Shaping the Future
The Black Speculative Art Movement (BSAM) emerged out of the Unveiling Visions exhibition co-curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson at the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture in New York City. Black Speculative Art is a creative aesthetic practice that integrates African diasporic, metaphysics, science, and technology. The movement seeks to interpret, engage, design or alter reality for the re-imagination of the past, the contested present, and act as a catalyst for the future. The BSAM convention was founded by associate professor and chair of the Humanities Department at Harris-Stowe State University, Dr. Reynaldo Anderson. BSAM is a term that represents a wide spectrum of areas of inquiry, from Afrofuturism, African Futurism and Afro-Surrealism to Magical Realism and Science Fiction.
BSAM Canada started as an artist collective that was first coordinated by Quentin VerCetty and Kareen Weir, and launched at OCAD University (BSAM Toronto) in 2016. BSAM Canada Institute is a non-profit organization that came to be in 2020 led by Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor, and is the northern branch of the global movement. BSAM Canada Institute’s focus is to create a collaborative and supportive platform that can empower, elevate, and evolve Black creatives and organizations who work within the respective field of the speculative arts.
Through, projects, programs, and partnerships, the mission of BSAM Canada Institute combines related theory and practice using a speculative lens to create a better future and possibilities for the next generation by focusing on five areas of inquiry: Taking Care of the mind, body, and energy; developing a critical vocabulary; community economics and sustainability; cultivating inter-disciplinary insight and global citizenship for the Black Pan-African diaspora.
- BSAM Canada Institute became a registered incorporated non-profit
- The first Canadian Afrofuturism art anthology was released: Cosmic Underground Northside: An Incantation of Black Canadian Speculative Discourse and Innerstandings
- The first BSAM graffiti mural was created in Montreal, Quebec by Danilo McCallum (Toronto), Kalkidan Assefa (Ottawa), Jimmy Baptise (Montreal), and ally Monk E (Quebec)
- Partnered with the Government of Canada – Ministry of Multiculturalism for the BSAM Canada – Halifax exhibition at the North Branch Library
- Partnered with the Government of Canada – Ministry of Multiculturalism for the BSAM Canada – Ottawa exhibition at the National Gallery of Ontario, which was attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
- The first BSAM Canada event in Edmonton hosted by the Africa Centre and featured Minister Faust
- Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent book released. It is the first Afrofuturism catalogue for the Unveiling Vision exhibition
- Crystals As Crowns Campaign in partnership with Stolen From Africa became the first Afrofuturism Public Art installation in Canada
- The first BSAM Canada bilingual event was hosted at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, led by Sonet Tetdra Providence. It had over 200 people in attendance
- BSAM Canada launched by Quentin VerCetty and Kareen Weir at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. The 3-day event had over 500 people in attendance and featured international guests: Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, Black Kirby (John Jennings and Stacey Robinson), Afrofuturist Affairs (Rasheedah Phillips and Moor Mother Goddess), Ytasha Womack, Dr. tobias c. van Veen, ZiggZaggerZ and Maia Crown Williams of M.E.C.C.A. Con
- Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness book released. It is the first publication acknowledgement of the Black Speculative Arts Movement and redefines Afrofuturism as a Pan-African diasporic arts movement
- The Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) emerged out of the Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination art exhibition co-curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson at the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture in Harlem, New York (USA). The exhibit had over 80 artists in attendance.
Executive Director of Operations & Finance
Queen Kukoyi is a Black, Queer, Mother, Author, Art Educator, Scholar, Activist, Mental Health Advocate, and International Artists. Queen uses visual arts, mindfulness and storytelling to facilitate discourse that decolonizes the Black identity and affirms all intersections of Blackness.
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Executive Director of Communications
Nicole “Nico” Taylor is a scholar, cosplayer and activist who uses feminism and critical race theory to dissect social constructions surrounding race and representation. She holds a Master’s in Media Studies where her research touched on decolonial practices, cosplay subculture and Afrofuturism. Therefore making her a huge (and proud) nerd.