Special Events

The Parables Experience at MozFest Virtual

Special Events
20 Mar, 2023

The Parables Experience at MozFest Virtual

with curators ill Weaver (a Detroit-based artist and organizer. They co-founded Emergence Media and Complex Movements)

and Valencia James (a performer, maker, and researcher from Barbados, interested in the intersection between dance, theater, technology, and activism, currently pursuing an MFA in Art Practice at the University of California Berkeley)

This event is hosted by MozFest, which is part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.

Register and more information here:

The Parables Experience at MozFest 2023 will illuminate both the roots of systemic oppression AND community-led solutions and strategies in the face of climate catastrophe, criminalization, and exploitation.

In Octavia E. Butler’s Parables series, a community creates collective solutions and strategies in the face of climate catastrophe, criminalization, and exploitation. The Parables Experience will approach this by exchanging stories and strategies between global communities.

This experience will feature the work of a diverse range of artists, activists and community organizers who will share the unique intersections of their practices with the themes of Butler’s Parables. Participants will not only hear about the projects but receive prompts that guide practical applications and agency to their everyday lives. There will be a range of synchronous and self-guided exploratory experiences from live conversations to workshops and a virtual online Parable Pavilion.


Here is an overview of sessions happening within the Parables Experience. All session details and timings can be found on the MozFest Plaza.

Stories Are Our Algorithm: Emerging Tech & Collective Power

Transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins and producer/composer/curator/musician Toshi Reagon explore connections between Octavia E. Butler's Parable series, reclaimed family archives, AI, technology, and creativity's role in building the collective power of the people.

From Detroit to Egypt: Connecting Movements for Climate Justice and Prison Abolition

An exchange between Detroit mother and activist Siwatu-Salama Ra and Egyptian activist and filmmaker Sanaa Seif about the links between Octavia E. Butler’s Parables, technology, climate justice, and movements to end criminalization, militarism and colonialism: from Egypt to Detroit and beyond. Moderated by creative technologist and immersive director Yasmin Elayat.

Water is Life

Witness an exchange about themes of Climate Justice and Water within Octavia E. Butler’s Parables series and connections to the work of brilliant cultural strategists, artists, scientists and technologists. Tré Vasquez of Movement Generation facilitates a conversation with Talk To Me About Water Collective members Nour Batyne, Martha Bearskin, Devin Ronneburg, Eamon O'Connor and Amelia Winger-Bearskin.

Seeds & Clay: Organizing New Worlds Through Vulnerability 2.0

Inspired by the work and life of Octavia E. Butler, particularly the Earthseed verses from the Parables Series, the Church of Black feminist Thought will host a Black feminist study session that looks back on the ways the converging pandemics of COVID-19 and ongoing racialized violence demand radical new formations of community. Like Butler's protagonist, Lauren Oya Olamina, these new formations of communities find their strength in and through vulnerability.

A People's Guide to AI (Zine)

A People's Guide to Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an educational and speculative approach to understanding AI and its growing impact on society. The 78-page downloadable booklet explores the forms AI takes today and the role AI-based technologies can play in fostering equitable futures. The project resists narratives of dystopian futures by using popular education, design, and storytelling to lay the groundwork for creative imaginings.

Sustenance and Liberation: Recipes and Stories inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable Series

In the Parables Series there is a running theme of foods that Lauren Olamina and her family rely on as sustenance in a time of crisis. Nigerian-American chef and multimedia artist, Salimatu Amabebe and Award-winning African-American author, chef and food activist, Bryant Terry explore recipes and stories inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parables series. Join them for a mix of cooking and conversation about how food can sustain us through the long-haul work of liberation and community organizing.

Moving through the Apocalypse: Considering the Future through the Caribbean's Past

In her Parable Series, Octavia E. Butler sheds light on what kind of future awaits us when the issues at the roots of systemic oppression, criminalization, exploitation and climate change are ignored. At the same time, she plants the seeds that can bring us towards change, if we pay close attention- the power of community-led solutions and strategies in the face of injustice. Join filmmaker, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers and performer and researcher, Valencia James in conversation about the unexpected parallels between Butler’s text and colonial Caribbean history, how the ghastly methodologies and laws born of plantations in Barbados in the 1600s spawned much of the systemic racism that haunts North America and the rest of the western hemisphere to this day, and the artistic movements and community-led strategies of resistance that arose and may yet arise from this.

The Politics of Remembrance

Taiwanese artists and activists Lee Tzu-Tung and Xin Xin will illuminate how Taiwanese communities, both locally and in the diaspora, are resisting destructive waves of military-colonialism through creative and cultural strategies.

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