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Surviving the Future: Abolitionist Queer Strategies

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Editor Scott Branson is joined by contributors to “Surviving the Future,” a new collection of the most current ideas in radical queer movement work and revolutionary queer theory. Panelists include E Ornelas, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and Yasmin Nair.

Beset by a new pandemic, fanning the flames of global uprising, these queers cast off progressive narratives of liberal hope while building mutual networks of rebellion and care. These essays propose a militant strategy of queer survival in an ever precarious future. Starting from a position of abolition—of prisons, police, the State, identity, and racist cisheteronormative society—this collection refuses the bribes of inclusion in a system built on our expendability.

E Ornelas is a PhD candidate, instructor at the University of Minnesota, and descendant of a survivor of the Sherman Institute, a Native boarding school in Riverside, California. E studies community-based, abolitionist-informed responses to gendered, racialized, and colonial violence in Black and Indigenous speculative fiction. This research has been published in the International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies and Science Fiction Research Association Review. E co-founded an autonomous Black & Pink chapter in Minneapolis and the Mutual Aid Twin Cities Housing Cooperative.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the author of The Freezer Door, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for “a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” Her latest anthology is Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis, and her next book Touching the Art will be published in November by Soft Skull Press.

Scott Branson is a queer/trans anarchist writer, translator, community organizer, and teacher. They were an organizer for the UNC Asheville/Davidson College queer conferences that inspired this book. They translated Jacques Lesage de la Haye’s The Abolition of Prison and Guy Hocquenghem’s second book of essays, Gay Liberation after May ’68, for which they also wrote a critical introduction. Scott is the author of Practical Anarchism: A Daily Guide and is currently working on a book on trans-anarcha-feminism. They often contribute to The Final Straw Radio, a weekly anarchist radio show and podcast. Yasmin Nair is a writer, academic, and activist.

She’s an editor at large at Current Affairs, on the editorial board of the Anarchist Review of Books, co-founder of the radical queer editorial collective Against Equality and the (Volunteer) Policy Director of Gender JUST. She’s currently working on her book Strange Love: A History of Social Justice And Why It Needs To Die. Her writing can be found at www​.yas​min​nair​.com.