kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
This had a super-broad description, but Victor did a stellar moderating job and rescued it.

Description: Race and identity have been issues in science fiction for about as long as SF itself. From the whitewashing of SF settings to “the black guy dies first” phenomenon to the underrepresentation of minority authors in the genre, there’s a long way to go. What can we do as individuals and as a community to encourage progress?
Victor Raymond (m), Amber P. Knight, Kate Nepveu, Mark Oshiro, Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez

Victor skipped right to the question at the end of the description. We talked about institutional things like Con or Bust; Pablo and Mark's work with Detcon1, which involved reaching out to specific local existing groups and communities; and Arisia's recent creation of a Diversity Committee (and the danger that people decide that oh, well, there's a diversity committee therefore we don't have to think about it). In terms of con program participants: recommend people to cons, ask for recommendations of people to invite to cons, and once they come don't put them only on panels about their particular minority trait.

We talked about SFF fandom's tendency to see other (related!) genres as insufficiently ~~pure~~ and what kinds of support, lessons, and connections are being lost thereby (anime, YA, paranormal, telenovelas (where was Jane the Virgin in programming, an audience member asked? [*]) etc.), and ditto other expressions of fandom, particularly the failure to recognize that people of color have always been fans. For instance, Amber's podcast (and others like it) is super-fannish, including about SFF, but podcasts aren't talked about much in SFF fandom (edited to clarify, maybe). (Podcasting: super-low entry barriers, Amber said she was very happy to help people out!) Or the Blade movies, whose success made the MCU possible but rarely get mentioned in con panels/by white people generally.

[*] I just put a suggestion into WisCon's programming that they do a panel on this.

Individual level things: Google shit you want to learn about. (Racism School on Tumblr was particularly recommended.) But also follow people who have different identities than you on your preferred form of social media, which gives you a passive exposure to stuff you don't know you don't know about. And when you inevitably see/hear something that you instinctively do a full-body recoil at, recognize that as a possible defense mechanism, take the time to process it on your own, and evaluate it over time and without demanding a justification/explanation from whoever posted it.

Woo, hello, energy crash. Uh. Things we didn't talk about but want to next time: codes of conduct. New media. Whether Pablo and I were going to have a fight over who was the smartest person in the room (not really). Okay, seriously, I am about to fall over, but if you were there, feel free to say what I'm forgetting, and if you weren't and have questions or suggestions, please do.

Date: 2016-02-03 09:33 pm (UTC)
boxofdelights: (Default)
From: [personal profile] boxofdelights
I'm finding it a challenge to write the program description for the Wiscon panel, because I wouldn't have thought of Jane the Virgin as fantasy, even though yes it does use fantasy sequences, and occasionally Jane gets confused between fantasy and reality, and occasionally the viewer does too.

The difference between Jane the Virgin's use of fantasy and say Joan of Arcadia or Wonderfalls is that in those two shows there is a power outside of the heroine, acting on her consciousness and pushing her towards its own ends, while Jane is using her own fantasies to create her own story, to make meaning out of the things that happen to her. There's The Narrator, who has strong opinions of his own, but he isn't in charge of the story.

But if it isn't fantasy -- if we read the fantasy sequences as just Jane's daydreams -- then what are we to make of moments like artificial snow just happening to fall on Jane and Michael kissing, so that the world is acting out Jane's girlhood image of True Love's Kiss?

It is an interesting problem to think over.

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