Invisible Universe - Kickstarter Fund Project #5

Every week, the Seattle Review of Books backs a Kickstarter, and writes up why we picked that particular project. Read more about the project here. Suggest a project by writing to kickstarter at this domain, or by using our contact form.

What's the project this week?

The Invisible Universe Foundation a history of blackness in speculative fiction. We've put in $20.

Who is the Creator?

M. Asli Dukan.

What do they have to say about the project?

The Invisible Universe Foundation is dedicated to researching and promoting the history of African Americans in speculative fiction (fantasy, horror and science fiction) literature, cinema and related multimedia through the activities of archiving and producing literary and media materials and presenting cultural events.

The first project is the Invisible Universe documentary which explores the relationship between the Black body and popular fantasy, horror and science fiction literature and film and the alternative perspectives produced by creators of color. This documentary features interviews with major writers, scholars, artists and filmmakers and explores comics, television, film and literature by deconstructing stereotyped images of Black people in the genres. The Invisible Universe documentary ultimately reveals how Black creators have been consciously creating their own universe.

What caught your eye?

Well, first we need to say that this is not a Kickstarter. This project was run as an IndieGoGo project that raised $6,616 (out of a $20,000 goal), and has now raised an additional $11,942 on the Fractured Atlas platform.

What caught our eye was the scope, ambition, and need of the project. While exploring how modern black writers like Octavia Butler and Samuel Delaney (just to name two) deal with the (relatively) current world of black America through their fiction, Dukan also found the Black Utopianists writers of the 19th century who did a similar thing in their time. Check out this beautiful graphic that shows this timeline.

From the clip (below), and the website (be sure to check it out), you'll get a sense of the style of the work, and what she's going for. I so want to see this film. It looks marvelous.

Why should I back it?

Did you look at that graphic? Down at the bottom, with all the writers ghosted on the poster, there is Octavia Butler, and a few people to her right, Nisi Shawl. Seattle is well represented. Wouldn't it be amazing to send some support back?

How's the project doing?

If the original $20,000 for the IndieGoGo is a measure, there's still $1,500 or so to go. But, my god, making films is expensive and complicated. I'm sure this crew could use every bit we could send there way.

Do they have a video?

Kickstarter Fund Stats
  • Projects backed: 5
  • Funds pledged: $100
  • Funds collected: $40
  • Unsuccessful pledges: 0
  • Fund balance: $940