Drag is embodied speculative fiction, clubs are queer heterotopias, pornography is pedagogy, and queer collectivity is a means of survival.
History and science are parafiction: patriarchal, colonial and capitalist storytelling reified into cultural metanarratives of heroism and domination; creating a default subject who is white, male, heterosexual, able, cisgendered and human.
Representation is reality and we have a response-ability to seek out worlds whose stories are told outside of (t)his paradigm that pervade our everyday experience as subjects who are gendered, raced, and sexed.
In the face of representational violence, speculative fiction is a productive medium to invade existing narratives that naturalize normative states of sex, gender and race, imaging futurity that does not depend on existing historical and social infrastructure.
Dream Babes is a long-term project led by Victoria Sin in collaboration with Auto Italia featuring artists using speculative fiction as a productive medium for intersectional queer experience, bringing together practitioners working across varied mediums to enact worlds that we are for, with others.
This project is comprised of many iterations, public moments and opportunities to come together. To date, Dream Babes has manifested as a reading group, an event – Speculative Sex, a three-day live programme and most recently a Speculative Futures Zine Launch in collaboration with the Horse Hospital.
Scroll down for more information on the programme to date.
Dream Babes Speculative Fiction Reading Group – an ongoing group meeting to read and discuss speculative fictions that challenge traditional representations of subjectivity, with a focus on queer, feminist and POC narratives and experience.
Speculative Sex: I.K.U. and Neurosex Pornoia. In the future, sexual experience is downloadable, hackable, and uploaded via neurological implants that stimulate your sensory nerves and pleasure centres directly. ‘Speculative Sex’ presented work by Shu Lea Cheang and Eric Pussyboy & Abigail Gnash using science fiction narratives as a medium to re-present bodies and sex, hosted at Auto Italia on August 3rd 2016.
Dream Babes Speculative Futures Zine
The space of speculative fiction is the space that is created between lived realities and distant fantasies, that take us out of our world, so that we can occupy a new, if temporary, positionality and have an opportunity to ask from there, what if things were radically different? How could things function? What would that feel like?
Dream Babes launched the zine on 23rd March 2017 at the Horse Hospital with a performance by Jamila Johnson-Small + readings. Speculative Futures Zine features contributions from: Jay Bernard, Shu Lea Cheang, Evan Ifekoya, Jamila Johnson-Small, Taylor le Melle, Eric Pussyboy, Raju Rage, Adam Saad, Victoria Sin, Special Tears (Cassandre Greenberg + Christopher Kirubi), Zadie Xa and is published by PSS
Dream Babes live programme at Auto Italia, 7th-9th September 2016:
When we create space to flourish in a world that is not for us, we are creating speculative fiction. With our feet on Earth and our heads firmly in the sky, Dream Babes created a host vessel from the 7th-9th September: a space to enact queer collectivity, imaging worlds we are for, together. Full programme listed below.
Resis’dance DJ Workshop
A workshop led by Resis’dance giving an opportunity for female, trans, and non-binary people to learn the basics of DJing in a welcoming, non judgemental environment. This workshop went through setting up your equipment from scratch, how to identify problems in sound, basics of CDJs, mixing, beat matching and double time phenomenon.
Resis’dance exists to create platforms for women, especially marginalised women; women of colour, trans women, working class women, women who are struggling, non-binary identifying people. It’s about highlighting women that are doing amazing things, affirming their value, and giving them space to showcase their work and passions. This event was aimed at QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, people of colour).
Special Tears presents CRY BABY: Get Close
Special Tears invites you to an evening of ~slow jams~
Notes on desperation, on-closeness and on trying not to really think about it, which means that all we really do is think about it (Stressing, Obsessing and Doing Too Much).
Speak out soft
Cry Baby featured DJ sets by Ann Ayoola, Ooretha + cruise_control alongside a performance by Special Tears (Cassandre Greenberg + Christopher Kirubi). Organised in collaboration with SPACE Art + Technology.
Manara DJ set
Manara is a South London DJ and producer with ties to two of club music’s most innovative labels: Night Slugs and Fade To Mind. Last year she established the BBC AZN Network radio show on U.K. station Radar Radio with fellow London artists 2shin and Sweyn Jupiter.
Evan Ifekoya + Victoria Sin
What is enabled
In the space of a groove?
Tell me a story,
Share an experience,
Of a song that moved you.
Of a look from someone
that transported you,
Outta this world.
What is enabled
In the space of a groove?
Tell me a story,
Take me on a journey,
To when a DJ transported you,
When a dancefloor transformed you,
Into a most complete
Version of self.
In the space of a groove
Let’s Voyage together,
Beyond the conflict of language,
Where body feedback
Can generate a belonging.
Evan and Victoria invite the audience to partake in a moment of queer collectivity focussing on our experiences of nightlife and the physical within the social body.
Spacer Woman (Chooc Ly Tan) DJ set
Chooc Ly Tan (Spacer Woman) is an Afro-Asian Artist, DJ & Voyager, born in France, educated in London and Reykjavik, and in residence on Planet Earth. With a penchant for electronic music, Chooc Ly’s DJ sets present a varied selection taking in from Hip Hop, Afrobeat, Bollywood, experimental Dakbe, high-voltage Electro, through to fusions we haven’t found names for yet.
Delany Fan Club
An informal afternoon screening group, looking at the work of science fiction writer and essayist Samuel Delany showcasing a number of interviews with Delany, discussing sex, race and gay history, as well the documentary The Polymath, Or The Life And Opinions Of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman.
Lipstix and Lipsynx Performative Workshop with Adam Saad and Raju Rage
A workshop to un/cover our secret present selves and open up queer portals of self-affirmation for *moments of future whateva*.
The session took two ideas/methods used by the facilitators within their practices and daily lives, as techniques of survival and revival: Lipsyncing and performances of Self Affirmation. We will discuss and perform what it means to be ‘us’: to be queer of colour / to disidentify* / to be outside and inside of the mainstream – and what we do to navigate these realms. This event was strictly limited for QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, people of colour).
Sydney UltraOmni DJ set
Sydney UltraOmni is the other half of “English Breakfast,” a regular voguing night happening every third Thursday of the month at Trapeze Basement Club in Shoreditch, London. A proud member of the iconic New York voguing House of UltraOmni, when Sydney is not walking “butch realness” at a ball, he loves mixing house, b*tch tracks, soca chunes and disco throwbacks for his friends.
Dream Babes is a part of Live Event Series, a programme in collaboration with Goethe-Institut London, and with support from Arts Council England and Mercers’ Company.