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Annika Backstrom 1 week ago
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@@ -6,10 +6,10 @@ Category: Personal
Tags: xoxo
Status: draft

Another XOXO has come and gone. For those of you who don't know of the XOXO
Festival, it's billed as an "experimental festival for independent artists who
live and work online." I've been fortunate enough to attend each festival since
2015.
Another XOXO has come and gone. For those of you who don't know of the [XOXO
Festival][8], it's billed as an "experimental festival for independent artists who
live and work online." I've been fortunate enough to attend the last four
events.

One of the features of XOXO is a weekend of talks by creators of all sorts:
podcasters, writers, artists, musicians, videographers, and more, many of whom
@@ -24,18 +24,18 @@ There is no "theme" for the talks in any given year, but we often see a common
thread winding its way through the consciousness of the speakers and attendees.

This year, the recurring emphasis on Community spoke to me. From [Emma
Kinema][1] describing the ongoing work of [Game Workers Unite][2] across the
globe, to [Mikki Kendall][7] urging us, "for the love of god, get a group chat,"
it's clear that in what for many of us is a time of crisis, community is
essential.
Kinema][1] describing the ongoing global work of [Game Workers Unite][2], to
[Mikki Kendall][7] urging us, "for the love of god, get a group chat," it's
clear that in what for many of us is a time of crisis, community is essential.

Communities serve many functions. Amelia and [Emily Nagoski][3] inform us of the
ability of human connection to break the cycle of anxiety. As Mikki reminded us,
communities can be your sounding board, your way to say things in a private
space where your friends can check you and tell you when you're wrong. [Harry
"Hbomberguy" Brewis][4] showed us the incredible power of common cause, as a
group tens of thousands strong raised over $300,000 for a charity in support of
trans youths. From the emotional to the physical, our communities strengthen us.
group tens of thousands strong raised over $300,000 for [Mermaids][9], a charity
in support of trans youths. From the emotional to the physical, our communities
strengthen us.

[Lindsay Ellis][5] spoke to their power against harassment. Community can
insulate us from the bad actors that seem to permeate online spaces, deflecting
@@ -48,8 +48,9 @@ It's important to remember that strong communities are often bound by ideas and
ideals rather than a specific person. As Brewis found entirely by accident, his
community was ready to be partners in his cause. His charity stream became a
community-driven project literally while he slept, propelled beyond any
expectation by the love and dedication of a passionate group of people: "The
Skeleton Krew turned out to be the best idea I ever had while panicking."
expectation by the love and dedication of a passionate group of people. Says
Harry, "the Skeleton Krew turned out to be the best idea I ever had while
panicking."

[Get Together][6] teaches a similar lesson: "If you want to maintain your
community's magic, bolster its impact, and broaden its reach while honoring the
@@ -58,7 +59,7 @@ be satisfied with passive community membership. We must seek them out or create
them ourselves, and work to make them strong and impactful.

I see people every day who feel alone, disconnected, powerless. Many days, I
feel it myself. I don't know what the answer is, but I am certain *we* can
feel it myself. I don't know what the answer is, but I am certain **we** can
figure it out.

As Emily and Amelia so succinctly put it: "We're not built to do big things
@@ -73,3 +74,5 @@ XOXO
[5]: https://twitter.com/TheLindsayEllis
[6]: https://gettogetherbook.com/
[7]: https://mobile.twitter.com/karnythia
[8]: https://2019.xoxofest.com
[9]: https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

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