Steampunk Spotlight: Ay-leen the Peacemaker
At Aetherfest, then again at the Steampunk World’s Fair, I had the great pleasure of meeting Ay-leen the Peacemaker. This remarkable woman runs the blog Beyond Victoriana, which is focused on bringing awareness to the non-Eurocentric areas of Steampunk. After all, England, as widespread as their empire was at the time, was not the only civilization in existence during the 19th century.
From her blog:
Beyond Victoriana is a blog about multicultural steampunk and retro-futurism—that is, steampunk outside of a Western-dominant, Eurocentric framework. All of the steampunkery here focuses on non-Western cultures, underrepresented minorities in Western histories (Asian / Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, First Nation, Hispanic, black / African), and the cultural intersection between the West and the non-West.
The steampunk here deals with the “little s” definition and leans towards inclusive as opposed to exclusive. Topics featured on this blog will include but is not limited to: history, literature, art & fashion, science & technology. The time range will focus on both the Victorian and Edwardian eras, but also is not limited to them (as with the case of post-apocalyptic steam and steampunk/fantasy genre). This blog is also open to highlighting examples of steampunk from the current community and items that can be considered under the steampunk umbrella.
I love that the current community of Steampunks are moving away from the elitist practice of exclusion. The idea that Steampunk must look a certain way or be set in a certain time/place is preposterous. This is fantasy. It’s fun. But it’s also a chance to learn some history and turn what was into what should’ve been or what could still be. Certainly not to turn a blind eye to the racism and oppression of the time (and still too extant in our current time), but to rather acknowledge the flaws while embracing the beauty and diversity of many cultures and lifestyles. All while building a supportive community.
Additionally, Ay-leen is currently raising money to help survivors of the japanese earthquake & tsunami disasters, so go over and donate to Rising Phoenix today. You get some really cool buttons!
Follow her on Twitter (@writersyndrome).
~ by omgrey on June 21, 2011.