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Imagining New Worlds

After abolition: what next? Abolition is not just about tearing everything down, it’s about imagining and building revolutionary futures.

Racial capitalism prevents us from the vital work of imagining different futures. But when we can find ways to create, speculate, envisage, together, the possibilities are endless. Art is one path of abolition and rebuilding, for our movements, our politics, our environments, our histories and ourselves. To imagine new worlds is to start creating them.

Our final panel brings together artists and writers who work with alternate realities and revolutionary futures to ask: what sets us free?

Hosted by Layla-Roxanne Hill, writer/curator-artist/organiser, will be: with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, artist whose work seeks to archive Black trans experience, using technology to imagine black trans lives in environments that centre our bodies; Francesca Sobande, lecturer, researcher and writer with a particular focus on digital culture, Black diaspore, feminism, creative work and popular culture; Morgan M Page, Canadian writer, performance and video artist, and activist currently based in London, she writes and hosts the trans history podcast One From the Vaults; Cory Cocktail, power exchange architect and escort, and a post disciplinary artist with an interest in the intersections of the body and technology; and Khaleb Brooks, multi-disciplinary artist and researcher exploring blackness, transness, the body and collective memory.


We can build a different world is a weekly panel series throughout September 2020 exploring abolition and mutual aid in the UK. This series is programmed by Elio Beale and organised as a collaboration between Decriminalised Futures, Abolitionist Futures and Verso, with support from Arika.

Abolition is building the future from the present, in all of the ways we can” writes Ruthie Wilson Gilmore. The worlds we wish to live in already exist: we can see them in our minds, we can taste them on our tongues. Through mutual aid, solidarity, care and imagination we translate these dreams into vivid realities. Whether it be flamboyant acts of resistance or small, daily gestures of affection, our collective struggle builds our collective power. We can realise our hopes and visions and plans. We can remember where we’ve come from. We can build a different world.

This panel series brings together activists, organisers, academics, artists, thinkers, and speakers for a weekly discussion event exploring abolition and mutual aid in the UK. Our intention is to approach these sometimes difficult conversations with joy and warmth. We wish to celebrate our collective knowledge, indulge our curiosity, and to come together in a spirit of sharing and collaboration.

  • Speakers

    Layla-Roxanne Hill,
    Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley,
    Francesca Sobande,
    Morgan M Page,
    Cory Cocktail, Khaleb Brooks

  • Date

    September, 2020

  • Themes

    art, abolition, community, gender, technology, creativity, race, archives, visibility, representation, culture


Below is a list of groups, readings, and resources mentioned during the panel or recommended by the panellists.

Greenlight Project (Seattle)

Recordings, Films & Podcasts:

One From The Vaults
Imagination and Futurity panel (The Lit Collective Sheffield Online Festival) featuring Maryam Jameela and Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
Home – Kiara Mohamed
Nicole raymond/nikkak podcast
Framing Agnes


Refuting “How the other half lives”: I am a woman’s rights - by Azeezat Johnson
Covid-19 and cancer: following Audre Lorde - by Azeezat Johnson
‘We’re all in this together’: Commodified notions of connection, care and community in brand responses to COVID-19 - by Francesca Sobande
Black Women and the Media in Britain - by Francesca Sobande
Black Women’s Digital Diaspora, Collectivity, and Resistance – by Francesca Sobande
“You’re either with us, or you are with the terrorists” – Juxtaposed Ideologies in the War on Terror – by Maryam Jameela
Reflections: Overpopulation & the unbearable whiteness of green – by Susuana Amoah

Groups & Organisations:

Healing Justice London
The Free Black University
ROOT-ed Zine
MayDay Rooms


Khaleb Brooks
Francesca Obande
Morgan M Page
Cory Cocktail
Danielle Brathwaite Shirley
Layla-Roxanne Hill


Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering By Rosemarie Freeney Harding and Rachel Elizabeth Harding
Queer Times, Black Futures: Kara Keeling
To Exist is to Resist Black Feminism in Europe edited by Akwugo Emejulu, Francesca Sobande


This panel does not currently have a transcript. We will be updating this section of the website with a completed transcript soon.