Over the summer, Goldsmiths University commisioned Linden K. McMahon and I to design and deliver a creative writing course for 11 and 12 year olds. Designed a curriculum based around imagining better futures and the idea that we can’t make a better world if we couldn’t first imagine it. We created a zine of activities and examples of radically hopeful writing that we sent out to all participants before the course and then ran the workshops online. At the end of the course we created another zine of the young people’s writing and drawings.
Here is our introduction to the course:
Sometimes the future can feel scary: climate catastrophe, coronavirus, the rise of fascism - all these things feel huge! But the future is also full of possibilities - we live in a time when we can make big changes to create a better world. We want to start imagining what the future might look like right here in Lewisham. And we want to try and imagine a future which is not just a land full of flesh eating zombies, but to think about the amazing things that could happen: how could we and the world adapt to a hotter climate for instance? How could we reimagine the world along lines of abundance rather than scarcity and what would that do? That’s what we’re exploring over the next few weeks.
We were very much inspired by Lynda Barry, Octavia Butler, Junot Diaz, Rebecca Solnit, Ursula K LeGuin and of course Adrienne Maree Brown:
“Science fiction is simply a way to practice the future together. I suspect that is what many of you are up to, practicing futures together, practicing justice together, living into new stories. It is our right and responsibility to create a new world.”
― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds