laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] laurashapiro
Note: This post is addressed to friends of mine in the vidding community who have expressed anger and frustration that the current discussions around Vividcon's policies, accessibility, and trigger warnings are taking place.

Vidding is my fandom. For me, Vividcon is its nexus, the highlight of my year, my favorite place to be, where almost all of my very best friends are. It's where I see great vids and have great conversations, where I dance my ass off and have my mind blown. All of it is made possible by a fastidiously-organized concom and the vidders and vid fans who volunteer and participate. I love it.

Vidding is my fandom. Vividcon is my con. I am part of it. I feel responsible for it. That's why I'm making this statement.

The VVC concom asked people to offer concerns and suggestions about their Background and Policies document. The fact that many people have done so does not mean they are "bashing the con", just as giving critique in vid review does not make a person "mean". I have complete confidence that when the concom says "VividCon welcomes comments and feedback on the VividCon Background and Policies statement. We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to make a comment or write to us about their concerns" they mean exactly that. I respect the people on that concom, some of my best friends in fandom, and I know that they are sincere in wanting to hear criticism so they can learn and improve -- the same way many vidders who come to the con sincerely want criticism on our vids so we can learn and improve.

This is not about being "politically correct", a phrase that I have a lot of problems with. This is about trying to make Vividcon accessible and fun for everyone.

Regarding the trigger warnings debate specifically, I'm going to quote [personal profile] thuviaptarth here because she says just what I would have:
Last year's discussions about warnings in fanfiction changed my mind about warnings. I am firmly opposed to censorship. I don't have triggers myself. Generally I prefer to avoid vid warnings. I am almost certain that my position on my premiering vid will be "Choose not to warn." And I am in favor of implementing warnings for common PTSD and physical triggers, preferably as a separate list rather than included on the vid or in the vidshow itself.


The thing is, I am opposed to requiring warnings for "offensive content." That's something I consider a free expression issue. I am in favor of warnings for "triggers," which is more of a disability and accessibility issue. I don't feel that my artistic freedom of expression is best served by my incapicitating people with flashbacks or inducing a migraine.

Her entire post is worth reading.

A person who requests trigger warnings is not a crybaby. They are a survivor of trauma or a person with disabilities trying to protect themselves from serious harm. They are not asking other people to take responsibility for them. They are taking responsibility for themselves.

To return to the subject of the con itself: in order for to make Vividcon accessible and fun for everyone, some things will have to change. Change is upsetting, and it takes work. It's particularly hard for people who have loved VVC for years just the way it is. We feel protective of VVC and of the people who make it happen.

But I want to work for the change, because I believe that my pleasure is not worth more than other people's pain, and because as much as I love Vividcon, I believe that it's possible for it to be better. I want to be sure that everyone who is interested in coming to Vividcon can come, can feel welcome and safe there the way I do, can return home with the same cherished memories of fannish delight and deep thinkiness and social hilarity that I do. I want everyone to love it the way I do.

I want everyone to say, the way I do, "Is it August yet?"

ETA July 1, 2010 4:35 pm: I am reading every comment but I may not be able to reply to them all. At this time I am also not moderating comments, but will do so should it become necessary. I am working full-time, busy tonight, and going away for the weekend, where Internet access will be limited. But I am taking it all in. Please do continue to discuss among yourselves.

on 2010-07-03 03:46 pm (UTC)
jonquil: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jonquil
This has frustrated me a great deal as well, as well as the insistence that not being able to do a thing perfectly means that you shouldn't do it at all.

on 2010-07-03 07:57 pm (UTC)
fan_eunice: (CB -- beach)
Posted by [personal profile] fan_eunice
Of course you should still attempt to do a thing if it will help. Part of where I am frustrated here is the lack of acknowledgment that things worth doing often have competing interest with other things worth doing and we have to be willing to compromise and attempt to be mindful of what we are asking others to give up just as we would hope they would be towards us.

And I'm directing this comment to you because we have had historically positive interactions, and I hope you at least know me well enough to know that I'm trying to have an actual dialogue here and it makes me sad (I mean that as in genuinely sad) that when I tried to have this conversation about competing interests with you before, you didn't seem to want to listen.

You dismiss the idea that an artists work is precious to her both in the creation and the presentation or that it carries enough weight to merit alternate solutions to a problem where the seemingly 'obvious' one takes away the one opportunity in a year she has to share that art in a unique experience specifically designed to showcase it, at the *only* con devoted to what she does.

I don't expect you to agree with me that this interest outweighs that of the right of another individual's competing need to nurse or for an interpreter. I don't expect you to agree with me that the multiple other viewing options available (one right across the hall) are reasonable accommodation.

I do hope that you can acknowledge that you are not asking something trivial, you are asking her to give up something that is important and valuable, and to sacrifice her artistic expression in the very place *devoted* to it. It is not shocking or outrageous that she might want to protect it. It is a case of competing and valid needs where you feel one has more weight than the other, and also feel that the alternate accommodations aren't appropriate. And as can be said for so much of this conversation, it isn't simple.

That was kinda out of nowhere I know, and I hope you can forgive me for blindsiding you a bit...this has just been building up because to be honest, that you in particular would be someone who wouldn't at least hear me out may have been one of the most hurtful things to happen to me this whole mess.

on 2010-07-03 09:45 pm (UTC)
jonquil: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jonquil
I also respect and value you, and I apologize for not listening to you, and for not respecting what you had to say. I've been trying to balance needs, and it sounds like I failed.

on 2010-07-04 01:45 pm (UTC)
fan_eunice: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] fan_eunice

Totally understand, this whole thing has been messy and ugly and I'm sorry I unloaded like that. I'm just...yeah, tired.

on 2010-07-03 09:55 pm (UTC)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] arduinna
Thank you so much for this. <3

on 2010-07-04 12:11 am (UTC)
merryish: X - elephant tv (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] merryish
♥ ♥ ♥

Yes. This.

on 2010-07-04 12:57 am (UTC)
klia: (flowers)
Posted by [personal profile] klia
Thank you for this! *hearts you*


laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)

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