Something I was reminded of:
Nobody ever talks about the problematic elements in the source material for Steampunk.
I tried to bring it up at a Steampunk-themed convention and got crickets and a room full of stinkeye. Nobody wanted to be reminded that one of the core tropes of the genre was White Male Is A Genius And Builds A Gadget/Robot, Then Goes And Conquers Those PoC Over There And Then Steals Their Treasures.
And damaging Victorian worldviews, morality, and social mores.
And these things DO leak into the revival of Steampunk. Or Neo-Steampunk. Or whatever we want to call it.
And people either don’t know the history of the genre or, if they do, they want to ignore it all.
LET ME THROW LINKS AT YOU
Silver Goggles - “Worn by the steampunk postcolonialist when engaging with issues of race, representation, diversity, and other such exciting adventures as one might find in our genial genre”
Beyond Victoriana - “the oldest-running blog about multicultural steampunk and retro-futurism—that is, steampunk outside of a Western-dominant, Eurocentric framework.”
Ay-Leen the Peacemaker makes zines about antifascism, asian-americans and anti-King Coal activism in steampunk.
Nisi Shawl is writing a steampunk novel set in the Belgian Congo (I LOVE HER)
(tl;dr I love all these people, and I will really be sad to miss WisCon this year)
Thanks so much for the rec! Let me throw some more at you:
Steampunk Magazine: THE first magazine about steampunk, founded by anarcho-anarchist Magpie Killjoy. They are very much into discussing the -“isms” of steampunk, and are actively pro-social justice and stuffs.
Steampunk Emma Goldman — Putting the politics into your steampunk and steampunk into your politics. And her Facebook too is worth a follow.
The Chronicles of Harriet — On the forefront of steamfunk, African/African-American steampunk, run by Balogun Ojetade
moniquill aka Monique Poirier, social justice blogger, Seaconke Wampanoag steampunk
jhameia aka Jaymee Goh — Owner of Silver Goggles. This be her tumblr.
There are other steampunks who are politically-conscious and want to talk about that. Many of them answered my question about steampunk & politics here: http://beyondvictoriana.tumblr.com/post/47042618748/what-role-do-feminism-and-queer-politics-have-in
Other folks, feel free to shout-out here too!
Pinkie Pie - My Little Pony (Katsucon 2012) on Flickr.
Aaah I love this!! Thank you so much Kat!!
Steampunk Sailor Moon accessories.
Top being the moon prism power brooch, bottom being some detailing on the moon stick
I have a confession to make: I used to be an idiot.
When I was part of the Gundam Wing fandom in my early teens, I shipped HeeroxDuo and I hated Relena. I used to go on those Anti-Relena/Kill Relena websites. When I grew up, I realized she actually does a lot of shit and isn’t just following Heero around as her haters would have you believe (she ran a country, for fuck’s sake). Who gives a fuck if she had a pink car? Now, while I still think HeeroxDuo is cute, I actually prefer HeeroxRelena. I mean, look at them:
No matter how much I might ship a malexmale pairing, or if I just hate a female character, I won’t bash a female character for being “useless”, “weak”, “getting in the way” or being “too girly”. In fact, since a lot of fandoms perpetuate the idea that female characters have to be masculine to be strong, I actually like when a female character is girly as fuck and still kicks ass.
The 30,000-Year-Old Cave That Descends Into Hell
There’s a cave in France where no humans have been in 26,000 years. The walls are full of fantastic, perfectly-preserved paintings of animals, ending in a chamber full of monsters 1312-feet underground, where CO2 and radon gas concentrations provoke hallucinations.
It’s called the the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, a really weird and mysterious place. The walls contain hundreds of animals—like the typical Paleolithic horses and bisons—but some of them are not supposed to be there, like lions, panthers, rhinos and hyenas.
A few are not even supposed to exist, like weird butterflyish animals or chimerical figures half bison half woman. These may be linked to the hallucinations. The trip is such that some archeologists think that it had a ritual nature, with people transcending into a new state as they descended into the final room.
In fact, the paintings themselves are of such sophistication—some even have three-dimensional relief—that is hard to believe they were made back then. However, radiocarbon dating shows that these paintings are indeed prehistoric: A group was made around 27,000-26,000 years ago and the other at 32,000-30,000 years ago.