Reclaiming Imagination at IndigiPop X

UPDATE: IPX 20 has been POSTPONED. Indigenous Futurism Days will be moved online!


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IPX 20 will be POSTPONED until a future date. For full details, please go HERE.

The event's organizers would like to emphasize that they are postponing IPX and not canceling it altogether. Furthermore, they will be taking their Indigenous Futurism Days online with digital programming and workshops. There are also refunds available, as well as the possibility of donating the cost of previously purchased tickets to support the festival and Native creatives in exchange for a free ticket to the rescheduled IPX.

The original Indigenous Pop Culture Festival, IndigiPop X, will open its doors to all ages from March 25 - 29 at Innovate ABQ and Hyatt in Downtown Albuquerque. Over 90 Indigenous and non-Indigenous guests and vendors will explore their ideas for the "imagination to action" themed festival throughout the week via workshops, cuisine, presentations, and panels. 

The festival comes as a natural evolution of the Indigenous Comic Con founded in 2016 by Lee Francis, which gained local and global traction, pushing the convention into larger venues and other cities such as Melbourne, Australia, Denver, and Tucson, Arizona. "We've expanded into Pop X to showcase all of the elements where [western society] doesn't expect Native people to exist," says Lee Francis. "We know [we] exist there, but western society doesn't really recognize that."

Lee Francis, founder of Indigenous Comic Con. Photo by Kate Russell.

Francis' passion for the festival is palpable as he, a Native American man from the Laguna Pueblo, intimately knows the hurdles Indigenous artists repeatedly face, especially when producing work outside of cultural scopes. Often, Indigenous artists are tokenized at conventions and can have difficulties finding audiences when their work is not culturally specific, leading many Indigenous artists to feel creatively limited. "The most insidious thing [colonization] did was try to strip us of our imagination," Francis points out, and his resume testifies to his efforts to combat that very violation. IPX is just some of the evidence of the many ways Indigenous people can and do contribute to popular culture, technology, arts, and the future.

IPX encourages non-Indigenous people to attend and be a part of its festival to explore the nuances and layers that exist within Indigeneity. Comedian, actor, and IPX 20 guest Ernie David Tsosie III is ready. "I've been writing human material, not really Native specific...just human," Tsosie reveals. "I don't want to be known as a Native comedian or Native actor; I just want to be a good actor or a good comedian who just happens to be Native."

Last year's IndigiPop X, IPX 19, took place in Denver. Photo by Kate Russell.

All selected work will be funneled through the "Indigenous Futurism Days" on March 25th and 26th, as well as "Indigenous Comic Con" days on March 27 - 29. 

"Before coming to IPX/ICC I never knew what Indigenous futurisms were, but I've since learned that my existence is Indigenous futurism," proclaims Dezbah Rose, an Indigenous Comic Con veteran and IPX 20 guest. Rose will be unveiling a new Indigenized character alongside her Native Wonder Woman and Yuchi Rogue cosplay, as well as hosting an introductory cosplay workshop.

Dezbah Rose will once again be a guest at IPX 20. Photo by Kate Russell.

IPX 20's eclectic lineup of guests ranges from actors to illustrators to cosplayers, including Altered Carbon's Tahmoh Penikett, gamers and models the Baker Twins, comedians James and Ernie, King of the Hill's Jonathan Joss, and many more. "IPX is an excellent place for young Indigenous artists to put themselves out there in a community that just wants to build them up and support them," says Rose.

Full festival passes and daily tickets for all ages are currently available on the IndigiPop X website and range from $25 - $125. IPX 20 also has extended volunteer opportunities through their website, Francis says, "We want people to show up because it helps us build the economic backing so that we can take IPX to multiple locations and communities.”

Dale Deforest, creator of Race to the Sun and Hero Twin. Photo by Kate Russell.

IndigiPop X will only be funded if it reaches its goal by March 17, 2020. You can pledge now on their Kickstarter page.