THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

SO YOU DON’T FORGET ABOUT US

BECAUSE

WE CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER

SO

WE WANT YOU TO KNOW

WE FELL OFF TUMBLR

AND LATELY

POST MOST OF OUR EVENTS/THOUGHTS/HAPPENINGS

VIA @METROPOLARITY ON INSTAGRAM + TWITTER

AND THAT

WE ALSO SEND OUT VERY MUCH APPRECIATED NEWSLETTERS

YOU CAN VIEW THE ARCHIVE HERE

AND SUBSCRIBE HERE.

WE DON’T SEND THEM OUT THAT OFTEN BECAUSE THEY ARE PACKED WITH A LOT OF

{ TASTY REVIEWS / EVENTS / SCI-FI SCHTUFF YOU CAN WATCH+READ+LISTEN TO 4FREE / BIG UPS TO PPL WE LIKE DOING STUFF YOU MIGHT LIKE / RANTS / MEDITATIONS + BLESSINGS / AND THE VERY RARE FANART+FANFIC THOUGHTZ }

IN A CASUAL FASHION.

 

ALSO…

 

WE WOULD LIKE TO LAMENT

HOW TIRED WE ARE OF THESE SUSPECT SCREENS

AND THE CONSTANT ONSLAUGHT

OF INFORMATION

WHICH POWERS THE MACHINES OF OUR OWN BONDAGE.

 

=/

 

SO THERE’S THAT.

 

HOW ARE YOU DOING LATELY?

AS ALL DEDICATED & WELL-VERSED ANIME FANS KNOW, THE MULTI-GENRE MEDIUM FROM JAPAN IS AS RICH AND VARIED IN PHILOSOPHICALLY EXPERIMENTAL NARRATIVE AND SPECULATIVE UNIVERSE AS THE MOST HIGHLY-TOUTED LITERARY & FILM TRASH BELOVED BY HIGH ART SNOBS THE WORLD OVER. JUST KIDDING. WE CAME UP ON ANIME AND JUST WANNA SHARE WHAT’S GOOD. :3

NOW LET’S ENJOY ANOTHER ANIME REVIEW FROM OUR NEIGHBOR, TY STRANGER::::::::

Terror anime/manga seems to have found its stride in recent years. I’m not sure what the otaku name for it would be or whatever. But to me terror anime follows the general guideline of anything that can go wrong will. A seemingly impossible situation is placed in front of a protagonist that is only further exacerbated by literally anything and everything else. These shows are usually steampunk heavy, as technology can often give protags an out, or make things easier. Some examples include Attack on Titan (2013), Berserk (1997) (2016), and some that have even dared to venture into a future setting like Blue Gender (1999) and/or Terra Formars (2014) [it’s usually bugs in the future, huh]. Anyways the no spoilers beyond episode 1 show we are exploring today falls into the steampunk variety, or steam engine rather: Koutetsujou no Kabaneri aka Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.

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Plot: The main character is Ikoma, a rather cowardly individual who has to find a way to function in this old broken world. While his fear is totally validated, it’s his reaction to fear that makes him odd, albeit traditional in many anime. While seemingly debilitated by fear, when pushed, Ikoma manages to respond using an above average intellect and pure instinctual reactions to rather extraordinary effect for this [terror] genre. Ikoma’s power [in the first episode] comes from his brain and a stronger than the norm gun that he created.

It’s a gun that he uses against the kabane or corpses, that now plague Japan. These zombies manage to blend the contemporary elements of running zombies, with a slightly spiritual twist. The weak point is no longer the head but rather their heart. Their disease spreads at a rather accelerated rate which helps feed into the hopelessness that the survivors feel. They even carry small bombs so in the event of bite, they can kill themselves for the betterment of the group. To live the survivors travel between their walled cities in huge fortified trains which is where the “title drop” comes from.

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Why you might like it: Well if you like Attack on Titan [this was directed by the same person] or just about any of the shows I named above, you should feel right at home here. At only 12 episodes the show doesn’t require a high level of commitment, and most binge watchers can consume it in a day. It packs a few twists that can keep you engaged through its finale. Additionally at times the art style is extremely beautiful and strangely colorful considering the often drab worlds that zombies regularly inhabit. The music is pretty enjoyable and many of the songs seem to have been made just for the show. I also thought it was rather funny that one of the characters has a very particular accent, you just have to hear to believe. The show is just a short ride that one can enjoy and walk away from feeling like you probably broke even, which is better than some anime.

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Why you might hate it: Well if you hated Attack on Titan, etc etc… yeah. The show, while enjoyable, doesn’t really break any new ground, but rather just explores one rather “weak” theme using the world as a means of conveyance. So while it could have had more depth it feels like many of the adventures just stall for time, rather build up a stronger narrative. I mentioned the art before being rather stunning at times — well you can also see clearly when they had to cut corners for the show’s better scenes. While this isn’t a crime per se, it shouldn’t often be as painfully obvious as it is at times — be prepared for slow pans of still images with sound effects.

The motivations behind the characters, namely Ikoma, seem to come from one particular trauma, that would seem ordinary when taken into consideration the world they live in. There isn’t a definitive timeline, but it feels like relationships literally blossom overnight, which I guess is inspired by their plight. Contrasted with how some characters behave sometimes the developments may leave you with questions, but it’s unlikely those questions will be addressed. It doesn’t seem like this was done to sell issues of a manga of the same title, as the show was an original collaboration. While it could be to build a bridge to a second season, it still wraps up as ambiguously as it starts, which leaves it feeling rushed needlessly.

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Why it matters: Many of these shows seem to pride themselves on their body counts as they climb to eventual victory. However Koutetsujou no Kabaneri seems to beg the question, what does everyone else do in these terrible circumstances? How do survivors who aren’t really heroes or soldiers make it? And while the show handles this rather awkwardly, it attempts to do so with a sense of heart. Rather than solely placing bets on Ikoma alone, you place them on everyone aboard the Koutetsujou in a way. It largely feels like they all contribute and while there is particular focus on the bridge crew [kinda like Star Trek on a train with zombies] you feel like the hopes and dreams of these other people can matter. Because let’s face it, if something like this were to really happen it’s largely probable that you would just be an extra, trying to make it. So while it plays loose with its themes, character development, and resolutions, it feels grounded in a realistic social outline. The world feels good, because it has a good basement, and maybe if they work on the rest of the structure it might turn into something even better.

WATCH

Content Warnings: Extremely violent, abundant suicide

PLANNING MEETINGS, EMAIL CHAINS, WORKSHOPS, EDITORS MEETINGS, SUBMISSION DEADLINES, DESIGN DEADLINES COLLAB COLLAB COLLAB…

A CITYWIDE EFFORT BIRTHS APIARY MAGAZINE‘S 8TH ISSUE

SOFT TARGETS

WITH US AS GUEST EDITORS

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In conjunction with Philadelphia-based DIY postcolonial sci-fi collective METROPOLARITY, the staff of APIARY Magazine are proud to announce that APIARY 8, SOFT TARGETS, HAS OFFICIALLY LANDED!

Thank you to all who came out to our launch party to celebrate the release! This was truly a luminous event, and we could not have pulled it off without your love and support!

If you missed our launch party, you can pick up a copy of APIARY 8 SOFT TARGETS at any of the following locations at this continuously updated list here.

The Apiary crew is busy distributing stacks and stacks of the free magazine all across the city – you can see where in almost real-time via their Instagram here.

Meanwhile, we’re shipping out a copy with any t-shirt purchase from our webshop.

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What’s inside?

In this issue our authors interrogate fear. They recode the technologies of terror and depravity into a language of bravery, beauty, and tenderness. APIARY 8 asks: How do we live freely? How do we prevail against violence? How do we, also, resolve the injustice in our own hearts?

We don’t pretend to have the answers. Instead, we’re letting the visions, poems, stories, and artwork of local Philadelphians speak to our city.

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Here’s a few choice pics of the launch party from July 9th at The Painted Bride in Olde City, by Erin Pitts Photography. The full album with 200+ pics can be viewed here.

 

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Thanks Apiary staff and everyone who wrote, read, showed up and otherwise busted their ass to contribute to this thick slab of magazine!

 

PSSST…

WE’RE STILL WORKING ON THE #SOFTTARGETS METROPOLARITY CUT EDITION…

THIS IS THE WORK OF OUR OWN RASHEEDAH PHILLIPS OF THE AFROFUTURIST AFFAIR AND CAMAE AYEWA OF ROCKERS / MIGHTY PARADOCS / MOOR MOTHER

AKA

BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM COLLECTIVE

WHO WERE AWARDED A FELLOWSHIP AND WERE RECENTLY ABLE TO OPEN UP

COMMUNITY FUTURES LAB

at 2204 Ridge Avenue in North…

View of Ridge Avenue storefront, Community Futures Lab, Philadelphia (photo by Amanda Sroka)

“Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly” is a social practice, collaborative art, and ethnographic research project exploring oral histories, memories, alternative temporalities, and futures within the North Philadelphia neighborhood known as Sharswood/Blumberg. The area is currently undergoing a major redevelopment project after years of deep poverty, educational inequality, and high crime. “Community Futurisms” will document the redevelopment of Sharswood/Blumberg, through an multidisciplinary community art project that explores the intersections of futurism, literature, visual remixing, sound, and activism as art.

The goal of the Community Futures Lab is to collect, preserve, and share the Sharswood-Blumberg community’s memories and stories for future generations. We are looking for anyone who has ever lived in the neighborhood, and people who still live in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.

A project of The AfroFuturist Affair/Black Quantum Futurism Collective, supported in large part by A Blade of Grass
http://www.abladeofgrass.org/fellow/black-quantum-futurism/
BQF Collective is inspired by afrofuturism, quantum physics, and african traditions of spatial-temporal consciousness. They weave science fiction realities with african concepts of time, ritual and sound to present innovative works that offer practical ways to escape time loops, oppression vortexes and the digital matrix.

This project is not affiliated with the Philadelphia Housing Authority or the City of Philadelphia

For more info, please contact:
communityfutureslab@gmail.com

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Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), along with the AfroFuturist Affair, both activist-oriented collectives celebrating and disseminating black science fiction culture, has opened a community resource space envisioned as a “time capsule” in Sharswood/Blumberg. The North Philly neighborhood has seen much socioeconomic strife over the years and is now undergoing a $526 million dollar redevelopment project that cleared thousands of residential units via eminent domain. The Community Futures Lab was created in response to this reality and is also asking the neighborhood what potential needs the lab can fulfill, from organizing housing resources workshops and skill-sharing panels to zine brunches and yoga classes. Located next to Temple University, the blocks around the lab are tempting land grabs for thirsty real estate developers — in this case, the Philadelphia Housing Authority — who want to wipe the slate clean of the poverty and inequality that have long plagued the area. But the city neglects to consider the chaos that the displacement of human beings and communities causes to the residents who are uprooted. Personal stakes are ignored and buried under the rubble in the name of profitability.

[…]

Black Quantum Futurism encompasses the work of the lawyer-activist-writer Rasheedah Phillips and musician-designer-photographer Camae Ayewa, as well as the efforts of others who have collaborated with the two artists. Phillips is the founder of the AfroFuturist Affair and published the Black Quantum Futurism manifesto, which proposes a creative and critical vision that values and rewrites black diasporic history through an Afrofuturist lens. She has participated in The Shadows Took Shape, the group exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem that explored Afrofuturist aesthetics, as well as the yearlong Octavia Butler celebration at Clockshop in Los Angeles. Ayewa performs and tours as Moor Mother, a solo music project creating memorial soundscapes and what she calls “slaveship punk,” and cofounded Rockers! Philly, a festival devoted to marginalized artists.

In addition to her artistic practice, Phillips is the managing attorney for the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, which ties her intimately to the concerns of locals who are left helpless in the state of the current housing crisis. She also attended Temple University for both her BA and JD, and has lived about 10 blocks from Community Futures Lab for the last six years. Phillips says, “utilize me,” and wants her neighbors to know that she has a stake in Sharswood/Blumsberg and intends to facilitate change through civic engagement.

An Afrofuturist Community Center Targets Gentrification

THE GOINGS ON…

CFL has only been open a couple months and has already hosted mulllltiple events and received as many press write-ups. We’ll try to crosspost CFL events here, but the best way to keep up with what’s going on at the Lab is to follow them:::::

@COMMUNITYFUTURESLAB ON INSTAGRAM +

COMMUNITY FUTURES LAB BLOG +

/COMMUNITYFUTURESLAB ON FACEBOOK

 

THE PRESS SO FAR….

PHILLY VOICE | Race Against Time: A North Philly artist aims to document her disappearing community | 16 JUNE 2016

VIBE MAGAZINE | This Artist Collective In Philadelphia Is Documenting Gentrification In The Community | 17 JUNE 2016

GENEROCITY | Rasheedah Phillips’s Community Futures Lab in Sharswood is underway | 17 JUNE 2016

HYPERALLERGIC | An Afrofuturist Community Center Targets Gentrification | 22 JUNE 2016

WHYY | Bharatanatyam, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Afrofuturism (video, 26:49) | 26 JUNE 2016

THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE | Spoken word history project opens in North Philly | 2 JULY 2016

APOLLO MAGAZINE | A whistlestop tour of Philadelphia’s contemporary art spaces | 6 JULY 2016

NODE CENTER | Black Quantum Futurism Theory & Practice | 13 JULY 2016

PHILLYCAM | Around the Corner: Afrofuturist Affair | 20 JULY 2016

HUFFPOST POLITICS LIVE | Rasheedah Phillips tells the truth about gentrification and displacement in Philadelphia, the site of the Democratic convention. | 26 JULY 2016

CENTER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSEUMS | The Community Futures Lab: Oral Histories, Oral Futures, and Quantum Time | 4 AUGUST 2016

 

WHAT’S COME TO PASS…

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So yeah yo, follow @communityfutureslab on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and if you want to stay abreast of Rasheedah’s many projects, events, and appearances in general, we definitely recommend subscribing to her FUTURE LIGHT CONE newsletter here.