As I mentioned in my last podcast, there is an awful lot going on in Spain. Case in point, in a few days the Semana Retrofuturista is happening in Spain. My friends there were kind enough to give me an English synopsis of the details:
From 11th to 16th February, Retrofuturisms, Steampunk, Dieselpunk and related genres, will invade the ancient city of Barcelona with lectures, presentations, games, contests such as the II Retro & Futuristic Beard Competition, and more.
The Retrofuturistic Week I is a project by the Spanish Steampunk Convention, which has been going on since 2009; one of the most important Steampunk events on Spain, with about 500 attendants from all over Spain.
We like focusing on new horizons, and new goals. We wanted to transform the event not only for all kind of followers of Steampunk, but also turn it into a space for the different Retrofuturistic movements and trends, Steampunk being the prevailing one. Focus on different kinds of attendees, and create links and synergies between different creators and artists, institutions, businesses, and everybody. In Spain we need some kind of bridges for that, and the Conventions weren’t working on this goal.
But, most importantly, we want to show all kind of aspects that Steampunk and the other retrofuturisms scenes cover, from literature to kinetic art, from Do It Yourself to the games, and think about the meaning Retrofuturisms has, what it offers to society, and to explain why Steampunk is so attractive.
We have a free lecture to introduce the attendees to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Atompunk, Clockpunk at FNAC (Monday 11th), a literary gathering for all fantasy and science-fiction literature lovers in a bookstore (Tueday 12th), visit of the exhibition “Steampunk: the future that never was” by the curator, at Museum of Inventions of Barcelona (MIBA), where the visitors (from 9th November) can discover what this movement is through works from Spanish artists and tinkerers like Cornelius Sagan or Decimononic, and international artists such as the photographer Libby Bullof. That will be Wednesday 13th.
Thursday 14th we will offer some online activities, Friday 15th we will listen to lecture from Jordi Ojeda, a curator specializing in Comic, Science and Technology, about “Future tech anticipation in 1950s comics”, followed by a Retrofuturistic Cinema Night.
Finally, Saturday 16th we will have the “heavy” day with lectures and presentations of books and brands, like the first Steampunk novel in Catalan “La febre del vapor” (Jordi Font-Agustí), inspired directly by the industrialization of Catalonia -which was one of the first areas of Spain to be industrialized – and a uchronia based on an anticipated independence of this land. We will also have games, showrooms for crafts and independent publishers, contests, and a dance show.
We are very surprised because from the beginning, from changing the Convention model to something more adapted to the goals, the circumstances (the economic crisis was rather hindering), and to different kind of publics who are interested on different aspects of Retrofuturisms, we have known many people who were working on Paleofuturisms, Science fiction History, and other kinds of Retrofuturisms. From scholars to artists, publishers, even many fans who “doesn’t knew that this I liked for a long time had a name”. And the national press have begun to understand that Steampunk is not an “urban tribe” as they usually said, or a geek fashion only, they have begun to see it on the literary and cultural side too. We are excited how it will be developing!
And thinking of the next edition, we will begin to reach out to the international scene!
More info at www.semanaretrofuturista.tk (sorry, this edition doesn’t have an English version!) and at firstname.lastname@example.org