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Presenting the FIYAHCON 2021 Programming Preview!

Programming for FIYAHCON 2021 is gaining steam and we wanted to let our audience far and wide get a peek into what we have coming up for you. Take a look below to check out just a few of the panels that will be part of this year’s convention. Don’t worry if you’ve seen similar panels at other conventions because here we’re centering BIPOC perspectives and as experience has shown, those conversations will always look different!

Folklore as Liberation and Empowerment

Folklore is a system of practices, arts, and beliefs among a community. Historically, folklore has had a powerful role in preserving cultural identity in the face of imperialism, colonialism, and oppression. With that in mind, this panel will consider questions like: what’s the role of folklore as resistance in decolonial myth-building, and how do writers approach this idea? What are ways in which mythology and folklore can be anti-colonial, and what are some examples? Is there a problem in writing down even a constructed folklore system when a core value of folklore is that it is organic, evolving, and usually oral? What happens when folklore is adopted (or co-opted) by nationalist interests? What are useful frameworks to understand folklore in fiction through an anti-colonial lens?

Setting FIYAH: Breaking Down Barriers to Publishing for Budding Writers

A panel of emerging writers (who have been published in FIYAH, and a discussion on the importance of Black-centered literary platforms in nurturing the careers of up & coming writers, why we submitted to FIYAH, how we worked with FIYAH editors, building a portfolio, etc.

Excavation: Colonialism and Horror

Inspired by Shiv Ramdas’ 2020 Essay “Supernatural or Super Unnatural- An Examination of Postcolonial Horror,” authors from formerly occupied territories examine the ways in which colonization and implications of a post-colonial heritage act as lynchpins of horror, consequently bringing into sharp relief “the difference between the literature of the colonizer and the colonized.”

From the Margins to the Centre: Content Creation Across the Global South

This panel of reviewers from the Global South discuss barriers and best practices in content creation. Together, they examine the limitations of the “own voices” movement and the impact of recent equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Rabblerousers & Sellouts: Intermediate Classes in Speculative Worlds

Divide and conquer is an old tactic used to consolidate power by distracting opponents with infighting. One way that can play out is a colonial society with a middle class that credits their status to their merit (usually ability to mimic the colonizers’ culture and values) and promises the colonized a chance to ascend if they follow suit. Agnes Gomillion’s The Record Keeper, C. L. Clark’s The Unbroken, and Kacen Callender’s Queen of the Conquered all feature intermediate class characters from colonized areas who are tasked to use their authority to repress the rebellion of their peers. Over the course of the story, these characters grapple with their ideals and if aligning with the colonizers or the colonized is more in their self-interest. We’ll discuss maintaining reader interest in characters who commit immoral acts, the unique storytelling opportunities these characters provide, and its relevance to the world today.

We hope these whets appetites and gives you a small idea of how we’re trying to raise the bar for ourselves this year. FIYAHCON refuses to do Diversity 101. BIPOC writers have much more to say and we’re past the point of continually laying out foundational knowledge. Our programming aims for the nuanced and left-out topics that often are never given space to breathe in SFF.

We’re looking forward to revealing our entire slate soon! Join us for the convention from September 16th-19th. It’s an event you won’t want to miss!

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