Black Speculative Arts Movement Teams up with the In-Focus Film Society France at Cannes Film Festival

By: Black Speculative Arts Movement
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CANNES, France - May 12, 2018 - PRLog -- The Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) will be teaming up with the In-Focus Film Society ( for a Diversity and Inclusion Symposium in the beautiful city of Cannes, France during the most highly attended international film festival and film market in the world. The In-Focus symposium will run May 15 and 16 and will be hosted at the legendary Hotel Martinez. Confirmed attendees to the Symposium include director Spike Lee, actresses Lupita Nyong'o and Leticia Wright and actor/producer Wesley Snipes, among others. The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8 through May 19, 2018.

The Symposium will produce a series of panel discussions and workshops dealing with the arts, activism, and diversity. The symposium will also include an exhibition titled Xenogenesis and co-curated by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) and co-editor with John Jennings of the new book entitled Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent published by Cedar Grove Publishing ( Cosmic Underground's forward is written by journalist Greg Tate, and the cover artwork was created by artist Stacey Robinson.

"The exhibition and panels will educate and engage people with the emerging philosophy and art of Afrofuturism and its growing impact in various creative settings," says Anderson.

In addition to Dr. Anderson, other BSAM panelists include: Quentin VerCetty, artist and founder of BSAM Canada with its growing Afro-Carribean community, and Dr. Natasha Kelly, founder of BSAM Berlin, Sheree Renee Thomas, author of Dark Matter; Academics Dr. Amber Johnson, Dr. Lonny Brooks, and Charles Joseph, and artists Will Focus, Tim Fielder and Stacey Robinson among others. The exhibition will also feature material culture such as book covers, design work, illustrations, schematics, sketches, etc., that are directly connected to Afrofuturism, Black science fiction, ethno-gothic, black magical realism, conjure culture and aspects of Black Speculative cultural production in the visual realm.

"The work shown will be a wonderful opportunity to engage with an array of viewers from all walks of life. There will also be an associated catalog produced from the show as well," says Monica R. Cooper, Founder/ Executive Director of the In-Focus Film Society.

About BSAM
The BLACK SPECULATIVE ART MOVEMENT, aka BSAM, emerged in the wake of the Unveiling Visions: Alchemy of The Black Imagination exhibition curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson at the Schomburg library in New York, 2015, and is a network of creatives, intellectuals, and artists representing different positions or basis of inquiry including Afrofuturism, Astro Blackness, Afro-Surrealism, Ethno Gothic, Black Digital Humanities, Black (Afro-future female or African Centered) Science Fiction, The Black Fantastic, Magical Realism, and The Esoteric. Although these positions may be incompatible in some instances they overlap around the term speculative and design and interact around the nexus of technology and ethics. BSAM L.L.C., founded by Reynaldo Anderson is a yearlong, traveling conference of Afrofuturism, comics, film, and art convention held at multiple universities, colleges, domestically and venues abroad.


Dr. Reynaldo Anderson
currently serves as an Associate Professor of Communications and Chair of the Humanities department at Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis Missouri. He recently co-curated the acclaimed exhibition, Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of The Black Imagination at the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture in Harlem New York. Reynaldo publishes extensively in the area of Afrofuturism, communications studies, and the African Diaspora experience. Reynaldo is the executive director and founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) a network of artists, curators, intellectuals, and activists. Finally, he is the co-editor of the book Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness published by Lexington books in December 2015, co-editor of forthcoming volume The Black Speculative Art Movement: Black Futurity, Art+Design to be released Fall 2018, and the co-editor of "Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures," a forthcoming special issue of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies and with John Jennings, co-editor of Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent. Cosmic Underground is a record of the exhibit: Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of The Black Imagination. For more information, see

Natasha A. Kelly has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and Sociology. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, she considers herself to be an "academic activist", two important features that can be seen individually, but never separated from each other. Rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage, her political and academic works relate to the past, present, and future of the African Diaspora in Germany. This is also the focus of her numerous art installations that have been shown in museums throughout the country. Since 2015 Natasha's annual performance "M(a)y Sister", which is dedicated to the Afro-German poetess and activist May Ayim has been shown at the HAU Theatre in Berlin. Presently, she is working on her first documentary film that focuses on the lives and works of Black German female artists.

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning author and editor. Her multigenre-crossing writing explores ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances and her editorial work uncovered a legacy of over a century of black science fiction writing. Her multi-genre collection Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press) was longlisted and named a 2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Award "Worthy" book and Shotgun Lullabies (2011) was described as "a revelatory work like Jean Toomer's Cane." Thomas's Dark Matter volumes won two World Fantasy Awards for Year's Best Anthology (Hachette/Warner Aspect, 2001, 2005). Her short fiction can be found in the Bram Stoker Award-nominated collection, Sycorax's Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing, 2017), Memphis Noir (Akashic), So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy (Consortium), Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks (Curbside Splendor), Stories for Chip: Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (Rosarium), 80! Testimony & Reflections of Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct), and Mojo Rising: Contemporary Fiction Writers (Sartorial Literary).

Quentin VerCetty is an award-winning visual griot (storyteller) and art educator who knows no boundaries when it comes to his creative expression. His work builds off his Masters in Art Education thesis from Concordia University, exploring speculative narratives like Afrofuturism addressing issues of representation, immigration, decolonization and other social and environmental issues through public art. Quentin's work has been in numerous academic journals, magazines and a variety of publication including making contributions to the Cosmic Underground:
A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent
. His artistry has been showcased in countries on every continent from Haiti, Peru, Ghana, Australia, United Arab Empire and France to name a few.

Now an assistant professor at the University of Rennes 2 (France) Charles Joseph completed a Ph.D. in American Studies. His dissertation, entitled Being and Writing (from) Los Angeles: Wanda Coleman examines the complex and evolving relationship between the work of the African-American author and the city that harbored her birth, life, and death through the prism of cultural studies. He has simultaneously developed an interest in the implications and practices of the entertainment industry based in Los Angeles on the city's history and the shaping of its sociocultural identity, as well as its influential role on the mass transmedia. As of late, he is focusing especially on the superhero persona in its many different media forms, and he has published articles in reviews such as Les Chantiers de la Création, ORDA, Conserveries Mémorielles, ANGLES and Transatlantica, as well as in several edited volumes.

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