About the project
Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly, a collaborative art, preservation, and creative research project exploring the impact of redevelopment, gentrification, and displacement within North Philadelphia through the themes and methodologies of oral histories, alternative temporalities, and afrofuturism. From May 2016-April 2017, Black Quantum Futurism Collective used the project to launch its first iteration, Community Futures Lab, a pop-up community space, gallery, resource and zine library, workshop space, recording booth, and time capsule where we recorded oral histories/futures in the Sharswood neighborhood and documented the area’s redevelopment, gentrification, and displacement of over 400 families. Though Community Futures Lab closed in May 2017 as a physical space due to lack of funding, the project continues through future visioning sessions and housing workshops presented in various neighborhoods and communities in Philadelphia, such as ongoing visioning sessions with homeless and housing insecure youth toward the creation of a People’s Housing Plan. We continue to work with the Sharswood community through ongoing workshops and support around fighting gentrification, and through the building of an accessible archive of the community’s history. We are also writing a book of short essays, photos, and the oral history/futures interviews we continue to do with the community. Through the Community Futurisms project and its ongoing iterations, we consider the relationship between long-term decision making, public policy, and its impact on the future(s) of individuals, communities, and cities. We also used the project to explore alternative and culturally-located temporal-spatial frameworks, and the relationship of psychic space to physical space.
About the artist
Black Quantum Futurism Collective is an interdisciplinary art practice between Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips that weaves quantum physics, afrofuturism, and Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text, and sound to present innovative works and tools offering practical ways to escape temporal loops, oppression vortexes, and the digital matrix. BQF has created some community- based projects, experimental music projects, installations, workshops, books, short films and more.