Jump right in, and don’t look back!
Delivering the first ever Indigenous Comic Con (IndigiCon) was no small feat! Matter of fact, delivering the first anything is no small feat! It took a lot of time and energy in getting in right, but I was lucky enough to have some amazing support around me, which extended into a community who saw my vision and my passion. In some senses this was a privilege I have within Melbourne, but I want to acknowledge those community members who mightn’t have that support but are still walking down their own path in creative expression through their own business.
For two years previous to the Indigenous Comic Con in Australia, I was determined to connect with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous people from all over the world in the hopes to maintaining a sort of mental database of some Black amazingness, all doing work within the realm of popular culture, technological advancement, game development, screen writing, and many many more people! (Which I still cannot believe I’ve had conversations with, their all soooo cool!). IndigiCon was a platform bringing together this immense database of talent, to showcase in a culturally safe space. During this process I wanted to open this invite up to allies, those who built their own standing as a creative and could see the infinite ripple this sort of event has.
IndigiCon hosted seven areas including spotlights on cosplay, gaming, live music and our main floor with all our amazing stalls. Over the two days, to be honest, was a blur, everything seemed to rush past, only slowing down when community told me their thoughts on the space created or when an Elder pulled me up to see if I’ve had something to eat (Shoutout to my mother, my Aunty Phylis, Aunty Pam and Aunty Di – who were my cheer squad over that weekend!). Next, we needed some deadly guests. I put on my PR hat and started promoting the event everywhere I went, I did my research and started sending out emails to agencies, but with promoting something that’s never been done before, I was knocked back a few times, and than a few more. In the end we had two amazing guests join us, both having been seen in either Indigenous influenced or films made by Indigenous creatives. Interviewing them was out special guest MC, Rae Johnston, someone I really looked up to when I first started attending comic conventions and continues to do amazing work for media and representation.
The gaming area was a section I really wanted to make sure was apart of the event, as a core member of our team was doing some amazing work in the gaming industry. We had a number of gaming stations setup, with the idea that this could encourage some healthy gaming competition, all with the end goal of connecting with each other as community.
In between these rooms, our comicbook reading area was, beanbags and comicbooks, a space to chill, catch up or sit in quite if you need.
Our live music as provided by Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation brought several community musicians who took centre stage within a theatre setting and give some absolutely beautiful performances.
In the background of my head I was both cautions yet freaking out that everything is going well! no time to stop though, make sure everything is running on time and how they should be. But than I stopped, almost in the middle of the corridor… I have nothing really to stress about, I’ve organised everything in a way to have a number of people in charge of key spaces, and I am immensely grateful for them!
I also want to give a shoutout to absolutely everyone who helped me put this all together, I found a lot of support in anywhere I travelled and for that I am grateful.
A number of our guests had accommodation provided and all IndigiCon attendees had accommodation provided at a discounted rate. That night I don’t remember falling asleep, but I do remember waking. Almost instantly everything that needed to be done instantaneously flooded my brain, with some tweaks to the agenda. One of which was hosting the Nation Dance – a national movement with traditional dance groups all dancing commencing at 12PM exactly, dancing to heal, dancing to celebrate and dance to connect. Looking back I am very happy that IndigiCon was chosen as a host for this. This further separated this convention from others, while IndigiCon may have been about celebrating and illuminating all thing pop culture and futurism, I’m happy we had this as a celebration of our traditions and old ways of creativity.
This is just a tiny portion of what was done, and I can’t even begin to thank everyone involved, from my team, volunteers, guests and people who took a chance on this event and supporting my passion in creating this space for our community.
I hope everyone who came had a blast, connect with new people and saw some new stuff.
Looking back… I’m glad I did it. But the big question is, will there be another???
If the support is out there, I wouldn’t say no.