AIsha Shillingford

Design Lead
Intelligent Mischief
Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Aisha Shillingford is an artist, trainer, facilitator and social change strategist living in Brooklyn, New York. With over 15 years of community organizing and program development experience in Boston, Aisha dreams of a day when we all are living the truth that community is the answer to every problem and when we are truly prefiguring the community we wish to see in our every day practices as change makers. She is a commitment to spiritual, social and cultural transformation. She is obsessed with the role of creolization in cultural shift.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Designing Out of Dystopia

Beginning with the 2016 election cycle, there has been a sharply increased onslaught on racial and social justice movements and the communities at their forefront. For many of our communities an endless spate of hate speech, propaganda, executive orders, white nationalism, ‘Muslim bans,’ gun violence, global warming, nuclear war, and the new merging of technology and state power makes it seem like we’ve entered dystopia -- even as it’s framed as a utopia (for some). This is especially challenging for our movements because it can result in a diminishing of the hope we need to survive and to leapfrog the current moment to create the world we imagine. Popular culture and the arts are tools for creating hope and can help us design ourselves out of dystopia. In this workshop we’ll discuss the use of utopian and dystopian narratives in worldbuilding and culture creation, use classic dystopic scenarios from pop culture and the arts to imagine our way out and apply the tactics we create to our current movement moment. We’ll invite participants to create alternative race-explicit story lines to popular dystopic narratives like The Hunger Games; Blade Runner; Terminator; Maze Runner; Divergent; Matrix; Justice League; Independence Day. We’ll examine the racialized narratives inherent in these stories, create alternative story lines; then apply the elements of the new stories to develop solutions for some of our most intractable racial justice organizing challenges.

Speakers: AIsha Shillingford, Tammy Johnson