The Black Maker, a conference on STEM and black tech

Our (now officially) annual conference arrives at Birmingham for 2016, hosted by the team at Birmingham Open Media Lab. As always you can expect an interdisciplinary mashup of topics in our usual style, with talks, workshops and performance throughout the day.

The Black Maker aims to put the spotlight on black thought, invention and creativity in technology. As an Afrofuturist collective, we want to explore how technology has been impacted by and impacts the black experience and where the intersection of science, tech and liberation lie. Last year our central question was what will blackness look like in the future, this year we want to ask how we will get there.

What to expect?

We’re pleased to announce a series of brilliant talks from some of the most foremost movers and shakers in their field. AfroFutures_UK veteran Ikem Nzeribe will be talking about his manchester based community computer science project called Mosscode and how he has been exploring the way technology can hinder or help the self empowerment of black people.

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Stills from ‘Hertz’ by Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo

Especially notable is the brilliant Dr Nira Chamberlain, one of the UKs foremost mathematicians who will be speaking on the future of black mathematics and touching on what we can do as a community to nurture talent and interest within the field. Needless to say we’re very excited by what promises to be a deeply thoughtful insightful presentation.

The arts will also be represented in force by the inimitable Christopher Lutterdot Quarcoo and Alex Hutchinson who will be speaking about their incredible projects which enquire and unravel the nature of technology, black pasts/presents and much much more.

A first for AfroFutures_UK, we’ll be hearing from the Virtual Reality and User Experience designer Clorama Dorvilias who will be speaking live from the United States thanks to the power of Google Hangout (or Skype depending…). It’s one thing to hear and discuss new tech, it’s another thing to find out how to use it and she’ll be covering just that in her talk, Designing for Virtual Reality.

Speaking of…

Workshops

…if you want to get in deep with your creative side or learn how to code, we have two workshops starting at 12pm, a Comics Creating workshop led by the organiser for Birmingham Laydeez do Comics, Charlotte Bailey, and a Coding Workshop with Olu Niyi Awosusi. These are again totally free, but do sign up for either one so we know how many numbers to expect. They’re also suitable for all ages at all levels of expertise so don’t be scared to check them out. Tickets are available here.

Performance

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It wouldn’t be an AfroFutures_UK event without some beautiful performances and downstairs we’re thrilled to announce that the artist Velvet Bacchus will be hosted in her own soundscape space downstairs with a special performance starting at 4:30pm.

What else?

…well, actually that’s kind of it. We’re really excited about our first ever event in Birmingham and especially pleased that it’s part of a weekend of radical discussion and activism which include the Decolonise Not Diversify festival at the the Impact Hub Birmingham. We hope to keep going with these and similar events so your support and donations are much appreciated!

So with that, we’ll say farewell and see you tomorrow for a day of Afrofuturism, art and tech!

 

Tickets are available to buy here. Although the event is totally open, we do suggest a £3 donation be made to support our visiting guests.

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