Resistance: the battle of philadelphia is a six part, short form, speculative fiction web series about a community’s struggle against the surveillance and state violence of a powerful corporate government in a near-future Philadelphia.
Inspired by films like Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames (1983), Ivan Dixon/Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973) and Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (1967), the series also subverts the dystopian genre to form a complex and historically rich narrative about the struggle for justice and liberation.
Created by M. Asli Dukan.
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M. Asli Dukan is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist who works primarily in the genres of speculative fiction as a subversive and liberatory artistic practice. She has screened at numerous film festivals around the country including, the Newark International Film Festival, the Imagenation Film and Music Festival, the Langston Hughes Film Festival and the Blackstar Film Festival. In 2017, her mixed-media, augmented-reality installation, the “Resistance Time Portal”, which centered Black radicalism in a futuristic narrative, made its debut in the Distance≠Time exhibition at the Icebox Project Space. She has been the recipient of several grants, awards and fellowships, including a 2016 Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation, a 2016 NBPC 360 fellowship from Black Public Media, a 2018 Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund and a 2018 Flaherty Seminar fellowship. In 2018, she completed Resistance: the battle of philadelphia, a near-future web series about a community’s struggle against surveillance and state violence. She is in post-production on Invisible Universe, a documentary about Black creators in speculative fiction and in development on the anthology horror film based on the book, Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson. She holds an MFA from the City University of New York and currently resides in Philadelphia.
“Resistance: the battle of philadelphia, is an attempt to make a politically adept and socially relevant near-future web series, steeped in the futuristic mechanisms of speculative fiction, but essentially about the world we live in today. More and more, our society teeters on the edge of a structural implosion – driven by white supremacy and plutocratic forces who continue to appropriate more of the resources, power and the future from the commons. But even in the face of this pending calamity, historically marginalized populations are stepping forward and putting themselves on the line, to reclaim their humanity and their human rights. From Black Lives Matter, to the Water Protectors, to the New Sanctuary, Me Too and Not One More Movements, people across the country are speaking truth to power and are taking action to make transformative changes in their lives and in the world.
Essentially, this is the core of the Resistance web series. Originating from the traditional science fiction proposition of, “What If?”, the story makes a jump 15 or so years into the future and ponders the idea of what would it look like if a group of residents in one community decide to build a different future for themselves, in the face of insurmountable odds? And what if these people are different from how we usually experience this type of narrative? What if they are women, people of color, queer, immigrant, poor and/or working class? What if they are the protagonists through which we experience the story? What if they got to make decisions about how the future could and should change? What would this look like as an independently produced web series? Inspired in tone, theme, style and politics by films like Born in Flames (1983), The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973) and The Battle of Algiers (1967), Resistance: the battle of philadelphia, is simultaneously a familiar narrative and something radically different.”