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Other Worlds Already Exist: text in pink on blue background

Other Worlds Already Exist

What present stories might help us generate different futures?

4 days of performances, discussions, workshops, screenings with mutant dancers, prison abolitionist poets, transfeminist revolutionaries, haunted noise, science fiction, sex worker resistance, crip erotics, radical pornography and militant fiction.

With: Samuel R. Delany, Huw Lemmey, Storyboard P, Moor Mother, Hal Duncan, KUCHENGA, Nat Raha, Jackie Wang, Dj@Christelle, DJ D-Harsh, Nena Etza, LAPS, Wu Tsang, boychild, Robert Softley Gale, Maxine Meighan, SWARM (Sex Workers’ Advocacy & Resistance Movement) and Sgàire Wood

Screenings by: Tiona McClodden, Samuel R. Delany, Jacolby Satterwhite and Paul Kindersley.

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Introduction

At the centre of this Episode is the life and work of Samuel R. Delany. Almost always known as Chip, he 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.

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 from Starboard Wine: More Notes on the Language of Science Fiction, 1984.

The fact that the forces of patriarchal and heteronormative, abelist and racist society crawl over our skin, colonise our thoughts and move through our veins, can sometimes feel like a kind of science fiction. But in the midst of this ubiquitous, seemingly unceasing violence, Chip’s writing helps us recognise that we always inhabit multiple worlds—and that other ways of existing already dwell among us.

While recognising the harm they cause, he helps reject the stories that power tries to make us believe about ourselves, and creates allegories that amplify his and our lived experiences in ways that are meaningful to us all. He explores worlds that, even whilst under attack, live out of sync with this so-called present.

The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone, by questioning the society’s values, can force it to change. Samuel R. Delany from Empire Star

Delany’s books inhabit alternate forms of humanity, not as some fantastical future possibility, but as elaborations on already present ways of socialising—recalled as fact, and distorted and amplified through the lens of his fiction.

A beautiful example of this can be found in The Motion of Light in Water, where he reflects on his first encounters of seemingly numberless group sex between parked trucks at the docks or in the St Marks bathhouse. There, you never had to break contact with flesh for more than a few seconds. Delany talks about how men in that space took care of one another not only by offering flesh but by performing a care for the self that encompassed a vast care for others—a delicate and loving being for others. 1

I want to have sex with what I want to become. Bhanu Kapil 2

So, following Chip’s lead – this Episode is about the movements, feelings and entanglements of already possible worlds that bear the weight of our desires, and how they help us deal with an often unbearable or impossible present.

It’s about understanding ourselves as tuned to a slightly different spot on the spatio-temporal dial, where—off to the side and in flight—perhaps we can recognise what it is about our cultures that could potentially overwhelm brutality.

If we can influence the future and do a positive visualization of what we wanna see: write it down. Visualize it. Walk in it. Redefine your power—what can you do with no weapons and no money. Moor Mother

Episode 9 was previewed in The Skinny which included an interview with Samuel R Delany by Adam Benmakhlouf. The Episode was reviewed in Exeunt by Andrew Edwards; in The List by Claire Sawers and in Glasgow Review of Books by Mark West.

  1. This last paragraph is basically a summary of a much richer argument made by Chip’s friend José Muñoz in his book Cruising Utopia.
  2. From Handwritten Preface to Reverse the Book in Incubation: A Space for Monsters. Bhanu Kapil writes heart-breaking poems about bodies, metamorphosis and monsters, migration and mental health, race riots and soot. We asked her to be in this Episode, but in the end she couldn’t make it.

Programme Events

Snapchat of street at night lit with white polythene covered boards
16 November 2017
Many Studios

Anal Panopticon

Huw Lemmey

Two bottomless brunch writing workshops—with readings—speculating the relationship between space, infrastructure, technologies and sex.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Episode_9_Eduardo_Restrepo_Still
16 November 2017
Tramway

Films Installed in the Foyer

Eduardo Restrepo Castaño SWARM

In the Foyer at the Tramway we will screen a documentary from the Sex Workers’ Festival of Resistance 2017 and La Llamada by Eduardo Restrepo Castaño.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
A silhouette of Delany in front of screen where a room is lit with green light
16 November 2017
Tramway

The Motion of Light

Samuel R. Delany

Autobiographical detail becomes a lens to reflect and refract the deepest aspects of personal and social life in Delany’s ground-breaking non-fiction writing.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Storyboard P blurred in movement surrounded by darkness
16 November 2017
Tramway

The Body is a Sanctuary That Floats

Storyboard P

A performance by Storyboard P – one of the greatest Afrofuturist dancers on the planet.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Moor Mother performs at Episode 9, back lit with pale golden light
16 November 2017
Tramway

Moor Mother

Moor Mother

Moor Mother is a musician, Philadelphian housing activist and black quantum futurist.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
still from country ball Jacob satterwhite
17 November 2017
Tramway

Screening Programme

Jacolby Satterwhite Paul Kindersley Samuel R. Delany Tiona McClodden

Emotional fantasies, towers of cakes, identity troubles, collapsed distance and time and Samuel R. Delany’s rarely seen 1971 film The Orchid.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Disco lights on festoons on a wall
17 November 2017
Kinning Park Complex

Party & Unity Fundraiser

DJ D-Harsh Dj@Christelle Moor Mother Nena Etza

Social and party with all proceeds going to the Unity Centre, featuring DJ SETS with Dj@Christelle, DJ D-Harsh, Nena Etza & Moor Mother.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Untitled-2
17 November 2017
Kinning Park Complex

Storyboard P at Kinning Park Complex

Storyboard P

During Episode 9 we made this clip with Storyboard P at Kinning Park Complex. Video by Ash Reid.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Robert Softley Gale working at a computer next to a bath robe
18 November 2017
Tramway

Discourse or Intercourse: One on One

Robert Softley Gale

Ten short intimate one-on-one conversations with Robert Softley Gale – We all want to see ourselves reflected in the world around us—in society, in art, in culture… in porn?

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
KUCHENGA, Jackie Wang, and Nat Raha seated in discussion on red cushions
18 November 2017
Tramway

Future Justice in the Present

Jackie Wang KUCHENGA Nat Raha

Thought and action, writing and protesting. A chat with Nat Raha, KUCHENGA and Jackie Wang asking what can be learnt from writing across genres by agitators, activists and abolitionists?

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Laps Performs in Blue Light
18 November 2017
Tramway

Every Book is Dead

Hal Duncan LAPS

Mashed up queer fantasy of worker’s revolts, biblical demons and present-day hells, and dubbed out cyborg-electro.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Hands Clasp in detail from Bread and Wine, a visual novel about Chip Delany
18 November 2017
Tramway

Being for Others

Samuel R. Delany

Chip’s written some of the greatest of all Sci-Fi and Fantasy—page turning character driven diamond-hard novels and short stories: each a lens that refracts our real-life struggles and desires.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Two legs wearing black high heeled boots stick up above the edge of dark stage
18 November 2017
Tramway

Moved by the Motion

boychild TOTAL FREEDOM Wu Tsang

Sci-fi. After the club. Underground. Counter-narrative. Narrated movement. Cultural resistance. Wu Tsang and boychild’s collaborative performance series, will continue its evolution at Episode 9 with the addition of TOTAL FREEDOM.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Storyboard P and Project X dancing on stage
18 November 2017
Tramway

Speech Captions Body Language

Storyboard P

In which Storyboard P and members of Project X pick a song, freestyle to it, chat with us about what dancing means to them, then pick another song, freestyle, chat, repeat…

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
arika-episode-9-hi-613
19 November 2017
Tramway

Improvisation, Make-up and Lip-sync

boychild

Underground movement legend boychild hosts this workshop—on improvisation, cosmetics, movement and lip-sync.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Two speakers on stage surrounded by audience and red cushions
19 November 2017
Tramway

Discourse or Intercourse: Group Action

Maxine Meighan Robert Softley Gale

How do people living with disability see themselves in today’s sexualised culture? How do we imagine our crip sexual selves despite society wanting to reduce us to non-erotic bodies?

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
A projected image reads "decriminalise sex work" on a red banner. Four people are sat underneath the image on a stage talking with an audience.
19 November 2017
Tramway

Sex, Work, Justice

SWARM

The struggle for sex workers’ rights and how we can understand it in the continuum of care work and other forms of invisibilised and precarious work.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Two figures in negative black and white
19 November 2017
Tramway

The Black Sun

Johannes Hammel

Inspired by Delany’s Aye, and Gomorra. A spookily filmic world where asexual bodies live in the contradiction of their unarousable loneliness and desire for intimacy and contact.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Some people looking into camera through a mesh of lights
19 November 2017
Tramway

The Cybernetic Cop

Jackie Wang

A prison abolitionist punk video-poetry-music mash up about our fucked-up dystopian society, RoboCop, kids toys and criminality.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Sgaire Wood wearing a large green and grey witch mask
19 November 2017
Tramway

Sgàire Wood

Sgàire Wood

A somehow hyper-modern, ancient and folkloric lip-synced, made-up, fashioned performance.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Comic depicts gay men cruising in laundromat
19 November 2017
Tramway

Public Sex

Huw Lemmey Samuel R. Delany Jackie Wang

Could cruising and random public sex be the basis of an ethically organised society? A discussion with Jackie Wang, Samuel R. Delany and Huw Lemmey.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
A design with a yellow background featuring a bottle of Chubz poppers
19 November 2017
Tramway

Chubz

Huw Lemmey

Politicised fan-fiction chronicling working class gay urban space and fantasy.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Lonely
19 November 2017
Tramway

Lonely and Hungry

Jackie Wang

Heat-mapped bodies, found porn films, Korean psyche-folk, creepy police intrusion and self-defence.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist
Samuel R. Delany white hair and beard reading on stage at EPISODE 9
19 November 2017
Tramway

Beyond Transgression

Samuel R. Delany

Chip will read some of his great literary pornography, which pushes sexuality to the point of extremity and exhaustion.

Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist

Programme Schedule