#andthen stories are visions of futures that use the hashtag #andthen. For our future to truly be safe, equitable and just for all, we need to centre, and follow the leadership of diverse Black and Indigenous thought as well as visions for the future. Black and Indigenous authorship of futures is crucial because of the wealth of experiences both unjust and resilient, and because of the knowledge and ancestral practices that beckon justice and right relations to the planet and to one another. So we created a digital space, in the form of a twitter page, as a collection of the visions of futures that we are being invited in to and visions that show us what alternatives are possible for our world.
We acknowledge the natural plurality and diversity of preferred futures and this is not an attempt to curate futures that are all congruent with one another. We are inspired by the many incredible visionaries, science fiction writers, advocates, and activists who have shared their preferred futures with the world long before us.
So our invitation asks:
What are those beautiful, just worlds you are dreaming, imagining and calling towards us?
How can we illustrate these worlds in a way that inspires people and invites them to join the call in allyship?
Starting on July 1st, 2020, we hope you will join us in writing visions for the future that are important to you; alternative worlds or futures that bring you hope, that inspire you, and that you are inviting people in to, worlds that you intend to manifest, worlds that you want comrades to help you build.
Use #andthen at the beginning of your tweet and write your story! We will retweet your story so that our page becomes a collection of these futures. Feel free to write a thread if 1 tweet isn’t enough to encompass your future vision.
Who are we?
We believe in grounding any new initiatives from life experience. So we will introduce ourselves to anyone who doesn’t know us. This initiative was started by Liin and Emi.
We were both born and raised on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, the Huron-Wendat and the Haudenosaunee. We are both interested in futures and futuring and in utilizing these tools and approaches towards justice and equity. However, we acknowledge that we come at it from two different life experiences.
My name is Liin and I am a Black woman. I’ve been working with the Somali community in Tkaronto to create new narratives that speak more intimately to who we are and go beyond the racist depictions of us held by the media and police. These narratives can be used as the foundation for envisioning futures that center us, our experiences, our dreams and hopes so that the future is a place we can look forward to instead of fear. Seeing the power that constructing these narratives and visions for the future has, I am hopeful that it can alleviate some of the pain we feel in the present and heal us. I turn to the future as a way to remind myself of what I am working towards, who I am working for, and it has been a source of community and connection.
I am Emi, I am an East-Asian woman. I worked for several years supporting young Black community organizers & leaders in Tkaronto, partaking in advocacy around mental health supports for communities of colour and better funding and support structures for Black-youth-led non-profits and community initiatives. Because of my experience of being amongst organizers, I was drawn to futures-work to fill a gap that I saw in the public discourse. The public generally couldn’t see the visions organizers and activists held in their minds. It was frustrating and debilitating. People who this system was built for, lacked imagination. I wanted to turn more of my energy towards supporting the envisioning of preferred futures written by BIPOC and advocating for them loud and clear. I believe that the more people of colour and particularly Black and Indigenous organizers partake in futuring, it can challenge the status quo and we can increase our chances of manifesting the worlds that work for all of us.