Sophie's Secret LJ

(alias the Roost of the Purple Chicken)

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Swancon 2017!
happy dragon
Sorry to the many people I did not speak to/was vague at, I was EXTRA SPECIALLY sleepy this weekend, on the plus side all the resting I had to do means I don't actually feel that bad now.

Between all the resting I still had a pretty good time! The Metro's accessibility issues weren't as bad as I thought they'd be, and having Cam to drive me around meant the lack of nearby restaurants wasn't too big of an issue for me personally. Didn't make many panels but the ones I went to were fun, and next years con looks pretty promising. The only guest I really talked to was Joyce Chng/[ profile] jolantru but she was very nice and had interesting things to say.

I wore a they/them pronoun sticker and mentioned my genderfluidness when it was relevant, and got no negative pushback whatsoever. I think partly because a sticker on the bottom of a lanyard on a wheelchair using short person with boobs is not going to be noticed by most people, but I'm still counting it as a win.

I didn't take a lot of notes but what I have is under the cut. The con used the Grenadine event management system for the first time, it worked pretty well from my end and is reminding me of what I did.

Mask making: this was super fun.

Shared Cinematic Universe: this was very interesting but all I wrote down was a rec for Valiant Comics.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: We discussed the books and both tv shows, it was a lot of fun. Since a few people were curious about the US version we ended by watching the start of the first episode and I think afew people were sold :)

Masquerade: I didn't make much of this but had a chance to show off my costume and admire other peoples before I flopped.

Swancon 2018 launch: was on time! This is very notable :)

Gender swapping with art: A combination of general discussion and Nancy/[personal profile] logansrogue drawing rule 63 versions of male characters based on audience prompts. This was fun. I was the only person really bringing up trans/nb/gnc issues but people were open to discussing it.

White washing in cinema:
  • Creators of Ghost in the Shell want to have their cake and eat it too: not bother recontextualising a very Japanese story, but cast white people.
  • Negative spiral where POC never get cast as big roles, so never get famous enough to be cast as big roles.
  • Asians in Asia see themselves represented, it's Asian Americans etc who need representation.
  • Movie industry has huge cultural a nd economic power, and with great power comes great responsibility.
  • Fictional representation vs voices of POC creators. Need both.
  • Disney is 100% profit focussed, if THEY are making diverse films it is hopefully a sign of where the market is headed.
  • White actors have a responsibility to refuse racist roles.

It went better than I was expecting, the few "but why are the PC police so negative" questions were politely rebutted, and the panelists all knew what they were talking about. The white moderator, who created the panel, had insisted there be POC on the panel and tried not to talk all the time...but did not entirely succeed, cos he had all these talking points he'd prepared and is just a very chatty guy. Which is exactly the hole I fell into last time I ran a race related panel with a POC copanelist. On the plus side he encouraged white dudes to be the lowest priority for having their questions answered, which caused a quiet round of annoyed muttering but worked out. Near the end it occured to me that as an audience member I could ask specific panelists questions and thus center POC voices that way but couldn't think of any questions in time.

Homework for Swancon 2018:
Read the God Wars and Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley.
Watch Cleverman.
Sign up for Grenadine event management.
Theme is transformation *ponders costume possibilities*

Kiss/Marry/Kill for panels:
We wrote down panel ideas in these three columns: Kiss (new ideas)/ Marry (old ideas we want to see stick around)/ Kill (Types of panels we don't like or want to see changed)

My ideas:
More in depth discussions of art and fanart instead of really basic 101 stuff.
Alternatives to the binary Patriarchy in worldbuilding.
How to get scifi made.
Craft panel making things in the family room.
Interactive writing.
Own Voices vs Writing the Other
Unsympathetic/morally complex female (and nb) characters

One I didn't submit cos I am still poking at it:
When Fandom goes toxic: when people get so invested in their love (or hatred) of a thing they can't deal with alternative points of view, bully people etc. How do we avoid doing this?

Upcoming Events: This started out with SMOF Ian Nichols as moderator, Jack Bridges the convenor of Swancon 2018 as the only person with an event to promote, and me as the only audience member. Since I was already planning on going to Swancon 2018, it turned into conversation/argument between Jack and Ian about How Swancons Are Run, which was informative if not in the way I'd expected when I decided to go to the panel :) Eventually some more audience members and the convenor of Ghengiscon turned up but he was very tired so just sat there groaning when asked questions. (This was at noon on Monday, for context ;))

Then I met the current president of my old uni scifi club Unisfa, a tiny adorable physics major who looked a little overwhelmed when a room of old fans found out who she was and got all Friendly and Nostalgic at her. She was really happy to find out most of us are perfectly happy to let the undergrads run the club how they like and the grumpy old guard who complain about changes are a minority, when I'm more awake I might write an email to the list on the subject.

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