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The Future is Us Group Residency is Back !
Our Collective Goals:
As a collective, we aspire to create resources where young aspiring and practicing artists can build a career foundation through our experiences and paid opportunities. We aim to bridge gaps of inequity for young Philadelphian BIPOC and queer creatives with experiences that serve as alternatives to academic institutions and white-centered gallery and museum spaces. In addition to creating resources, our goal is to create safe spaces where young people can build networks of support amongst peers, engage in community, and most importantly: have fun!
We lead our yearly projects and programming with values of:
🌟 FUTURISMS - We create spaces that empower young people to imagine, design, and create their own futures! Our programming, particularly our workshops and the Future is Us Group Residency project, are heavily inspired by Afro and Queer futurist philosophies.
🌟 RADICAL HEALING - Our founder, Laila Islam, defines Radical Healing as a practice where people create spaces for communities who experience systemic harm to think and exist outside of their violent histories and realities. These platforms allow groups of people to combat said realities, ultimately empowering and equipping people with the ability to better unionize and mobilize as communities through interpersonal care. We host programming and workshops where participants directly engage in healing artistic practices involving group meditation, open discussion, and more!
🌟 CREATING NETWORKS OF SUPPORT - We believe that it is crucial for communities who lack institutional support to have agency and their own spaces to create networks of support. Our events are spaces for young people to network, share skills, and make friends, while we provide showcasing and artmaking opportunities.
The Future Is Us Group Residency (2021-current)
The Future Is Us (TFIU) Group Residency is a pilot project where participants and facilitators engaged in somatic pedagogy and Utopic Imagining pedagogy as creative healing practices. A pedagogy developed by Laila Islam and Reva Rutherford, Utopic Imagining is a practice where one imagines, designs, and creates alter-realities that better serve Black and Brown communities. Utopic Imagining is an Afrofuturist method of speculating the past, present, and future, imagining a utopia, and designing technologies that support one’s envisioned utopia. Somatic (soma) pedagogy offers resistance to our violent capitalist environment by encouraging people to assess their bodily relationship with capitalism and how it manifests socially in our interpersonal relationships. Through therapeutic group practices, soma encourages deeper relationships with one's individual body as well as the collective body, ultimately embodying a healing state. Throughout this project, participants were encouraged to create a conscious relationship with their bodies, their communities, and their environment through speculative and imaginative practices. Exercises include group breathwork and writing, open discussions and presentations, collaging, and group art-making that is body-focused and play-centered. The findings generated by–and the works created from– TFIU Group Residency participants and facilitators resulted in a curated zine. This zine, Somatic Utoptic Imagining Vol. 1, is intended for use as a pedagogical tool, enabling readers to use our works as a reference for how communities can collectively process trauma, share knowledge, and create together through somatic pedagogy and Utopic Imagining. A virtual exhibition of the zine can be found on somaticutopicimagining.com.
Camp Future (2021)
The Digital Archive (2020)
The Film and Photo Show (1 & 2) (2018-2019)
The Install Pop-Up Exhibition Series (2017-2019)