Like my friend Simon James Pettitt, I was at Knudepunkt. It was awesome.
I attended as an activist and therefore went to less talks, co-creative sessions etc, but all in all I had great fun. Long story short: Knudepunkt was great and overwhelming at the same time. What I mostly remember and took with me from Knudepunkt was the amazing people and how interesting perspectives they brought along with them.
I’ve been to Midtfyn Fritidscenter to a couple of events before and I have mixed feelings about it. I honestly think that it as venue is so-so (and the food is pretty dull), but it’s cheap and it worked out okay in the end (with the very unfortunate exception of apparently fucking up about some people’s allergies. Not cool, really not cool). Apart from mistakes done by venue the whole thing went rather smoothly from what I experienced and the organizers kicked ass. It was awesome.
What mostly stands out to me from Knudepunkt was the following:
- The general friendliness, which was great at a time when I’m fairly stressed (as a result of trying to finish my studies and get a degree).
- Some awesome and inspirational insights into how larp is done in other countries and fun parties organised by various people (the Dutch party in particular was awesome (I was offered cake that I haven’t had the oppotunity of tasting in over 20 years, which was a fantastic kind of nostalgia. I think it was “Note taart”, but all kinds of Dutch food were fucking awesome and beyond my feeble vocabulary to do justice)
- The open mic event. I’ve never heard Rhiannon sing before, but she was wonderful. Oliver Nøglebæk (another awesome person) had reciped a poem by Kipling and J-Mac kicked ass. Funniest act I’ve seen in a long time and very illuminating. I suddenly get stuff I thought I understood about what it means to be transgender.
- Someone did a really co-creative talk about workshops (they were Swedish as far as I can recall). I liked the co-creative talk as such, but what was my Knudepunkt moment happen almost accidental as a part of that. We were talking about and doing exercises for larp workshop when a group of Polish women (both nationality and gender are relevant for this part) talked about doing “the Bell” as an exercise. They asked for a volunteer and I volunteered. What happens in “the Bell” is that one person is the clapper. Everyone else is standing in a circle around this person. The Clapper have to stand straight and upright, eyes closed while everyone else pushes him or her around, like a clapper striking a bell. It’s a trust exercise, simply.This is where it gets personal, because a while back (Winter/Spring of 2011), I was living in Salford, UK in a very dysfunctional student house with a third of the people living in the house was Spanish, a third was Polish and a few other people, including myself. What was remarkablely unpleasant about this time was that the Spanish people spoke Spanish in the house while the Polish spoke Polish. In hindsight I don’t think people were doing very well (I know I didn’t), but people certainly didn’t treat each other nicely. We were a house filled with people being quite mean to each other, quite simple. I don’t speak Spanish, but I understand enough to have a rough understanding of what was going on. Not so much with the Polish. The result ended up being that I devolved a hefty dose of social paranoia. And while I try to have as few prejudices as possible, I can’t deny that Polish as a language or English spoken with a Polish accent was unpleasant to me.Did you notice that I used past term there? Because if you missed it, I’ve just pointed it out! 😀 This exercise accidentlæ gave me back a lot of my trust in people. So whoever the Polish girls are who suggested this exercise, I hope you’re reading this. But I can’t thank you enough. This simple larp exercise was extremely therapeutic and it enabled me to let go of some bad memories. I later realized after doing it that I’d just told my social paranoia to go fuck itself. That was my best moment of Knudepunkt 2015.