Thoughts, notes and references for ‘Space Cannot be the Place’ poster at SSiC 2020

I’ve been working on my poster for the Space Science in Context conference. This is the first time I’ve ever presented a poster, and done so at a virtual conference so I’m doubly intrigued how this will go down.

As it’s been a while since I’ve had close proximity with research in either Physics or hardware/software, I thought I might as well stick to what I know and critically discuss programs such as the 100 year Starship, which I chose almost as a retrospective; it had been a topic of a talk given by Erik Steinskog at the 2017 AfroFutures_UK conference where it was analysed as an embodiment of the AfroFuturist paradigm being a multi-disciplinary enterprise, dedicated to taking humanity to the stars, all while being headed by a Black woman, Mae Jemison (a legit hero of mine) no less.

However, in the time since then, in some ways it has been as any and all of these great sounding exercises are. The why was beyond the scope of my poster but I thought I could do some credit to a material analysis of why these exercises of liberal reparations can be problematic.

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STIR magazine launch: Of countermemories and recursive futurities

I was invited to speak at the launch of STIR magazine’s new edition on the 14th. It was great getting to chat interesting stuff with folk doing some fantastic stuff in the area of speculative design, history of tech and critical approaches.

Below is the transcript of my talk.

Continue reading “STIR magazine launch: Of countermemories and recursive futurities”

Where Next for AfroFuturism? Thoughts on the Nine worlds panel et al.

I spent much of my Saturday at the Nine Worlds convention in Hammersmith, the first time I’ve ever been actually able to make it though not the first time I’ve heard of it. It’s been touted as one of the most inclusive geek events in the UK and for myself, I think that’s definitely the case, or at least from what I saw.

So wherefore my attendance? Well, I was on a panel titled ‘Where Next for AfroFuturism’, a panel I’d been invited to by Chella Ramanan from BAME in Games who I knew from January’s Afrotech Fest. A lot of – in fact all of – my recent talks have been on tech and inclusive design so it was nice getting to chat about AfroFuturism to a new audience.

Continue reading “Where Next for AfroFuturism? Thoughts on the Nine worlds panel et al.”

Dialogues on Disability

Some surprising empirical findings—such as maternal viral infection during the second or third trimester of pregnancies—transcended racial categorization in schizophrenic diagnosis; however, the sociological factors involved such as underemployment, lack of political representation, and perceived social deviation were indeed race specific. One of the philosophically interesting aspects of these studies concerned self-identification and the role of cognition in synthesizing and processing affective extremities. For example, the pathogenesis of schizophrenia is in part related to functional roles of conception of self.  If you have a raced conception of self, it will have a meaningful impact on how you process experiences and how you act in social contexts. A more tumultuous or fractious sense of self will lead to what is considered more deviant behavior.  So-called ghetto identity or oppressed identity elicits a greater standardization of deviance.

Dialogues on Disability

The Female King of Colonial Nigeria

Achebe’s study of Ahebi Ugbabe is significant because it salvaged the history of a woman who became the only warrant chief in colonial Nigeria, and perhaps Africa. Her book distinguishes between Western concepts of gender and sexuality, and the indigenous meanings of these concepts in an African setting. She highlights the fluidity of gender and sex in Igbo land, where a woman, under certain circumstances, can assume the religious and social status of a man. A menopausal woman of wealth and integrity can also socially transform into a man, and enjoy the rights and obligations accorded to men. Such fluidity of gender and sex in Igbo land is portrayed in the life of Ahebi who, as warrant chief and king, became a man and assumed otherwise male roles, including marrying wives for herself and her brothers. Achebe repeatedly and rightly states that, in Igbo land, this practice of woman-to-woman marriage is totally unrelated to homosexuality. It is only a mark of wealth and social status. These wives married by women had sexual relations with men. However, children born of such marriages belonged to the female husband.

The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe

 

Slaves of History

From Jori Lewis at Aeon magazine:

It started a few years ago, with a conversation I had with my then-boyfriend, a Senegalese agronomist, first about peanuts and then about slavery. He lived in the Sine-Saloum region of Senegal, a four-hour drive from where I lived in the capital, Dakar. I was writing about the history of peanut agriculture, Sine-Saloum’s main crop, so I was often there.