Note — Nov 21, 2021

A Conversation About Indigenous Futurisms

Seen in → No.197

Source →

Grace Dillon and Pedro Neves Marques on Dillon’s work and thinking around Indigenous Futurisms. This is a very cursory opinion so make of it what you will (and correct / enlighten me in replies if needed), but so far I’m under the impression that Indigenous Futurisms are not only emancipatory but also seem like a logical and natural continuation of centuries-old storytelling traditions. In other words, not only seizing on science fiction because of a need to create futures they are part of, but also a natural fit of cultures.

[T]o me the current obsession with dystopias, in books and television series, reads as a final appropriation of sorts. While Indigenous peoples have lived through apocalypses for centuries, white people now steal even that space, or airtime if you will, of both Native trauma and survivance, only to push their own anguish, seemingly erasing any colonial differences with statements like, “We’re all together in this climatic mess.” […]

[T]he relation between the future and technological advancement leading to a “better world” is fundamentally a modern Western invention. And we know how that future not only led to but is based on the colonization of other peoples’ worlds, including their particular perception of technology, humanity, and the environment. […]

The first thing I’d like to do is to eradicate the term “myth” or “mythology,” because that implies that these stories are false or that they are fictions that should be questioned. Instead, what I do—and this is what I grew up with—is to call them “stories.” Everything is storytelling. Indigenous sciences are embedded in stories; this is how we share our Indigenous sciences.