BUILD A NATION
D I O R A M A W O R K S H O P
Dark Star Universe is an independent arts and media organization which focuses on education through science fiction. Our projects center on building dioramas and customized models which promote community building and creating narratives of black self-determination for youth. We create arts media that encourages young people to use their imagination to find creative ways to up-cycle e-waste and other recycled materials into amazing works of art. We fuel this progressive movement by giving outdated e-waste (i.e. VHS tapes, CD Spindles, SCSI Hard Drives) a new life outside of the landfill. In this workshop, participants are encouraged to imagine how Styrofoam packing materials and plastic takeout containers can become city walls, ornate futuristic skylights or futuristic technology: We provide them with the space and freedom to build whatever it is their minds sees fit to create. Our learning rubric incorporates history, Black self-determination, community/nation building, recycling, and resourcefulness. Dark Star Universe aims to develop a series of stop motion animation movies using the toys and dioramas we create. Our films become tools to promote Black self-determination in a science fiction genre that has very little representation from Black writers or actors. By writing Black people into a futuristic world (from which they have traditionally been omitted,) we’re looking to give young people the pride and the practical tools to create the future in which they wish to live. Our hope is to bring a healthy diversity to speculative fiction with an authentic voice that examines a future through a new lens. There may be an opportunity for the final work of participants to be included in our films with the consent of the participants.