Black to the Future presents: Imaginary Cities

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Black to the Future presents: Imaginary Cities

This event took place on 06 February 2024

Can imaginary cities change the world? Explore the power of place in fantasy.

With NK Jemisin, Victor LaValle with Irenosen Okojie.

In N K Jemisin’s Great Cities series, each borough of New York is magically embodied in a human avatar – a fate that awaits all cities in this alternate universe. In The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle’s New York teems with ancient magic and horrors, veiled thinly by modern civilisation and technological distractions.

Join Jemisin, LaValle and chair Irenosen Okojie as they discuss what makes cities great and how both imagined and real urban settings in fiction can provoke and lead to social change and activism in the real world.

Beyond great cities, we will voyage to The Stillness, the massive continent in Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy and the American West in LaValle’s Lone Women. We will visit far and near futures, dive beneath the ocean and launch into space, navigating cosmic horrors and subversions of Lovecraft in Jemisin and LaValle’s works.

IMAGINARY CITIES examines fantasy settings and destinations, and how centering marginalised perspectives in fantasy narratives allows for more expansive explorations of the genre, empowering readers to change the world they live in for the better.