Filmmaker Akosua Akoben found a new love in film production, and plans to produce several webseries and multimedia productions. Part of her webseries, The Pride, will screen at our “What Does the Future Look Like?” program on Feb. 23! We recently talked to her about her interest in science fiction and Afrofuturism and her webseries, The Pride.

Midwest BSFA: Tell us about yourself.
Akoben: I’m a proud wife and mother, a native of Cincinnati and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University (B.S. in Sociology, minor in Afro-American Studies and a focus in Theatre & Dance). I am a community organizer, performing artist, producer, and director with W.A.R. Theatre, Soul Consciousness Theatre Troupe, and an assistant to MoTime Outside the Box Productions, LLC.

Midwest BSFA: Who are your favorite speculative fiction creators?
Akoben: Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson and Derrick A. Bell are my top three!

Midwest BSFA: What got you interested in science fiction/Afrofuturism?
Akoben: I have always loved sci-fi and honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t interested. Films like Terminator, Aliens, Night of the Living Dead, Demolition Man and Flatliners inspired me to think outside the box. I began imagining the future of Black people in general, and what things will look like if things got worst or if we finally figure out how to improve our current and historical condition.

Midwest BSFA: Give us a short synopsis of your web series, The Pride.
Akoben: The I.S.C. (Independent State of Cincinnati) Wants You…register for fertility testing or stand to be executed! Those that flee the registry are given sanctuary within Liberated Zone boundaries until their borders are infiltrated by ruthless invaders. They will soon feel the wrath of five women scorned and out for blood. Get wrapped in a whirlwind of, loss, adventure, pain, sisterhood, revenge and liberation. As you follow five women who resist and work to overthrow an oppressive regime for redemption, they are known as “The Pride.”

Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the concept?
Akoben: The U.S. has a family crisis in the Black community where women raise their children alone, for various reasons. We have come to the collective conclusion that systematic racism is the cause. There is a belief that control of genetics will increase in the future. This conundrum activates my sociological skills where I can imagine an alternative. The Pride is my example of resistance, my idea of a process toward a solution.

Midwest BSFA: What were you trying to accomplish with the web series?
Akoben: To prove that people have the power to change the worst of things into something beautiful. To embrace our spirituality and humanity without fear

Midwest BSFA: Do you consider The Pride Afrofuturism? 
Akoben: Yes, I certainly do consider The Pride to be an Afrofuturistic film as well as an action/drama. This film is all about applying African spirituality similar to the way the Haitians did to liberate themselves, also this series is set in the year 2040. By this time we will have a new way of thinking, communicating and defending ourselves.

Midwest BSFA: What do you hope viewers get out of your series?
Akoben: I hope my viewers are encouraged to learn more about their past so as to not repeat it. This series will be an example of what society can look like if we melt away our culture and mimic the corrupt values of the status quo. It will inspire us to preserve our humanity and resist any forms of oppression!

Midwest BSFA: What do you think the future looks like for black people in the United States?
Akoben: This webseries is a reflection of what I think the U.S. will look like in the future. Depending on how many of us stand against our oppressors our future could be bleak or Blacktastic!

Midwest BSFA: What were you trying to accomplish with the web series?
Akoben: This is a protest piece, it will show that Black women can embrace Black men and still be powerful! It will prove that we need one another and that we cannot be replaced or genetically modified without a fight!

Midwest BSFA: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Akoben: Our pilot is a tribute to the graphic novel lovers! We hope that this is the beginning of many more Afrofuturistic productions and would love the idea of taking it to the stage! Please look out for Take Me To the Waters and a few other staged and multimedia productions that will premiere by 2020; All That Blossoms (produced By Soul Consciousness Theatre Troupe) and SPIT the stage play (MoTIME Outside the Box Production LLC)!

Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2083487125060258/ for more information on our 2/23 program! 


One thought on “Interview with Filmmaker Akosua Akoben

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s