Indigenous Brilliance & Art Ecosystem presents Earthseed Book Club, a youth-led literary project which explores community building and liberation through Black & Indigenous speculative fiction and political theory.
Based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil Waututh Nations “Vancouver, Canada”, Earthseed Book Club is a collective space for community organizers & facilitators to strategize and create resources around the issues that impact our communities as urban QTBIPOC. A collaboration between Indigenous Brilliance, Room Magazine, and Art Ecosystem; Earthseed Book Club is founded on the principles of Emergent Strategy, a theory of movement-building coined by adrienne maree brown, and the Parables series by Octavia Butler, from which the book club takes its name.
Earthseed Book Club began in 2021 as a community-based book club which studied the speculative science fiction novel Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Hosted by Emma Jeffrey, Marte Branco & Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, the book club ran for 6 months online with in- person community-building activities.
Set in a near-future dystopian America, following decades of unsustainable economic policy and the fallout of climate change, Parable of the Sower presents the reader with a philosophy called Earthseed, which proposes that rather than fearing or resisting change, we can become partners of change through adaption and intentional action.
Earthseed Book Club’s mission was to share this philosophy with our community and brainstorm actionable ways to practice this philosophy. Now, we are expanding this vision and continuing to study the frameworks that Parable of the Sower has presented.
In this new chapter of Earthseed Book Club, we will be studying Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown, an applied strategy of movement-building which was adapted from Octavia Butler’s work, along with many other scholars, activists and writers. In doing this work, we hope to create space to reflect and strategize on movement building within our own communities.
From April to September 2023, Earthseed Book Club will dive into the elements of Emergent Strategy: Fractals, Adaptive, Non-Linear & Iterative, Resilience & Transformative Justice, Creating More Possibilities, and Interdependence & Decentralization. By collaboratively exploring these principles, we aim to strengthen our communities and learn how to apply the theory of Emergent Strategy within our own lives.
Session 1 of Earthseed Book Club focused on the principle of Fractals, which examines how our small, everyday actions create a ripple effect and move us towards change.
“How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale. The patterns of the universe repeat at scale. There is a structural echo that suggests two things: one, that there are shapes and patterns fundamental to our universe, and two, that what we practice at the small scale can reverberate to the largest scale.”
-Emergent Strategy, pg 52
Earthseed Book Club is facilitated by Emma Jeffrey, Community Engagement Coordinator at Indigenous Brilliance, and Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros and Lexi Mellish Mingo, Indigenous Brilliance Collective members and co-founders of Art Ecosystem Collective, with support from Indigenous Brilliance and Art Ecosystem members Tara Preissl, Junie Desil, Adesina Brown, and KP Dennis.
We would like to thank BC Arts Council and Neighbourhood Small Grants for providing us with funding to make this project possible!