Cheyenne Ewulu’s documentary Shades of Cosplay sheds light on crucial issues that continue to exist in fannish spaces. It gathers four Black cosplayers to discuss their experiences of racism in the cosplay space. Although this documentary first released in 2015, it sadly feels no less relevant today. But this time, we all can and should watch it.
The trailer for the release shares:
Shades of Cosplay gathers four Black Cosplayers to talk about their experiences with racism within the cosplay space and the changes that they hope to see in the future. Interviewees include: Kira (Firaga Fox Cosplay), Chaka Cumberbatch (creator of #28DaysOfBlackCosplay), Camille Duale, and Kyle Mason.
Premieres February 4th here on Youtube.
“It’s 2022, and I myself do not cosplay anymore, but at the time of making this film, I was very passionate about it. And noticed how all of my friends of color, specifically my Black friends, would get treated within the community,” says Ewulu. “I remember one time I was cosplaying as Korra, from The Legend of Korra, and someone came up to me at a con and told me that I was a little bit too dark to be Korra. Keep in mind Korra is as brown as can be.”
Fandom can and should be a space for adventure and delight. But it can’t be that fully until it can be that for everyone. And there should be no more important mission for fans than to ensure respect and love is granted to every other fan around them. Ewulu further shares, “Racism in the Cosplay community is still fairly rampant even today. I believe this film being released online could help spark some necessary conversations and give hope and inspiration to Black creatives within the geek space.”
As mentioned, Shades of Cosplay, will re-release this February 4th during Black History Month.