Hey all! I’m hosting the Carnival of Aces again this month! For more information on this project (or to volunteer to host it), see its masterpost on The Asexual Agenda. In short: I’ll propose a prompt for conversation, and those interested in responding to it can do so. At the end of the month, I’ll put together a post that links to everything submitted. Submissions can be anything I can link to in a blog like this one: other blog posts, images, videos, creative writing, music/sound files, etc. Comment below with links to what you’d like to submit, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you’d like me to post your response for you–whether because you’d like it to be anonymous or for another reason–email me your submission, and I can post it here.) Finally–if you’re a Twitter person, feel free to retweet or respond to this call for subs here.
The prompt I’m offering for this month is manifestos, a genre you could take up literally (writing an ace manifesto yourself) or not so literally (maybe talking about another manifesto, or composing a post in the spirit/mood/tone of one). Below are a few screenshots of definitions of the word from Google (whose definitions are provided by the dictionary publisher Oxford Languages) and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Most of the manifestos I’ve come across in and outside of classes I’ve taken have been those announcing new artistic or literary groups and movements: Dadaism, Futurism, and Surrealism all had them, and often more than one; others wrote manifestos in response to them (for instance, Mina Loy’s “Feminist Manifesto”). Poetry Magazine published a manifesto-themed issue in 2009, which included texts with names like “Leave the Manifesto Alone: A Manifesto” and “Poetry Can Be Any Damn Thing It Wants.” Finally, in June of 2019, Lisa Orlando’s “Asexual Manifesto,” written in 1972 and distributed by the group New York Radical Feminists, was found and posted online (as well as transcribed by Siggy here).
There’s an argument as to whether manifestos “work” or not as a genre–whether they’ve ever changed anyone’s politics or beliefs, etc. Still, they seem like important documents in that, if anything, they’re important to the people who create them and the people discussed in them. They can be a way to sort out how you’re feeling about something, a way to share a few essential points about a topic with others. They can be digital or print texts, poetry or prose, formatted in paragraphs or bullet points, published in zines or Barnes & Noble hardcovers.
Questions to consider in regards to this topic are below! The first few are prompts focused on writing your own manifesto, while the others are aimed more at thinking about manifestos–but feel free to take this month’s prompt wherever you’d like to go!
- What thoughts do you have that you want others in the ace community to know about? The LGBTQIA+ community? Other communities?
- What’s a topic or issue related to asexuality that you’d really like to release some feelings about? What would be cathartic for you to create?
- What identities do you have that intersect your asexuality in some way? Is there anything about that intersection that you’d like others to think about more–or take up as a call to action?
- What do you think of Orlando’s “Asexual Manifesto”? If you were going to update it now, how would you do so? Does Orlando’s manifesto exclude any people/groups/etc. you’d want to include?
- Are there other manifestos you’ve found feel relevant to your ace identity or experiences?
- If you were going to plan a project like collaboratively writing a new ace manifesto with others, how would you go about doing so? What main points might need to be said? How might it be organized, published, or shared with others?
- If manifestos aren’t your thing, is there a genre you’d prefer to work within while thinking about asexuality or your ace identity and experiences? Would another kind of text be more accessible?