C4 Tan: Violence through Fictional Worlds

Roxanne Tan Yu Xian

Online / Google docs:


Participants may choose to write about any form of narratives that they have read about race and violence. Slave narratives, narratives of racial violence, etc. The two texts that will be discussed in the essay are: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Deep by Rivers Solomon.

Additionally, participants should listen to the rap song The Deep by clipping (which was the source of inspiration for the novella The Deep).


There is a global conversation on #BlackLivesMatter even as countries struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to protests and discourse on the issue of violence, especially perpetuated by the police and also systemic racism in many forms. Through fictional narrative and creative non-fiction, Black authors have created narratives that act as a vehicle for further conversations around the issue of race and violence. This appears to have greater significance today.

This trace seeks to initiate conversation on narratives by Black authors, allowing participants to reflect on when they may have first read narratives of racial violence and how that has affected them. While the essay itself will explore the paradigm of corporeal narratology, that is to look at bodies as narrative itself, through feedback and contribution of participants, this piece will eventually form a montage of voices discussing the understanding of violence and (particularly) fictional and creative non-fiction narratives on the issue of violence.