape the harsh realities of life and allowed me to envision a better future for myself. However, my adoration for SF, especially fantasy, horror and science fiction was always bittersweet, because I never really felt part of these universes. It wasn’t until I came across the work of Octavia E. Butler, that I felt a fuller connection to the genres. Her work also made me curious about what other Black writers of SF used the genres to tell their own stories. I knew if I could find them, that I wouldn’t think I was invisible and I would feel a part of something larger than myself."

"The Invisible Universe documentary has been a long time in the making. It has been my appreciation for the genres and respect for all of the Black creators that I have interviewed and documented along the way that have kept me focused on my goal - to create a pivotal work that explores our history in SF. My sincere hope is that young people will see it and it will inspire them to imagine and create better futures for themselves."

PRESS


YVONNE WELBON

CONSULTING PRODUCER

TERENCE TAYLOR

EDITOR

MIRA STEINZOR

VIDEOGRAPHER (PRIMARY)

RAMON THOMPSON

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

PRISSLY MENA

TRANSCRIPTIONIST

THE JOURNEY

A selection of some of the earliest and most recent events focused on "Black Speculation" that have been documented by the Invisible Universe documentary.

THE UNIVERSE

The journey has been long and full of amazing encounters. Here are some of them…

SUPPORT!

Support the Invisible Universe documentary by making a tax-deductible donation to us through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas.
Help us complete the project in 2017!
Click the link below!


fractured-atlas-logo

Thank you to all of our Indiegogo campaign supporters!

INVISIBLE UNIVERSE STORE
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PRICE = $20.00

11x17 BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION WRITER POSTER
Drawn by designer, illustrator, writer, lecturer and artist – John Jennings.
A limited edition, collector’s item, signed by the artist!
CLICK THE POSTER TO GO TO PURCHASE PAGE!
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Check out the Invisible Universe Black Speculative Fiction literature infographic!
This infographic was made possible with funding awarded to M. Asli Dukan
via the Art and Change grant from the Leeway Foundation in 2014.
Designed by Ramon Thompson.
CLICK THE POSTER TO GO TO A LARGER VERSION!
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