Zombies at Wiscon
There was a major zombie outbreak while I was at Wiscon, the world's leading feminist science fiction convention, this past weekend.
While the other inhabitants of Madison, Wisconsin were barricading themselves in homes and malls with shotguns, Wiscon organized a Zombie Outreach volunteer force which met the zombies in the hotel lobby, gave them muzzles, and took them to Zombie Orientation.
There were zombie-free zones for those who wanted a break from the zombies, and zombie-only space where zombies could get together to discuss their experiences. There were shambling and pursuing rights-of-way, marked off in blue tape on the party floor (which also had plastic laid down for easy cleaning of any infected blood). There were panels (ably organized at the last minute by the Programming committee) on "How to be a good zombie ally", "Brain-eating: negotiating consent", and " 'Graaaains!': Vegan zombies and ecological sustainability".
If you were bitten, you were supposed to report to Zombie Orientation where you got a corresponding ribbon for your badge, a muzzle, and tips from experienced zombies on adapting to being differently alive.
By and large, the zombies were extremely cooperative (though there were a couple who refused to wear their muzzles and kept chasing and devouring people during panels, which led to endless and heated discussions by the concom about appropriate measures). It took the non-zombies a little longer to get past some of their prejudices, but some of the non-zombies did important ally work in getting people to see past living privilege, and I think real progress was made.
In general, I'm just really proud of how Wiscon handled the whole thing.
Also, who knew zombies could sing karaoke?
Posted by benrosen at May 28, 2008 11:12 AM
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