M. ASLI DUKAN
Asli is a filmmaker and visual artist who has been producing, directing and screening her subversive short speculative fiction films since 2000. In 2017, her mixed-media installation, “Resistance Time Portal”, which centered Black radicalism in a futuristic narrative, made its debut in the Distance≠Time exhibition at the Icebox Project Space, co-presented by Philadelphia’s Black Quantum Futurism collective. 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, and in 2018, a Flaherty Seminar fellowship. In 2018, she also completed Resistance: the battle of philadelphia, a 6-part, near future web series about a community’s struggle against 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 is the programmer of SPECULATIONS, a touring film showcase spotlighting speculative/imaginary/fantastic films by filmmakers of African descent.
“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.”