Published in Brittle Paper Magazine On February 02, 2024
The second annual SYLLBLECON 2023 was hosted on December 9 and 10, 2023. This virtual sci-fi and fantasy convention helped launch a collaborative world-building art movement as writers, artists, and thinkers from all over the world came together to craft the Syllable Manifesto.
Hosted by Syllble Studios, the convention presented five dynamic world presentations from Blacktopia, Sauúti, One Humanity, Terradiem, and Faia. Each pitched a TV series idea to a panel of judges from the industry including Chris Hazenbush, a TV Development Executive and Independent Producer; James Lejsek, a media executive with experience in equity and debt financing of 30+ films; Zack Zucker, a Literary Manager at Bellevue Productions; Labid Aziz, the Co-Founder and CEO of People of Culture Studios; and Andrew Cosby, the Chief Creative Officer of People of Culture Studios.
One Humanity Writing Collective, a transnational group of female and nonbinary writers was awarded the prestigious “World of the Year Award” as voted by the judges at the second annual SYLLBLECON 2023.
The opening session of the convention ignited a call for a shift in art-making during the general assembly. This marks a departure from the traditional approach to storytelling and art creation, moving beyond solo endeavors to the transformative power of collaborative world-building.
This revolutionary spirit is reflected in the document The Syllable Manifesto, co-created by a slew of diverse thinkers, writers and creatives. This collaborative document not only outlines an aesthetic, but forges “a set of values based on collective worldbuilding and communal art-making.”
Here are some of the key ideas from the document:
Crisis as Catalyst: We face a multifaceted crisis, intertwined with technological disruptions and new economic realities. This, the manifesto declares, marks the arrival of “the era of the imagination.” Traditional storytelling and art-making, seen as rigid and restrictive, fail to navigate these complexities.
Worldbuilding as Blueprint: More than entertainment, collaborative worldbuilding offers a framework for building a better real world, both for ourselves and future generations. By shaping shared fictional universes, we learn to collaborate and solve problems collectively, laying the groundwork for a more unified future.
Community-Fueled Art as Protest: Art isn’t just individual expression – it’s a powerful tool for creating change. The manifesto champions art made in community, fueled by collaboration and the creation of compelling beauty, offering an alternative to divisive anger and isolation.
Degrowth and Collaboration: The “dog-eat-dog” competition of traditional artistic models gets rejected. Instead, the manifesto embraces degrowth principles and the relational human being, fostering meaningful connections and fostering collaboration between diverse artists across the globe.
Reimagining Archetypes: Our heroes now wear different masks. The Syllable Manifesto calls for embracing heart-centered individuals, those who transmute pain into beauty, prioritize community art-making, and actively envision alternative futures.
The Syllable Manifesto is an invitation to join a movement where imagination isn’t confined to individual minds, but thrives in the shared space of collaborative worldbuilding. Read the full manifesto here and see yourself becoming part of this artistic revolution.