M. Asli Dukan is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist who works primarily in the genres of speculative fiction as a subversive, radical and liberatory practice. She has screened at numerous film festivals in North America including the Newark International Film Festival, the Imagenation Film and Music Festival, the Langston Hughes Film Festival, the BlackStar Film Festival and at T.O. Webfest in Toronto, Canada. 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. In 2019, her experimental speculative fiction short, Memories from the Future, was a selection of Open Video Call for the spring/summer exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. 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, a 2018 Flaherty Seminar fellowship and a 2019 Sachs Program for Arts Innovation grant. 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 production on Invisible Universe, a documentary about Black creators in speculative fiction. She is also in development on the anthology horror film, Skin Folk, based on the book by Nalo Hopkinson. She holds an MFA from the City University of New York and currently resides and teaches 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.”