As you know, on 7th January we were thrilled to publish the press release of ‘Steampunk Hands around the world’ on our blog.
I.- What is ‘Steampunk hands around the world’?
In Kevin Steil’s own words:
Steampunk is a global community filled with vitality and creativity.
With more than seven dozen steampunk creators – bloggers, authors, event organizers, and others – also participating, this month long project is a multi format media presentation about the international connections and communications in the community, for steampunks and non-steampunks alike.
Beginning Sunday, February 2nd, and continuing until Friday, February 28th, the group will show and share through blogs, videos, and events, that steampunks everywhere are linked together and that new friends are waiting in every conversation.
Steampunk, in its many forms, brings people together in an inclusive and helpful network of similar mind. From sharing book and music review opinions, to playing the newest games and sharing DIY information on fashion and props, the steampunk community easily and comfortably brings together people ages eight to eighty in ways not often seen in other communities.
II.- Seven questions and answers about ‘Steampunk hands around the world’
Now it is time to share with you our vision about the Steampunk community around the world and, for this purpose, we are most pleased to answer some questions addressed by the true and only Airship Ambassador, Kevin Steil.
1.- Why is steampunk important to you?
Steampunk has been the main source of inspiration to develop our first collection of fine jewelry, Machinarium. At first we did not know much about Steampunk, we just were amazed by possibility. It seemed aesthetically pleasant, intellectually challenging and creatively stimulating. Four years after we are pleased to have confirmed all this by ourselves.
As you know, we are moving towards an environmental disaster caused by a non-sustainable economic system characterized by the waste of natural resources due to the abuse of disposable goods and programmed obsolescence. In addition, we are living times of homogenization: you only need to take a walk down the main commercial streets of any of the big metropolies to realize that the same multinational companies are everywhere. We do think that all this needs to be changed and we aim to pioneer singularity, empowering individuals who are willing to make the most of their uniqueness as global citizens. Steampunk, which is linked to the DIY community and praises well done things, is a superb source of inspiration in this endeavor. Steampunk invites us to reformulate the past to rethink the future, to conceive an inclusive society learning from our mistakes and to draw up a promising destiny.
2.- Why is the steampunk community important to you?
When we decided to design jewelry pieces inspired by Steampunk aesthetics, we did not find many references and this made us think ‘hey, why don’t we question the community?’. And this is what we did, we created the successful series of brief interviews ‘Steampunk jewelry tonight with…’ in January 2012.
This decision has taken us to an exciting journey of discovery. Twenty four interviews later, Irene and I have virtually met Steampunks from fourteen countries and we have always felt treated in a gentle and welcoming way. From our experience, this is one of the main characteristics of this community.
Our friends and compatriots, known and not-yet-met, create the stories we read, make the fashions and accessories we wear, perform the music we hear, and construct the art we see.
All of this, together, creates the experiences and inspirations we enjoy together. This grand collaboration makes our steam-nation possible, not just to exist but to thrive. Steampunk and our community is our playground. It is our classroom. It is our workshop.
Diverse, inspirational, kind. All these adjectives can be applied to the Steampunk community, which has blessed us with awesome friends and endless inspiration. How could it not be important for us?
3.- Why are you so active in the community, creating what you do?
We are in love with the creative possibilities that Steampunk brings to everybody: literature, props, fashion, decoration, music… the Steampunk community is crowded with imaginative and inventive people, visionaries many times. We are thankful for being part of this movement and try to give back a bit of all it has given to us. Besides, we have a Mission to accomplish and the
fine jewelry ‘reminders of singularity’ we create are our main instrument to achieve it.
4.- What benefits do you see others and yourself gaining from being part of the community?
We feel honored to belong to a community full of educated and respectful people that promotes the exchange of ideas and the development of healthy enriching relationships. Not everything is a bed of roses, but pros beat cons by far. At least this is our experience to date.
Benefits? We can learn from each other, support each other, grow as individuals thanks to this.
5.- How has steampunk affected, changed, enhanced your view of the world, the people in it, and your place in all of that?
Multiculturalism is a reality and blogs such as Beyond Victoriana have always been of great value for us. Steampunk reminds us that people have similar needs and hopes everywhere. Steampunk reminds us that each and everyone of us can become innovative, creative, inspirational. We can all build together, imagine together, dream together.
Steampunk has become a vibrant community worlwide, as this map created by Kevin Steil shows with total clarity. Or the issue of ‘El Investigador’ magazine published on occasion of ‘Steampunk hands around the world’.
As we are Spanish, we cannot help but underline the strong links between the Spanish and the Latin American Steampunk communities. We do know that Steampunk activities are going on in most Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, etc.) and we have had the pleasure to be in touch with some of the promoters of these activities for some years now, which gives us a bit of perspective. If you speak Spanish, do not miss outstanding projects such as ‘El Investigador Magazine’ or ‘Planes B’ books.
6.- How has steampunk, and the community, affected you personally?
Steampunk and Steampunks have let us develop our originallity and ideas, empowering us through inspiration and creative freedom. It has helped us to unveal our potential and meet a good bunch of awesome people and good friends. Thus, Steampunk has given us the opportunity to collaborate with gifted artists like Viveka Goyanes (Amoelbarroco) or Alassie (El Costurero Real), to name but a couple of concrete examples.
7.- If you could package it as a gift and give it to others, what is your personal best, happiest, favorite moment in your involvement in steampunk?
There have been many memorable moments during these years of involvement in the Steampunk scene. For example, the presentation of our Machinarium Collection, the launch of the first interviews’ compilation of the ‘Steampunk jewelry tonight with… ‘ series, our nomination to the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Awards or events like EurosteamCon.
However, if we had to choose just one single moment, probably it would be the excitement of Steampunk hands around the world. Sharing with 100+ Steampunks throughout the world an initiative to spread the word and demonstrate that this movement is alive, welcoming and willing to share and grow is simply unforgettable. Thank you so much! Considering the success that ‘Steampunk hands around the world’ first activities are achieving, we do know that future calls are going to provide us with new opportunities to show everybody that there are potential friends in every conversation just waiting to be met.
Remember that there many ongoing activities related to this initiative and that the best place to stay up-to-date about them is follwoing the Official link list and the Airship Ambassador Official Website: www.airshipambassador.com.
- Page of ‘Steampunk hands around the world’ on Facebook.
- Page of ‘Steampunk hands around the world’ on G+.
- Twitter Hashtag: #SteampunkHands