Monday, January 2, 2012

Steampunk POC Interviews

So, for the last couple of years, I've mostly been focusing on steampunk literature, in particular re-reading stuff that deals with issues surrounding Empire to point out how these narratives barely center POC unless it's in problematic ways, or else ideas of Empire erases POC entirely. I've been formulating an understanding of the steampunk aesthetic in ways that could easily reach across different cultural iterations, riffing off Mike Perschon's delineation of the aesthetic.

I am kind of tired of having to say the same thing over and over: "racism racism White Gaze White Gaze Orientalism Orientalism Eurocentric Eurocentric"--if you're a regular reader, I imagine this is pretty old hat by now. 

It's not to say I've found nothing that's POC-centric; of course I have, and that's why this blog keeps going. As keeps demonstrating, there's a lot of POC history that simply never gets explored in mainstream steampunk. But just because there're histories, doesn't mean we see them happen in literature. 

Being POC means also being a living, breathing human being who interacts with this world, not just in between pages of text. Dealing with histories is very much part of life, part of living, part of culture. It doesn't only happen in writing, although in my own way, I would like to try to document this part of living as much as possible. 

For the first Friday of the month, hopefully every month, I will post up an interview with a self-identified non-white steampunk. They may be writers. They may be Makers. They may be musicians. Heck, maybe they're just fans of the aesthetic. The point is that, I want to talk to POC, about being a POC in steampunk. Some of us don't really see race as an issue at all. Some of us reckon with racial issues in steampunk all the time. 

I have a few folks lined up for the next few months, and I will be on the lookout for more folks to talk to in the future. (And of course if you know anybody, or you might be interested, you can always email me!) Hope you enjoy this upcoming feature, for as long as I can keep it up =)