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Sci-fi as Survival: Readings from Metropolarity & Moore students

  • The Galleries at Moore 1916 Race Street Philadelphia, PA, 19103 United States (map)

It’s a night of speculative sci-fi readings featuring characters and stories from diverse and inclusive universes. Students from Moore’s humanities course, “Topics in Literature: World Building Through the Lens of Afrofuturism” with instructor Dr. Li Sumpter will share their stories along side members of the Philadelphia based sci-fi and action collective, Metropolarity. Reading Metropolarity members include, Alex Smith, Ras Cutlass, and M Téllez

This event is the culmination of a month long collaboration between Alex Smith, The Galleries, and Dr. Li Sumpter’s undergraduate humanities course, “Topics in Literature: World Building Through the Lens of Afrofuturism.” During the month of February, Smith led Moore students through three speculative fiction writing workshops that focused on building diverse universes that examine and address issues of exploitation, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. 

M Téllez is a heavily cyborg sci-fi writer from the 215 (Lenapehoking). They serve as METROPOLARITY's Minister of Crossroads, who considers the common word a handy and inexpensive tool for deconstructing oppressive world-ordering narratives. Find them around the net @cyborgmemoirs and @gear4cyborgs. 

Ras Cutlass is a sci fi writer who lives in West Philadelphia. She believes that revolutions are everyday, personal and collective occurrences. Cutlass serves as Minister of Abysses for Metropolarity, and works as a social worker in a parallel life. 

Alex Smith lives in the seams in the cloth of existence where he desperately stitches together universes with one hand and with the other, armed with an espresso tamp, makes valiant attempts to keep his lights on. A member of the sci-fi artist/activist collective Metropolarity (, the founder of the queer sci-fi reading series Laser Life, and curator of the retro-futurist electro mash-up art-jam Chrome City, Alex's stories and writings embolden the weird, strange, and revolutionary dichotomy of being Black and queer in a world that marginalizes both. Selected by Rosarium Publishing for Stories for Chip an anthology dedicated to the writing of Samuel Delany, and for Black Quantum Futurism's Space-Time Collapse: From the Congo to the Carolinas, it's Smith’s flash fiction collection Gang Stalk Oprah, self-published sci-fi zine A R K D U S T and super-hero space opera comic book BELIEVERS that will kidnap you, convert you, shoot you in the leg and then set you free. Follow: 


This event is in conjunction with the exhibition “Not Ready To Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls In The Artworld And Beyond" on view until March 17. 

IMAGE CREDIT: “Roxi RedMoon Signature Poster” by Eric Battle, Felix Serrano, and Li Sumpter from the “Graffiti in the Grass” project created by Myth Media Studios: