Black Speculative Arts Movement, aka BSAM and BSAM-CANADA, is a year long, traveling afrofuturism, comics, film, and art convention held at multiple universities, colleges, and venues abroad. Our movement, co-founded by associate professor and chair of the Humanities department at Harris-Stowe State University, Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, and founder of Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts – MECCAcon, Maia Crown Williams, includes vending from a vast amount of comics, art, and artisan creators and vendors, live performances, a full international film festival via MECCAcon, seminars, classes, hand on workshops, plays, step shows, and much more. Students are also welcome to submit proposals to participate as well.
Afrofuturism and astro blackness has been practiced in our community for years, especially thru literature, visual arts, and music. Artists like Sun Ra, Octavia Butler, Basquiat, Fela Kuti, George Clinton, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Samuel Delaney, Jimi Hendrix, Paschal B. Randolph, Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka,Tananarive Due, Afrika Bambaataa and the ZULU NATION are excellent examples.
BSAM is a loose umbrella term represented for different positions or basis of inquiry: Afrofuturism, Astro Blackness, Afro-Surrealism, Ethno Gothic, Black Digital Humanities, Black (Afro-future female or African Centered) Science Fiction, The Black Fantastic, Magical Realism, and The Esoteric. Although these positions may be incompatible in some instances they overlap around the term speculative and design; and interact around the nexus of technology and ethics. BSAM is a continuation of the historical behavior within the Veil to engage the ideas of Dubois, Wright, Everett and others to pierce the Color Line, the Color Curtain, and understand the Digital Divide in the face of the challenges of the 21st century.
Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts – MECCAcon are large comic book, artist, and film conventions held annually in Detroit, MI. Unlike many “comic cons”, we don’t just focus only on comic books. Art has several mediums, and we want to highlight them all. MECCAcon highlights comic books, science fiction, steampunk, manga, authors, artists, publishers, international film, artisans, music, fine arts, and more.
The primary reason MECCAcon was established was to instill knowledge primarily in the younger art culture. It is my mission to make sure that children know that all “heroes” do not look the same, that many actually look just like THEM. It is also important to learn the origin of comic books, what the historical facts come from, and what the word “hero” actually derives from. At these conventions, while comic books are the main focus, we want to make sure that ALL forms of art are highlighted. At the end of the day, art is and always will be ART, creative expression. Detroit is widely known as the D-MECCA, and we want to make sure that we are properly represented.
MECCAcon International Film Festival, founded in 2014, highlights independent short films starring & from creators of the African diaspora. MECCAconIFF is a branch of MECCAcon, and affiliated with BSAM, which travels across the United States and abroad. With MECCAconIFF, short films are primary, but feature films have been added as well. We always have some of the best filmmakers in the industry that participate. We believe in showcasing GREATNESS to the public eye!
MECCAconIFF, founded in 2014, highlights independent short films starring & from creators of the African diaspora. Short films are primary, but feature films have sometimes been added as well. We always have some of the best filmmakers in the industry that participate. We believe in showcasing GREATNESS to the public eye! Registration is officially open for the 2018 season. Apply today. Details and schedule are below. All applications must be in by December 15, 2018.
Filmmakers in the past have included but aren’t limited to Jackie J Stone, Yolonda Ross, James Bland, Darius Clark Monroe, Evita Castine, Ka’ramuu Kush, dream hampton, Derek Dow, Xavier L Burgin, Donnie Leapheart, Eliciana Nascimento, Music On the Road, Nosa Igbideon, Korstiaan Vandiver, Dehanza Rogers, Zo!, the Seals brothers, Jumai Yusuf, JonCarlos Evans, and many more.
Short films are to be no longer than 40 minutes long, unless approved. Main characters are to be of the African diaspora.
Some films are only shown at one festival, others are shown at multiple. Many films will also be chosen to be featured in the #MECCAconSubBox, as well. We also feature very prominent film panels at various MECCAcon and BSAM events that coincide with the filmmakers of that area, etc.