Henry Jenkins: Avatar activism
In the dawn of 31 May 2010 Israeli soldiers rappelled down onto the deck of a former Istanbul passenger ferry called the Mavi Marmara, one of a small international flotilla aiming to penetrate the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip. The flotilla had sailed from Turkey in the full glare of international publicity, leaving the Israelis with plenty of time to come up with an appropriate and measured response. Nine passengers died from Israeli gunshot wounds (8 Turks and one Turkish-American), while 24 were injured (one American), some severely. The flotilla of six vessels carried about 700 protesters from 38 countries. Ten Israeli commandos suffered relatively minor injuries.
Last night, the Hugo Awards, one of science fiction’s most prestigious prizes, were presented in Melbourne at Aussiecon 4. The Hugo ceremony is one of my favorite parts of any WorldCon, and last night’s event, emceed by Garth Nix, was a particularly outstanding edition. The ballot was extremely strong, with works that I really enjoyed competing in several categories. The voter and nominator turnout were both much higher than usual, and the program moved at a very, very good clip. This year’s award, designed by Nick Stathopolous, was gorgeous, incorporating aboriginal motifs and an organic, Belle Époque look inspired by the Paris Metro signs. Kudos to the administrators on a smooth, well-run ceremony!