Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend and present at Quirktastic’s inaugural Quirkcon held in Durham, North Carolina. For those that don’t know any conventions, it can be a little isolating. This past weekend I had the chance to attend Galaxy Con, which is a travelling con. Galaxy Con is a larger company based out of Florida, and they do events around the states. The weekend of May 31st through June 2nd they hosted a convention in Richmond, VA. I presented there on a panel about Hip-hop and Nerd culture. I want to preface that all conventions have different aspects and things that make them unique; also, one person’s experience does not triumph another. Several factors can contribute to the con goer’s experience. Before Galaxy Con, I Atari a lifelong nerd had never been to a gathering. So when the opportunity presented itself, I accepted it. I also got the invitation to present at Quirkcon, on a panel about online friendships and bonding (featuring Black Femme Content creators). (For more details on the panel itself tweet me at @Sis_Otaku.)
Quirkcon can be described as a celebration for all weirdos. Many may know Quirkcon’s brand : Quirktastic an online community and by it’s store ,The Quirkshop. Quirkcon was held in Downtown Durham,North Carolina at the Durham Convention Center. Many people reference Durham to Duke University and University of North Carolina. I am sure the city of Durham was ecstatic to add QuirkCon to it’s offering.
Quirkcon was a gathering catered to POC, featuring several workshops,film screenings,dance parties, demonstrations, vendors. Cosplayers who were widely known on social media made an appearance ( for example Kiera Please and Izzy Saeko ). There was even an award show hosted by Youtuber Miles Jai. There were K Pop Dance tutorials and even panels on J Fashion. There was something for all nerds of color both during the day and after party. The overall vibe was relaxed, I found Con goers to be open. Vendors excited to share their products and expertise. The only thing I am saddened about is that I couldn’t stay longer for the occasion. So what does this have to do with with people of color? How is it different from other cons, often times designated spaces for nerds are coded as white. As a Black woman I often was ridiculed for my interests. While I know that QuirkCon is not the first of it’s kind, it exposed me to a world I never knew before. I felt affirmed and seen as I saw people like me exist in a nerdy space which doesn’t happen often. I commend QuirkCon for facilitating that space.
Quirkcon had a lot to offer, and I do recommend that you try to make an appearance if you’re in the United States. I can’t wait to go again. For more Nerdy News please follow us on twitter or subscribe to our website.
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a med student tuned Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on Twitter and TikTok, both @MxKantEven, or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels.
From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.