On nuclear pasts
and radiant futures
Artistic research
and exhibition

Writing After Their Future- flash fiction from our sci-fi workshop

Max Haiven and participants
nGbK Berlin

Max Haiven, Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination, hosted a sci-fi writing workshop on Saturday morning of our research assembly on November 18th, 2023. The workshop was a part of our Saturday focus on "Energy futures and solar politics, imaginaries of the future and the deep time of nuclear waste storage."

Through a well-organized, informed and engaging warm-up discussion, Max gathered participants to imagine other futures, and challenged us to lead our thoughts with our already affected body: "Our slightly radioactive bodies... our disaster-haunted minds… these are the traces of lives lived in the shadow of nuclear nightmares. In this workshop, we transform those traces into flash fiction stories in order to explore the ruins of future dreams and cast our imaginations towards more radical horizons."

The workshop went for three hours, though it could have easilly lasted longer. As part of the process Max invited us to explore the SALT. CLAY. ROCK. Assembly exhibition archive and choose one object that sparked our imagination. We were challenged to think specifically about the item: power-plant postcards, activist photos, movement posters, etc. After sharing our reflections with a partner, we wrote a first draft, and then did a quick edit with another partner. We then shared the results of our individual work with other SALT. CLAY. ROCK. assembly participants.

Some of the stories are presented below, printed on the yellow papers that we posted beside the objects that inspired us.

"Kouru" by Janna Nehls
"Kouru" by Janna Nehls, inspired by the Uran Atlas and the Wendland protest film
"The Science Award" by Hannes Welk
"Second Child / The Science Award" by Hannes Welk, inspired by Max' suggestion that we are all cats (and possibly thus Katarina Sevic' assembly visual identity that included a cat flag)
"Sunland" by Anne Schülke
"Sunland" by Anne Schülke
"My Piece of Cake" by Julia Kurz
"My Piece of Cake" by Julia Kurz, inspired from a magazine cover celebrating 10 years of resistance at Gorleben, from the Gorleben Archive
"The Postcard" by Marc Herbst
"The Postcard" by Marc Herbst, inspired by a postcard from the PAKS nuclear power plant
"The World of Infinite Energy" by anonymous
"The World of Infinite Energy" by anonymous
"Silver" by anonymous
"Silver" by anonymous
"Prologue" by anonymous
"Prologue" by anonymous