Channing Kennedy

San Francisco Zine Festival
Channing Kennedy is a media producer, trainer and performer based in Oakland, California. He's the executive director of the San Francisco Zine Fest, the longest-running self-publishing festival in Northern California. His work on race, identity and technology has appeared on Colorlines, NPR, Al Jazeera and MSNBC. He likes both dogs and cats.

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Choice Points in Speculative Fiction: Creative Storytelling for Systems Change

Science fiction and fantasy get treated as the antidote to many of popular culture’s ills -- genres in which radical possibilities for justice can materialize as long as they are envisioned. But in practice, their most frequently recurring tropes (and their most financially profitable properties) are little more than fanfiction for the empire: ‘chosen’ protagonists fight dark-skinned embodiments of evil, characters of color consistently get sidelined and villainized, and the struggles of poor, working-class people of color remain invisible. Speculative fiction narratives across all genres rarely engage with structural racism, and are often stuck in a “diversity” narrative that relies on a sprinkling of POC characters in a binary hero vs villain framework. Surely, us nerds deserve better -- and in this workshop, we’ll do better. This hands-on writing workshop is for anyone interested in the powerful, strategic use of speculative fiction for changing social narratives -- whether your preferred medium is novels, movies, television, literature, comics, or video games. We’ll practice strategies to extrapolate from concrete scenes – the building blocks of story – to race-explicit, structural analysis,, and we'll identify strategies for “systemic storytelling.” Participants will come away with at least one workshopped story idea, along with a slew of writing prompts, tips for best practices, new creators to check out, and hopefully a few new potential collaborators.

Speakers: Nayantara Sen, Channing Kennedy