For 2019 we have some amazing people lined up to visit The Smoke as special guests!
Anna Westerling is a game designer who has created games such as A Nice Evening with the Family, Fortune & Felicity, Summer Lovin’, Robin’s Friends and Love Stories by ABBA. She is the producer of Stockholm Scenario Festival which will run for the sixth time in November 2018. Anna has produced the Nordic Larp book, the nano-game collection #Feminism, and the Nordic Larp conference Knutpunkt in both 2006 and 2010. She is a freelance project manager within the culture sector.
Anna will be running her celebrated larp Love Stories by ABBA at The Smoke! A band during their last summer tour in the late 70s. It’s love, drama, music, party and the last days of the disco. We will play out five party nights, one for each month of the tour, and tell the story of the band’s love and lives. It’s new meetings, endings and the longing for something more. The music of ABBA is used to express the character’s inner feelings and to dance to. We’ll sing and dance out our emotions for maximum drama. It’s a singalong, not karaoke – so all can join no matter of vocal skills.
Anna will also be giving a lunchtime talk during The Smoke, on ‘Dramaturgy and story in participatory media’.
Jonaya Kemper is an activist, educator, designer, writer, and games scholar who looks at roleplaying as a means of liberation for people of marginalized identities. Her work often involves the themes of intersectionality, storytelling, and autoethnography as a means to create more inclusive futures and explore a more diverse past.
An active speaker and educator, Jonaya has spoken and presented workshops internationally about creating accessible and diverse storytelling using trauma theory, critical race theory, and radical theater approaches. Her works spans larp, freeform games, and indie rpgs where she has been a narrative writer, as well as a lead developer. Her work The Slumber Party can be seen in the second printing of #feminism, and recently as a Lead Developer for John Wick Presents Land of Gold and Fire.
Graduating with honors from NYU’s Gallatin Graduate School, Jonaya’s work originated and explored the concepts of emancipatory bleed and liberatory narrative strategy as a way for marginalized individuals to achieve liberation through larping and reflection. She is currently working on the international larp The Forbidden History with Atropos, as Character Lead, and on An Epistolary Affair, an indie rpg told in love letters. You can find her essays at www.jonayakemper.com.
Agata Świstak is a community leader and a project manager working with larp and event design. In 2013 she was part of the group creating one of the loudest larps in the world – College of Wizardry, and later became a main coordinator of the entire event. She was also involved in developing big blockbuster larp projects like Fairweather Manor and Convention of Thorns together with Dziobak Larp Studios. Her game Flirt has been featured in the nano-game collection #Feminism.
She is currently producing the international larp The Forbidden History with Atropos, leading the feminist spin-off of CoW, Hecatic Academy of Witchcraft and designing official Changeling: The Dreaming larp called The Burning Revel.
As a speaker and facilitator, she talks about inclusion, empowering young leaders and volunteer culture. She strives to create safe and empowering spaces within the larp community. She believes that empathy and inclusion create not only strong communities, but also unforgettable and transformative experiences.
During The Smoke, she will talk about the community building and the importance of human connection in developing larp culture – which would also be the subject of her game to premiere at The Smoke, called The Larp Crush.
Lea Pullerits is a youth worker and trainer who strives to use larp as a powerful tool for growing empathy and inspiring new perspectives. In her work with young people and adults alike she focuses on inclusion, human rights and solidarity. The brightest themes in her larp cosmology are myths, flow, connections and the greatest object of her curiosity – to explore the use of our bodies and sensory experiences in larp design.
She is the main organizer of Tallinn Larp Festival, an event centered around short-form games that brings together people from Scandinavia, the Baltics and Eastern Europe, among others. Lea strives to fan new flames in Baltic larp, burning the fuel of experiences from Larpwriter Summer School and many international festivals. In 2016 she helped to create Baltic larp festival, a small festival in Vilnius where alumni of Larpwriter Summer School shared their larps and in 2018 to make a book of the completed larp scripts.
At The Smoke, Lea will feature as part of our Lunchtime Talk series and will host Dance of the Perseids, a physical larp about being a falling star, a meteorite burning up in the atmosphere. The game flows around physical motion, dancing and playing with intensity and movement. The Dance aims to take you on a journey within your own body and explore its connections to others.