Cosmic Underground Northside
An incantation of black Canadian speculative discourse and innerstandings
Introduction by Nalo Hopkinson
Foreword by Zainab Amadahy
“(Cosmic Underground Northside) address(es) the state and the fate of the world, the long march of humanity through history, all of our voices, our perspectives, our imaginary worlds, and our struggles must be engaged. The peoples of Africa and of African descent all over the world can no longer tolerate to be excluded, bear to see the singularity and rich diversity of their experiences, their marks of civilization relegated to oblivion, to disregard, to indifference, to narratives of pity and misery, or to fatality…. (Cosmic Underground Northside) draw(s) in bold, broad strokes, in the here and now, the contours of a dazzling vision for the future. Each contribution is a priceless treasure, and an act of resistance.”
– the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada, 3rd Secretary General of the International Organization of la Francophonie
This seminal collection consists of works from cross-generations and pan-national Black creatives and cultural producers from Canada. This generous book offers a glimpse of different innerstandings, a profound comprehension or conviction within one’s spirit or soul. We consider the following: what does Afrofuturism look like from a Canadian perspective? What are the unique elements of artistic expression in Black Canadian art? Considering Canada’s history on Indigenous land, how do Black Canadians imagine their future in a colony that promotes erasure, yet claims multiculturalism? So ah wah dis? Qu’est-ce que c’est? Kisa sa ye?
Cosmic Underground Northside: An Incantation of Black Canadian Speculative Discourse and Innerstanding is an archival book comprised of diasporic dialogues around liberation and spirituality. Significant contributions of poems, lyrics, proses, short stories and other expressive forms of literature along with vibrant illustrations, photography, posters, mixed-media digital and analog rendered artworks by over 100 prolific, gifted Black Canadian scholars and creatives. This is who we are.
Available May 5, 2020
About the Editors
Quentin VerCetty est un griot visuel (conteur) primé et un éducateur d’art qui ne connaît aucun frontières lorsqu’il s’agit de son expression créative. Son travail s’appuie sur sa thèse de maîtrise en éducation artistique de l’Université Concordia, explorant des récits spéculatifs comme l’afrofuturisme abordant les questions de représentation, d’immigration, de décolonisation et d’autres questions sociales et environnementales à travers l’art public.
Le travail de Quentin a été présenté dans nombreuses revues académiques, une variété de publications, come des magazines. Des contributions à Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire Of Black Speculative Discontent et parmis cela. Son art a aussi été présenté dans des pays a travers tous les continents, de Haïti, le Pérou, le Ghana, l’Australie, l’Empire arabe uni et la France pour n’en citer que quelques-uns.Sa passion pour l’artivisme, qui utilise l’art comme outil de changement sociale, a mené au déroulement du projet Canadien intitulé « Black Speculative Arts Movement » (BSAMCanada) en 2016 et continue aujourd’hui à s’étendre à travers le pays.Grâce à son travail, Quentin espère a engager les esprits et inspirer le coeurs de toute le monde, pour créer un meilleur avenir pour tous.
Quentin VerCetty (Lindsay) – also known as Di’ rAstroNautty, is an award-winning visual griot (storyteller) and art educator who knows no boundaries when it comes to his creative expression. Since receiving his first award, the Governor General Bronze Medal Award for excellence in 2010 and recent accolade from the Ontario College of Art and Design University diversity award in 2015, VerCetty continues to strive for new heights in his professional creative work and community-based work along with his academic career. Currently building off his master’s in art education thesis from Concordia University, Quentin explores speculative narratives like Afrofuturism addressing issues of representation, immigration, decolonization and other social and environmental issues through public art intervention.
Quentin’s work has been in numerous academic journals, magazines and a variety of publication. He enjoys good wine, conversation, chocolate, of course, art and traveling. In which his artistry and adventurous spirit have brought him to every populated continent on the planet Earth.His passion for artivism, using art as a tool for social change, lead to co-launching the Canadian chapter of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAMCanada) in 2016 and has since then continued to spread it across the nation. Through his work, as an academic and as a creative, Quentin hopes to engage and inspire hearts and minds further with high hope to make the world a better place not only for today but for many tomorrows to come. www.vercetty.com
Dr. Audrey Hudson is an artist, educator, researcher and futurist. Audrey manages school and teacher programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario and teaches at OCAD University. She holds a PhD from University of Toronto/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UT/OISE). Most recently, Dr. Hudson co-edited a groundbreaking text entitled, In This Together: Blackness, Indigeneity and Hip-Hop, with a chapter, entitled, All eyes on Hip Hop: Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurities. Chapters and articles include: Where We @?: Blackness, Indigeneity and Hip-Hop’s Expression of Creative Resistance (co-authored); Here We Are On Turtle Island: Navigating Places, Spaces and Terrain; and Integrating Black lives into education: Black Lives Matter Freedom School.
Hudson believes the arts are a way to bring rich knowledge and voices of young people into spaces to discuss education, colonization, race, and relationship building between Black and Indigenous communities. Dr. Hudson developed and taught the first course in Canada on the influence Hip-Hop has on design, entitled Hip-Hop & Convergence Culture at OCAD University. Hudson also co-developed and taught a graduate studies course at UT/OISE entitled, Desire and Change: Difficult Dialogues in Art and Art Education. This book on Cosmic Underground Northside merges Audrey’s passion for art, social change and voicing astounding creative Black intellect.