Borderlands: The world within – Convention Manifesto (2000)

Transcribed by Anna Hepworth.

Borderlands: The World Within ran in 2001, and was the first of three thematic small regional cons run by Grant Watson, Simon Oxwell, and ASFDAP editor and contributor Anna Hepworth. Prior to the convention, a four A4 page (single sided print) item entitled ‘Convention Manifesto’ was produced (no indication of distribution is given, and the vague memories of the ASFDAP crew are no use here). The cover consisted of the convention logo and the words ‘Convention Manifesto’. Page 2 is reproduced below. Page 3 consisted of the convention budget, and page 4 a map of the convention space in what was then the Emerald Hotel.

Borderlands: The World Within

Why a second convention?

Western Australian fandom has seen a decline over recent years. Following the restriction of activities of Perth’s media based fan groups, much of Western Australia’s fannish activity currently focuses on one five day extravaganza – SwanCon.

A second convention will address this by providing a counterpoint to SwanCon at the opposite end of the year. This will provide an opportunity for continuity of activity, which will be of great benefit for the Perth fannish community.

Why Borderlands?

Perth does not need another convention the size of SwanCon. However, a smaller convention, which we have in the form of Borderlands, would fill some of the gap.

Speculative fiction at its most exciting lies in the borders. Stories that are both science fictional and horrific, or horrific and fantastical, are where the most interesting and innovative fiction tends to lie.
       We recognise and celebrate speculative fiction across all media, whether prose fiction, motion pictures, television, comic books or theatre. Rather than celebrate these media (and their followers) as separate fandoms we are concerned with celebrating them as one fandom. Put simply, we are dedicated to crossing the borders between these varying interest groups in order to present them both on an equal footing, and in a forum within which they can develop insights and ideas from one another.
     It is to these two ends that the convention title Borderlands applies.

The size of this convention allows for a much tighter focus of theme, which for the inaugural convention will be “The World Within”. Much of the cutting edge of speculative fiction concerns itself with the potential – both good and bad – of genetics, cloning, nanotechnology and bionics. Borderlands seeks to explore this trend, its origin and the directions in which it may be heading.

Who we are.

The organising committee for Borderlands consists of Grant Watson, Anna Hepworth, and Simon Oxwell. All three have extensive experience in an organising capacity, both within and without fandom, and were involved in SwanCon Twenty3 and SwanCon 25.

What are we proposing to do?

Borderlands will be a two-day convention of speculative fiction, to be held at the Emerald Hotel on Mount St, Perth from November 24-25, 2001.
     A double-stream programme will consist of discussions, panels, readings and other live events.
     There will not be a separate video room at the convention. We are instead investigating options with several Australian video and film distributors to present exclusive screenings of new material as a part of the main convention programme.

Due to restrictions of size, Borderlands will be strictly limited to 130 attendees (not including guests or committee). It is hoped that this smaller scale will achieve both a relaxed and casual atmosphere, and enhance the critical focus of the programme.

Borderlands will features three guests, two local and a third from interstate. At this stage we have approached two potential guests, and are discussing options for the third.

What we want from WASFF

Affiliation with WASFF will provide Borderlands with much-needed security, both legal and financial, and will provide the event with credibility when dealing with outside parties (whether publishers, distributors or otherwise).

In return, another successful convention in the year will raise the profile of speculative fiction (and fandom) in Perth, and will also provide a strong and positive reflection on WASFF as a pro-active force in the community.

About australian sf-history

ASFDAP was set up in 2011 after the rediscovery by the wider SF community of an impressive hoard of Australian SF community related ephemera, fanzines and other materials in the Murdoch University basement.
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