Solmukohta Special: When Larp was not fun in Russia

A popular internet meme. I have chosen it because of the colour.

At the Solmukohta 2012, we had a panel how to talk to the public about larp. After much debate with journalists from the US, Finland, Germany and other larpers from more countries, the best advice I heard was: just talk. Maybe larpers are more afraid of the people than they should. So far, the gentleman told us, every person he talked to was pretty excited when the hobby was explained to her or him.

From that I thought to make another contribution, what I thought the larper community should do. But this was all nothing compared to what I heard from Anna, a Russian colleague. Several years ago a larp event had been planned, and at the first day, 900 larpers gathered and waited for the game to start. Three hours before ‘time-in’, Russian police men and army soldiers put an end to the game. I don’t know the reasons anymore. From then, larp has been an underground hobby until recently. Anna told me that during the underground years, Russian larpers began to think about the hobby differently, and created strategies to cope with the suppression. Therefore I hope to talk to more Russian and Belorussian colleagues, to learn more about the details.

Now that was a story I missed in the panel on public relations. But what can larpers in other countries learn from this?

As I have no real answer, I would like to ask you for your ideas in the comment section below.

Further, if you have more information on this thing in Russia, it must have been around 2001, please tell me more.

This was one blog entry in my series on larp. Every Friday for the next eight weeks, I will tell you what I have learnt at the Solmukohta 2012 larp conference. The idea of posting regularly every week on larp is a homage to Lizzie Stark (yes, you are right, Lizzie of House Stark!). Lizzie is an American journalist whom I’ve met briefly in Helsinki. Her book ‘Leaving Mundania‘ is out now.

Additionally, I will add a new gallery of larp photos I have taken in the last years to my blog section on Larp photography.

Thanks to you, visitors from all over the world. I do my best so that you have something interesting to read. More to come – stay updated and subscribe to this blog!

Yours,
Rafael

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