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Event, Exhibition, Performance, Talk, Workshop, Taking Root Among the Stars

Gathering Earthseed

“The destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars.”
— Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower

July 20, 2024 marks the beginning of Octavia E. Butler’s trailblazing 1993 feminist science fiction book Parable of the Sower, from the Earthseed trilogy. In light of this meaningful date, artists Müge Yilmaz and Anna Hoetjes, in collaboration with Marly Pierre-Louis and Fiep van Bodegom, are initiating Gathering Earthseed; a full-day gathering at W139 that emerges from the legacy and spirit of Butler’s work and her literary universe.

Gathering Earthseed will mark the symbolic moment in time when Parable of the Sower transitions from being set in the future to being set in the present. This communal gathering approaches this moment as both a ritualistic transition and a practical moment in which to gather in conversation and solidarity with one another—envisioning new possibilities of worldbuilding in our own timelines.

An interdisciplinary group of visual artists, writers, and cultural practitioners—inspired by Butler’s work in their own practices—have been invited to shape the day’s programme. Through workshops, conversations, readings, rituals, and a communal dinner, we’ll investigate the tools and practices that allow us to conceive new social realities, alternative futures, and communal relations to nature. By exploring feminist, decolonial, speculative worldbuilding, we seek to critique the socio-political structures we live in and write ourselves into the future(s) we want to see; creating pathways out of destruction and establishing life-affirming realities instead. Always anchoring back to Parable of the Sower, this gathering centers feminist, queer, Black diasporic, and decolonial practices.

The gathering will be the starting point for the exhibition Taking Root Among the Stars, opening November 2024. This exhibition will feature the work of artists and writers who use feminist science fiction not only as a theme in their work, but also as a tool to foster the exchange of radical speculative strategies.

Full program will be announced soon.

Buy your ticket via the Eventbrite page of Gathering Earthseed.

Tickets*:
€15 for full day program including dinner
€7,50 student rate

* We also offer community tickets for those who are less financially fortunate. If you want to join Gathering Earthseed but do not have the means, please contact us at info@w139.nl.

* The ticket gives you access to the full day of activities. If you are unable to join for the entire programme, feel free to only attend the parts where you are available.

Picture: Taking Root Among the Stars during UNFAIR23 in collaboration with Buro Stedelijk.