Spaceship Beben

Promona Sengupta

Risktakers Fellowship - The image depicts a greyed black-and-white photograph of Promona, one of the Risktaker fellows, on a background that

Spaceship Beben is a deep space exploration vehicle that flies through the universe in search of utopian FLINTAQ+ timelines. We engage in mutual aid, collaborative research and artistic practice on decolonial speculation, space science, feminist science fiction, queer feminist cultural practices, and community care.

What will you be working on during the fellowship?

Science fiction and speculation has always been the first laboratory of the future. Without access to scientific research, women and nonbinary folx have used fiction and creative forms to connect to the fascinating world of space travel. The Beben facilitates access for marginalized FLINTAQ+ into space discourse, and we want to make an accessible digital platform, an online spaceship which can help us travel to more potential cosmonauts around this planet.

To what future do you aspire?

We need more women and nonbinary folx to enter the discourse on space, to challenge the colonial approaches of contemporary and historical space research. By inserting ourselves in imaginative ways into the ongoing conversations on terraformation, science fiction, community building and climate and gender justice, the Beben tries to find artistic and community strategies to think about space and the universe more personally, as our only home that we need to protect rather than conquer.

What does being a risktaker mean to you?

Risktaking is a habitual part of space travel. It is dangerous out there, and every turn brings challenges that we have never faced. It is important to learn from the lives of people around us who have taken great risks to simply survive — people belonging to marginalized communities who are forced into a life of risk. Artists, activists, refugees, disabled comrades, FLINTAQ+ people, racialized people etc. fly on board the Beben, with our in-depth experiential knowledge of living lives of risk.