The lives of Sense8 fans and campaigners, in particular, are split. There’s real life, the day to day of the lives we have always had, the classes, the work routine, the responsibilities of families, the drama of the mundane. And then there’s life in the fandom, where we take on different roles, interact with people we have never met and work and fight alongside one another for something that matters so deeply to us, we are willing to do all of it for free. There’s a difference between what we work for and what we live for and Sense8, for many of us, is the latter. So the late hours, the planning of campaign activities and execution, the brainstorming and daily interactions don’t feel like work. It feels like a mission we didn’t choose but we feel we must fight in and win.
I have always had a hard time explaining this double life. That who I am outside of the fandom has sometimes everything and nothing to do with who I am inside the fandom. I know I am not the only one who feels the need to explain why this is important and why it takes so much of my time and energy when to anyone looking from the outside, it all seems so abstract and even absurd. It’s a TV show. We hear this all the time. TV shows get cancelled all the time. But are fandoms like ours born out of these common circumstances? every time?
When you are inside the eye of the storm or in this case, a sensate experience, it’s difficult to gauge just how complex and widespread this world we created over a year ago is. There are hundreds of thousands of us, scattered in different corners of the world, working towards a singular goal. Logging into our accounts day in and day out to strategize, to hope, to dream, to envision a future with more seasons of a show which, in some way saved us, individually. How do you explain what we do to someone who has never experienced what it is to meet a fellow Sense8 fan? How do you put into words what makes someone who’s fighting to save this show an instant best friend or confidant or shoulder to cry on? Or why we can’t replicate the sense of belonging and acceptance that seems to exude from every corner of this alternate reality we all inhabit in our real lives?
I have tweets, some pictures and articles saved from the campaigns and the projects I’ve had the privilege to be involved in as a part of this fandom. But except for the framed photo of Riley and Will that fellow Sense8 fan Marmuta Ekun sketched for me, I have no physical evidence of these connections, this world, this family and alternate reality where I belong. It all exists in a space that’s not defined by road signs or tangible structures. It takes place online, in chat rooms and DMs.The Sense8 Mural will be the first tangible thing this fandom can lay claim to as its own. A gift to us and for us, coordinated by someone who knows what we do and why it matters, Neet’s mom, Maximilienne Ewalt.
It makes perfect sense that Sense8 was born out of a conversation about the internet, the world’s last remaining democracy, the only place where people can connect without exiting their own reality or fully entering into another’s. We are what Lana Wachowski was envisioning when she created a world where characters can feel one another and fight the good fight to save what’s worth saving and save each other at the same time.
And we’ve done just that, even though we have far to go still. I often wonder what would happen when we get Season 3, 4 or 5? Would we disband ? would we walk away? Would we find no reason to connect with one another again? Since the mission was finally accomplished? I would like to think not. I hope not. Because just like Sense8 has transformed our lives in ways Lana could have never anticipated, this fandom too has made many lives richer, happier and worth living. It exists not merely to secure a single end, but for a multitude of reasons, we are slowly coming to know ourselves. It has a life of its own now and we are all irreplaceable and intrinsic parts of it. Without even a single one of you, the whole would collapse. That’s the strength as well as the weakness of a global movement. It requires the world, quite literally, it requires a lot of each of us and all of us, together, at the same time.
I may never see the mural Maximillienne and Deidre are putting together in San Francisco with my own eyes, I may never stand in front of it. I may never have the chance to travel to the US at all. That is a very real possibility. But as a Sense8 fan and as a self-proclaimed Sensate, I don’t differentiate between my city and a city halfway around the world. Every city in the world is My city because that’s what being a sensate means. It’s all mine, it’s all Ours. There are no lines, geographical, racial or economical that can separate me from any of you. There are no individual victories for us here, only collective ones because as long as we’re together there’s nothing we can’t do and we’re lucky enough to have proof of our collective power listed as Episode 12 Season 2 on Netflix’s Sense8 line-up. So let’s immortalize this crazy moment in time, shall we? Let’s mural This Moment, so Sense8 fans to come and who are yet to be born know, that we were here and we made the impossible happen again and again, together.
Contribute to the future of Sense8, the show, the fandom, the global Fanmily and our unwavering spirit…
Artwork Credit -Giusil Vincenzi @jewseal – Apologies for not including this earlier… thank you for your beautiful illustration and for contacting me:)