Facilitator: Seanna Viechweg
As established in the Genealogical perspective workshop, facilitated by Nicholas Mayers, the runaway slave ads offer us descriptive information—not only about the enslaved individuals themselves but also information about their relatives and friends.
Such information can be used in the creation and practice of speculative writing, specifically in an attempt to give voice to these enslaved individuals whose narratives are not captured fully in official archives as we know them today.
Butler, Octavia E. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. ABRAMS, 2017.
Therefore, this workshop on speculative writing will introduce participants to the approach of creative writing as a way to explore the people and stories behind Barbados’ runaway slave advertisements. Participants will be exposed to examples from folks who have similarly engaged with lost narratives through creative writing. Participants will also be provided the space to think about, as well as discuss, ideas for the creative pieces they hope to begin.
Rebecca Hall. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts
Although no official preparation is required for this workshop, we recommend that participants begin to think about the ideas they might want to explore as the series of workshops continue. Consulting some ads beforehand are helpful! See here for some sample ads, or read here how you can access and browse the digitized newspapers.
If you were unable to attend the workshop, you can watch Seanna’s presentation here.
Resources to help you with thinking and writing
- Octavia Butler’s Kindred novel (1979) and graphic novel (2017)
- Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved (1987)
- Nalo Hopkinson’s novel, The Salt Roads (2003)
- M. NourbeSe Philip’s book of poetry, Zong! (2008)
- Marlon James’ novel, The Book of Night Women (2009)
- Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel, The Water Dancer (2019)
- River Solomon’s novella, The Deep (2019)
- Derek Walcott’s poem, “The Sea is History”
- Interview with acclaimed Caribbean writer, Lawrence Scott, “On Memory and the Archives of Caribbean History”
- Afrofuturist Graphic Novelist, Dr. Rebecca Hall’s Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts
*If interested in reading Caribbean speculative fiction and sci-fi more generally, visit Caribbean SF for a bibliography of recommended texts.