Why we picked ‘A Brave New World’ as the theme for Swancon 2021

I cancelled my own convention.

I know it was the right thing to do. But even writing those five words in the first paragraph? Now I’m teary and sad again.

The community in Swancon were wonderful, and we all knew it was the right thing to do. But it didn’t stop it hurting. I kind of shut down from everything for a while. As an essential worker, I went in and did my essential stuff and came home and did all the essential things that we needed to do during that time of fear and uncertainty.

Later, we started to come out a little. But I was still so locked up in my own misery about cancelling my favouritest ever convention, a con I have literally wanted to run for over ten years and volunteered with for over twenty… I just couldn’t quite get over my internal lock down.

About a week before our convention was supposed to happen, two very amazing people started nagging at me and poking me and effectively made me come out of my shell to convene a mini-con. Swancon 2020 happened through the hard work of Lisa Rye and Doug, and Desiree Heald. I held the opening ceremony and tried to stay on top of communications, Desiree did most of the organising and running around behind the scenes, Lisa and Doug made the most AMAZING online venue for the artshow and the masquerade, and I think Brendan made a kick ass Spotify list so we even had the same music… and I held a closing ceremony too.

And now I am teary for a different reason!

But the reason we picked A Brave New World was because it felt very much like our old style of conventions may have just been burnt to ashes, our previous experiences and expectations dashed to the ground. We might never have been able to convene in person ever again. And even if we do, what would it look like? How could we do the things we love? But that Mini-con was like a seed in the ashes, and it was pulled together by the community and supported by the community and we missed each other like crazy.

Swancon 2021 is a Brave New World. We’re not post-pandemic yet, but we are in recognition that we not only need to keep our community together, but we also need to learn and pivot and grow. Who knows that the future holds? But I think our Brave New World is a positive one, and there’s a lot more fun to be had. If you’re in Perth I hope to see you there!

Germination, Sapling, Seed, Grow, Sprout, Seedling
Photo of a germinating seedling, the two initial leaves open and the first real leaf showing

Published by Sarah Lee Parker

Sarah P is a unique creature who writes a little or writes a lot, and loves riding the tech wave. She loves her iPad a little too much, and is currently addicted to Twitter.

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