Earlier this year we hosted our third The Future workshops and members from that cohort started their own project with funding from us! We reallocated our budget, provided support with admin and budgeting and other fun stuff. It’s a new series of workshops and you can find out more details below!
What IF We Combined Technology, Accessibility, & Creativity With Inclusivity?
How This WOC-Led Collective Is Harnessing the Possibilities of Interactive Fiction among womxn, nonbinary people, and femmes of colour
VANCOUVER, BC, August 24 – Femmes Engaging Multimedia and Evolving Systems (FEMMES), a Vancouver-based collective supporting womxn, nonbinary people, and femmes of colour has opened applications for a series of free workshops from September 29th to October 19th where participants will create works of interactive fiction and, in the process, learn valuable skills like coding, project management, creative writing, and more. Given how educational spaces in tech and writing can magnify the power structures that exclude marginalized groups, these workshops have been curated with the intent to directly combat social and monetary gatekeeping, and to ultimately realize the participants’ creative talents and potentials. We hope our participants will gain the skills and confidence to break into the often male- and white-dominated field of technology.
Interactive fiction (IF) lies somewhere between a videogame and a choose-your-own-adventure book: it’s a creative narrative medium of which direction is in the player’s hands. It can range from the silly and sensational to the sociopolitical to the saccharine yet spooky and beyond, while crisscrossing multiple artistic disciplines. Art and design, writing, coding, and, most of all, you all have their place in IF. That’s where FEMMES joins the conversation.
After meeting through the empowering, educational workshops from The Future is You and Me, a local program which supports young women of colour to take on leadership positions in gated creative industries, FEMMES founders Kyla Yin James (kyinskies), Sunny Chen (Objets d’ Arc), and Chimedum Ohaegbu decided to use what they learned to spark a new project. Their varied artistic backgrounds led them to concentrate on the intersection of technology, accessibility, and creativity. Interactive fiction came to mind: think of how much the digital sphere and how we communicate with it, and each other, has changed in the face of new media and interdisciplinary creativity?
So it’s appropriate that the abbreviation for interactive fiction is IF, because FEMMES focuses on possibilities, on the potential behind every ‘what if’: what if we brought our marginalized community together to build each other up, just as we build our stories? And what if learning and its applications were equally important to this adventure?
FEMMES will explore and expand these questions and their variety of answers within the community. Their goal is to provide opportunities for womxn and nonbinary people of colour to create works of interactive fiction, and develop the skills this medium demands. Through workshops and panel discussions, participants will get to harness their creativity, and practice the technological savvy that’s increasingly valuable in today’s world, coming away with the beginnings (or middles, or even ends!) of an IF project.
For interview & other media inquiries, please contact Mahtab Laghaei at firstname.lastname@example.org.