Q&A: BENEATH THE NEEDLE WITH ILLIMANI FERREIRA

Updated: May 2

In the fourth of our Q&A features, we talk to short fiction contributor Illimani Ferreira about the horror found within new technologies, the woes of the current political climate, childhood memories of creating fiction and the individuality behind cathartic activities as we discover the inspiration behind Pandora 4 - Illimani's intelligent, poignant yet terrifying social science-fiction horror piece, found in The Needle Drops... Volume One.

Illimani Ferreira now resides in the US - more precisely, Southern Delaware

Illimani Ferreira is a writer born in Brazil and is currently living in the United States with an academic background in social sciences and a professional background in social services. His writing can vary from a grimdark noir to the zaniest comedy, but always with a certain dose of bittersweetness. Although Illimani’s Latinx identity doesn’t steer his writing, it does illuminate his perspective. The same applies to the fact that he is a gay man. You can find him on Twitter (@IFSciFi) and contact him through his website (www.IFSciFi.com).


So, Illi - Pandora 4 evokes a dystopian future that plays on the established concept of nature vs. nurture. Another story of your own, Terminal 3, looks toward a future dominated by neoliberal performative politics. What current technological trend scares you the most?


I’m obsessed and terrified with the current progress in bioengineering towards direct genetic modification. Precisely because I tend to be very concerned about the social and economic framework that surrounds the production and application of technology, I feel that the fast and mostly corporate-driven progress in Crispr, for example, which could lead to the cure or attenuation of rare diseases, will instead be used mostly for vanity projects by those who control this technology, have the money to afford it before the population, or - more likely - both.

The pitfalls of technological development intertwined with - in my own thought - capitalism and neoliberalism paints an unsettling vision of the future. Do you think you’re hyper-aware of this due to your Latinx identity? For example, do you think this ‘illumination of perspective’ is at odds with Americanism in its current form?


I’m a Brazilian who lives in the US now, and it was very distressing to see the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of Brazilians volunteered during the lab trials and who knows how many sacrificed themselves in the process, and yet, the vaccination roll-out in Brazil is happening at a relatively slow pace. In part that’s due to the fact that the country is descending into science-denialist fascism with Bolsonaro, which was the case with the US back with Trump, but now Biden has the chance to allow third-world countries to break the patent of those vaccines, allowing a swift roll-out across the globe. We will see what he does, but I’m not optimistic. It feels like the authoritarian, eugenic project that Trump started is just on stand-by with Biden.