"Other worlds already exist": SF titan Samuel R Delany lands at Glasgow's Tramway
Science fiction doesn’t try to predict the future, but rather offers a significant distortion of the present…We sit around and look at what we see around us and we say how can the world be different? - Samuel R. Delany
The future comes to Glasgow's famous avant-garde warehouse venue The Tramway later on this November, 16-19, when the latest "episode" of the art collective Arika aims to celebrate diverse futures, in the company of US science-fiction legend Samuel R Delany. He is described thus:
Almost always known as Chip, Delany is a grand master of science fiction and fantasy, sex-radical memoirist, revolutionary pornographer, social commentator, literary critic, architect of one of the queerest and most uncompromisingly experimental literary careers ever undertaken.
Along with readings and seminars, Delany is part of a programme that includes Afrofuturist dancers, Philadelphian black quantum futurist DJs, prison abolitionist punk video-poetry-music mash ups, and much, much else.
Arika's philosophy is worth quoting at length - it is a fine example of how art and culture could and should relate to civic and alternative power:
We work to celebrate and support art as it expresses communities’ desires and struggles in creating their lives and worlds together. When we say art, we mean the ways we sing and dance together, the ways we listen and want to be heard, how we look and hope to be seen, how we think of our bodies and how we move through space, things like this... These things happen wherever we are, not just in galleries or on stage. We don’t think art is a fixed place – it is a relationship, which constantly unfurls in the realm of the common.
We try to work to increase the potential within and between communities who’s artistic practices help them to generate different futures together, rather than only navigate or survive them. We do this through an evolving programme of public events foregrounding performance, debate and collective learning - social spaces, which bring together allies through new, shared experiences.
Through friendship and solidarity, we work within and with a local, national and international network of communities and relationships between people who struggle against many intersecting oppressions. Most recently these have included struggles and resistances to oppressions of race, sex, gender, sexuality, ability, class, or religion; lack of access to health care or safe housing, criminalisation, restricted migration; ideas of the human, the subject or the citizen.