"The Queer Futures Collective" constitutes an act of resistance against the erasure of non-normative bodymindspirits within conceptual and material spaces of artistic, scientific, academic, and technological future making. It is a portal to alternative multiverses–to spacetimes yet to be created and named. It is an invitation to play, to be vulnerable, to share.-
"The Queer Futures Collective" experiments with new modes of teachinglearning and scientific/humanistic knowledge production. It is a gesture of queer mischievousness that questions the relevance of current institutionalized modes of knowledge production, validation, and distribution of conocimientos–while becoming a concrete and symbolic site of creative disruption, academic fulfillment, and community building for/by disabled queer/trans folks.
We are constantly searching for collaboratively vulnerable research/artivist practices able to foster the integration of our thoughts, feelings, and body-spiritual (un)certainties as sources of knowledge in the conceptualization and materialization of radically accessible future(s).
Krizia Puig, M.A (THEY/THEM)
Krizia is a trans disabled queer migrant theorist, artist, and activist born in Venezuela, who is a current Phd. student in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz. They graduated with an M.A. in Women's Studies and a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Studies from San Diego State University–where they worked as a Lecturer until Spring 2018. In addition, Krizia graduated with an M.A. in Performing Arts (URJC-Spain), a B.A. in Media Studies (UCAB-Venezuela)–and has worked as a writer, editor, dramaturgist, curator, actor/performer, and director in more than 30 cultural projects in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. They currently work as the program coordinator for the Disability Resource Center—and as a researcher/artist for the Critical Realities Studio/Lab (Art & Design: Games + Playable Media) at UCSC.
Integrating future/technology studies, performance art, disability studies, trans studies, post-humanism(s), robotics, and eco-criticism(s)—their current research focuses on theorizing about and experimenting with(in) the challenges and potentialities that space exploration might hold for disabled folks.
In their M.A. thesis “The Synthetic Hyper-Femme: On Sex Dolls, Fembots, and the Futures of Sex”, Krizia focused on studying the current production of high-end sex dolls and sex robot prototypes; some of the dynamics of genderization and racialization that permeate the affects these devices provoke/evoke–and they started to explore sex dolls/robots' disruptive power by complicating their typical reading as simple commodification of women.
As a teacher, Krizia integrates feminist pedagogies, spiritual activism(s), plastic/performative arts, and new media to create empowering, engaging, and transformative learning experiences that involve the mind, the body, and the spirit. For more than fifteen years–while working as a college professor, workshop facilitator, and/or community organizer–Krizia has passionately focused on developing teaching methodologies that center the needs of womxn and queer trans people of color, and that honor the equal value of our thoughts and feelings as ways of knowing. Lately, they are centering on developing cultural programing, workshops, trainings, mentorship programs, and collective healing spaces focused on trans experiences, psychiatric disabilities, and radical self-care strategies within academic and communitarian spaces.
Image Description: black and white image of Krizia and standing in front of a brick wall, holding their cane, and looking at the camera. Krizia is using a black leather jacket.
Sav Schlauderaff, M.A. (They/Them)
Sav is a trans, queer and disabled PhD student in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Their research interests are within the intersections of feminist science studies, disability studies, genetics, future studies, biotechnology and trans studies. They graduated from San Diego State University in 2018 with their M.A. in Women's Studies, where they completed their thesis "Rejecting the Desire for 'Health': Centering Crip Bodyminds in Genetic Testing"--bridging their undergraduate degrees in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (GCD) and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) from the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities. Future research plans include examining the ways in which pain is held and felt in our bodymindspirits after trauma, through combining their academic backgrounds in feminist studies, genetics, molecular and microbiology with poetry, spiritual activism, and transformative pedagogies.
Beyond, and intertwining with, their academic research, Sav is passionate about education, activism and community building especially around the LGBTQIA+ communities, trauma/PTSD, eating disorder recovery, and disability--in addition to the multiple intersections of these topics and identities. They always strive to create accessible, intersectional, collaborative and intentional workshops and lectures. They have worked to create interactive workshops, classrooms, internship programming, and mentorship connections with undergraduates and high school students centering the values of radical vulnerability, kindness, listening, and meaningful reflection.
Image Description: a black and white picture of Sav wearing a very snazzy outfit of maroon high waisted dress pants, a mesh shirt with flowers all over, and a green plaid suit jacket. They are laughing and posed leaning on their cane and holding their suit jacket in the air with their right hand.
Photo Credit: Krizia Puig
Shayda Kafai, PhD (She/Her)
Dr. Shayda Kafai (she/her/hers) is a lecturer at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s Ethnic and Gender Studies Department. She earned her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University. As a queer, disabled femme of color, she is committed to exploring the many ways we can reclaim our bodies from intersecting systems of oppression. Shayda is a disability activist-scholar and member of the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Amy.
Image Description: A photo of Shayda wearing a white short-sleeved top with her hands held on top of each other and she is looking to her left
Layla Zbinden, M.A. (They/Them)
Layla Zbinden (they/them/theirs) is a queer, nonbinary, Arab scholar/activist. They received their BA from UCSD in Psychology with a minor in Critical Gender Studies and went on to receive an M.A. in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University. Layla’s thesis, “Path to Self, Path to Home: Arab Diasporic Reflections on State Violence, Authenticity, and Belonging” used autoethnography/ethnographic research methods and decolonial feminist methodologies as a ways to explore the multiple ways queer Arab Muslim bodies experience surveillance and cultural authenticity. Between the interpersonal/familial surveillance manifested in Arab-Muslim households and the structural surveillance enacted against bodies racialized in a post-9/11 context, they explored how the state weaponizes those forms of control and actualize a fullest self.
Layla will start their PhD in American Studies and Ethnicities at the University of Southern California inshallah August 2019, where they will continue to explore the various ways that technologies of state surveillance ultimately seeks to control communities of color, and what this means for the futures of activism and liberatory potentials of technologies of the state. Their desire to crip and queer the very technologies that surveil, murder, and disappear Arabs, Muslims, Black, Indigenous and other communities’ stems from a deep investment in decolonial feminist, queer of color, and disability studies frameworks. Methodologies – the frameworks of how and why we create the knowledge that we do, of which knowledges we uphold and why–is an integral component to Layla’s academic writing and the work they do. They seek to push past conventional understandings of what can and cannot count as academic writing, often integrating raw prose and tapping into visceral affective responses as modes of learning, and unlearning. Layla’s work, their pedagogy and the essence of their projects (academicpersonalpolitical, as these all intersect) is fundamentally rooted in a transnational, decolonial, and (Arab) Feminist frameworks, ultimately rooted in material resistance.
Image Description: a black and white picture of Layla wearing a leopard print jacket in the sun, looking at the camera with a slight smile
Shoshana Schlauderaff (They/Them)
Shoshana is a queer artist & designer located in Baltimore. Using many different mediums including animation, video, installation, and virtual reality, their work explores empathy of the audience, allowing vulnerability to exist in a controlled moment. Light, texture, sound, and tactile elements are important elements engaging a sense of familiarity within their practice. For more info, please visit www.shoshanahope.com or their instagram art page @shoshanas_art
Image Description: a black and white picture of shana in their room. They are wearing a striped shirt and jeans, posed glancing at the camera.