/futures apr 19 '17
People say the future is in the hands of the youth, because adults are stuck in their ways. The future consists of living in the moment while holding onto a direction. As adults, our lack of futurity derives from our distance from the present moment - we are stuck in the past. We stay young by living fully in the present - which is where we find better futures.
We stoke the fires of wonder in our youth in order to safeguard our futures against those who fear the power of our vision to transform our lives and the lives of our communities.
So, Futures' programming is getting underway. The first official program will be led by myself, Marlon MacAllister, in conjunction with Mighty Writers and their fantastic youth writer-creators. I will lead the young writers in an exercise to write the apocalypse.
For me, personally, nothing gets me into the vibrant, exciting present moment than the dystopian mindset. Call me morbid, but it's at the moments when everything seems to be falling apart that opportunity, excitement, and hope shine brightest.
The purpose is to help young people see and feel that they have the power, skills and intelligence to guide their own future no matter how bleak things feel, and not to feel condemned to follow the oppressive guidance of so many forces that seek to subtly and overtly circumscribe and limit their options solely to what's expected or socially acceptable.
The apocalyptic aesthetic helps us wipe the slate clean, in a safe setting, of all the oppressive forces so we can practice radical freedom together for a couple hours. Hopefully some of the kids catch the same bug that I've got and pursue arts and creativity with the same gusto.
Some parents worry, like mine have worried. "Why can't be more passionate about doctoring, or engineering, or computers, something that'll get them a good job?"
No. We need artists, just as much. Or: more precisely, we need people who will wholly and unabashedly be their radically free selves. The war against the forces of oppression has been going on for generations, and each new one must find new ways to fight, new language to use, new concepts of being.
So on the eve of Futures' launch, I'll share a few lines from Assata Shakur:
It is our duty to fight for our freedom
It is our duty to win
We must love each other and support each other
We have nothing to lose but our chains