It was an ordinary Tuesday and the Dinosaurs and Storm troopers walked around enjoying the sun.
It was a bit strange at first, but after a while you get used to the fact that you are surrounded but more or less everything that you normally don’t see on an average day. Like Sailor Moon or the entire Weasley family accompanied by Harry Potter and Hermione, all of them in pajamas.
Where was I? In Linköping, a town in the middle of Sweden, at a fair named Närcon. Who could imagine that there were so many people in Sweden interested in Mangas and Cosplay? This was a fair for them. Four days filled with workshops about how to draw, how to act and also, CGrow. We held Coloured Glasses workshops around the topic of identity, as where could there be a better place to talk about this heavy theme than at a place where people have their own “everyday identities”, but also have an additional layer to it?
In an environment where there are 8000 people, and all of them feel accepted the way they are. This could only be a good start for great discussions. Most of our participants haven’t met before. They were curious to learn about each other and realized that they had a lot in common in how they define identity and its building elements.
A word that a lot of them used when defining themselves was “nerd”. What does this mean though? Are you born a nerd? Do you become a nerd? Can you be a nerd in general, like a movie nerd, which means that you like to watch movies? Or does it have to be more specific ? Does it have to be a certain type of movie? And what does a nerd look like?
It was a true pleasure and honor to work together with them in the path to discovering the true meaning of the word nerd. One day after that workshop I saw some of the participants again, they said hello, stopped for a while to talk. I realized that what we do, what I do when holding workshops really makes a difference for the people I have the honor to meet. Also for myself, I develop myself with each and every workshop. I am so happy that I can be a part of this.
Written by: Victoria Cederlöf, Regional Coordinator, YFU Sweden.