I was honoured when CAROUSEL approached me to co-curate the Indigenous + Afrofuturisms issue with Terese Mason Pierre, and also nervous. It’s a loaded responsibility, being a publishing gatekeeper for your community, and I don’t take it lightly. It’s been an immense privilege to read all the work that was submitted, and to work with the inimitable artists featured here.
What I’ve learned from the pieces in this issue is that the future is cycling. It’s behind us and ahead, and it’s now. Indigenous futurism is unbound by time because so often we look back to the “before” times and see what we hope is ahead. Language proliferation, and political sovereignty, and matriarchy. The Good Way. And so the imagined future becomes this grand series of anachronisms. Motorcycles and elk. Spaceships and payphones. Grandmother wading into a lake, already dead. There is a lot of death in this issue. And ghosts. But Indigenous futurism isn’t the absence of those things. To me, it’s the agency to approach death and say, “Yes, it’s time. I go on my terms.” It’s the unshakeable knowledge that a life ended is not a life disappeared, and that our kinship branches and roots will continue to reach high and deep after our bodies rot and our spirits transform. I want to thank these creators — Nathan Adler, Brandi Bird, Napatsi Folger, Jessica Johns, Kai Minosh Pyle, Sarain Frank Soonias and Kavelina Torres — for their artistry and wisdom. Your words will stay in my mind and my heart long after this issue goes live.
I’m very proud of the body of work Terese and I curated. But really, it’s just a sliver of the brilliance that exists in Black and Indigenous artistic communities. Keep reading us, keep buying our work. We’re not a trend.
Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis writer living on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land, cka Vancouver. She did an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, she’s the publisher at Room Magazine, and her debut full-length collection of poetry, Exhibitionist, was published by Coach House Books in April 2021. More: Twitter @mollyecb