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 SF genres, which were premised on the ideology of white supremacy, have been embraced, modified and subverted by Black creators as an artistic form of resistance towards 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.



M. Asli Dukan is a filmmaker and visual artist who has been producing, directing and screening her subversive short speculative fiction (SF) films since 2000. In 2017, her mixed-media installation, “Resistance Time Portal”, which centered Black radicalism in a futuristic narrative, made its debut in the Distance≠Time exhibition, co-presented by Philadelphia’s Black Quantum Futurism collective. She has been the recipient of several grants, awards and fellowships, including a 2016 Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation. Also in 2016, she was named an NBPC 360 fellow by Black Public Media and in 2018, she was named a Flaherty Seminar Fellow. In 2018, she completed Resistance: the battle of philadelphia, a 6 part, SF web series about a community’s struggle against state violence. She is in post-production on Invisible Universe, a documentary on Black creators in SF and in development on the anthology horror film based on Nalo Hopkinson’s book, Skin Folk.


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.


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Invisible Universe Fundraising Poster
(designed and signed by John Jennings)