Kapitularz Polconem – convention I needed

I was in a bad mood. Or at least not in the best mood. I was exhausted and there were moments when I felt like “why am I even going?” And Kapitularz Polconem changed my approach. It was a convention I needed!

Difficult Beginning

I travelled to Łódź with Seji (with whom I was also staying in the dorm near the convention venue). As stated before I was tired so my excitement was not as big as usually before the con. At first we went to our dorm and then for some lunch after the trip. At last we arrived at the conplace and we found out there is a long queue.

A line of people.
Part of the registration queue at Kapitularz Polconem.

There was a bit of misinformation as to who should stand in which line but we managed to find it out eventually. The problem was that the line for programme participants was moving very slowly. It was not that long but sometimes we thought it is not moving at all. In the end (after ~one hour) I managed to collect my badge, programme book, and the ballot to vote for Janusz A. Zajdel Award. Badge was a bit too big for the holder but a quick fix with a pair of scissors solved the issue. Yet my first impression was not so good. Luckily the convention managed to change how I felt.

Meeting People

Even in the queue I started to meet my friends. After registering I went to vote for Janusz A. Zajdel Award (and collect my pin from “Zew Zajdla” campaign). The booth was staffed by my friends so of course I spent some time chatting. Afterwards I spent some time outside enjoying the sun. Later I chatted with a friend while waiting in the queue to Yaki Kingu. It is a delicious Japanese food mobile place (I was told they do not consider themselves to be a food truck).

A woman standing next to the board with pins attached to it.
Caretaker of Janusz A. Zajdel Award at the voting booth during Kapitularz.

As Kapitularz was our natcon this year I met a lot of friends. I had conversations during the day and in the evenings. The latter I spent at the nearby bar. As usually I didn’t stay till late but at least on both Friday and Saturday I went there for some time. The place was quite nice. The bar itself was not very big (although bigger on the inside!) but they had lawn chairs and the lawn outside was big enough for many fans. I am not sure how many of us were sitting and how many standing but the weather was nice and I had a good time.

I am very happy that I got the chance to meet for late lunch with my favourite Polish RPG publishers – Copernicus Corporation. It was so lovely to chat with them – I am looking forward to the next meeting.

Not Enough Stamina For the Programme

I was a bit angry at myself for not checking the programme of Kapitularz. Yet I didn’t have the stamina to do it. So I thought I will check it on-site. Yet when I arrived I preferred to simply enjoy the atmosphere and meet people. So In the end I didn’t visit too many programme items. I started with my presentation about Worldcons and Glasgow 2024 in particular. It was scheduled against the Council of Fandom so I missed first half of the latter. Yet I got the grasp of what was disscused. Missing the first half had one positive side. Room was too small and level of oxygen way below optimal. I had to spend there only one hour instead of two which is a plus ;).

Dark picture showing a man standing below a screen. Man has a microphone and looks up at the screen.
Nelek during his presentation on relationship between SFF and metal music.

The next day I attended the morning presentation given by Nelek. It was his debut as a presenter. He talked about connections and influences between metal music and SFF. A nice presentation and he spoke with great passion. It was very good talk! Later on there was a Fandom Forum where I spent only fifteen minutes or so. This is because I volunteered to join the Janusz A. Zajdel Award vote count. As soon as it was approved we moved to separate room to count all of the votes – which took us around three hours. On the last day I attended two presentations first was given by Septi and it treated about the Golden Age of RPGs. The second one was about satanic panic in the US but I am sad to say it was not a good programme item. Half or more of the presentation was showing short clips from movies.

Multiple people sitting in a classroom.
Audience during Fandom Forum at Kapitularz Polconem.

Janusz A. Zajdel Award

As mentioned I got the chance to count votes for Janusz A. Zajdel Award. It was fun! As per the rules I cannot disclose any details but I can recommend it. It takes a lot of time and is a bit tiring as we use preferential system but in general it is quite nice activity. I wanted to do it for years and I finally got the chance.

On the drawback – the announcement of the winners during the evening ceremony was not a surprise. Still I think I would love to repeat the counting in the future. And getting to the ceremony – I enjoyed it. It was accompanied by the life music from Barbara “Harfiarka” Karlik. I enjoy her music and she opened the ceremony with my favourite song of hers (Śmierć Kawalera – Chevalier’s Death). Before the results announcement a few more things took place. Firstly the new fannish award was announced and handed. It is called “Sowy fandomu” (The Owls of Fandom) and is awarded to fans supporting local fandom in Łódź. Later on Smoki fandomu (Dragons of Fandom) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the SFF Club “UBIK” from Białystok. Lastly I handed the ESFS Chrysalis Award to Łukasz Kucharczyk (he was not able to attend Eurocon in Uppsala to collect it himself).

Woman playing a harp on a stage.
Harfiarka playing during Janusz A. Zajdel Award ceremony.

And finally the Janusz A. Zajdel Award was handed to the winners. In the novel category the winner was “Agla. Alef” by Radek Rak. In the shorter fiction category award went to “Na granicy” (At the Border) by Michał Cholewa.

Four people posing for a picture. Three of them holds bouquets of flowers.
The winners of Janusz A. Zajdel Award posing for the picture with Zajdel’s wife and grandson.

The Atmosphere

I enjoyed the atmosphere at Kapitularz Polconem very much. Instead of enjoying programme I was talking with friends or even simply sitting outside in the sun and enjoying the feeling of being at the convention. This is what I needed and am so happy that I managed to get it at the con. I am a bit sad that I did not use the opportunity to attend programme items. Only while watching pictures from the con I learned about the falconry show with owls. I would love to see it myself.

What surprised me on the Saturday morning was a fee breakfast offered to everyone. I already bought mine so I didn’t use the opportunity. Yet on Sunday shops were closed so I was happy to participate in the common breakfast. It was cool – nice chat in the queue and then eating together. A great idea at the con! I am not sure what was the budget needed but it was lovely.

Three people standing on a stage. Man holds a microphone to witch one woman is speaking.
One of the winners of Sowy fandomu Awards.

Improving my Mood

So in the end I arrived at the convention being tired and not in the best mood. I left the con more relaxed and although sad (as the con finished) in a way better mood. I regret I did not manage to enjoy everything that the organizers prepared but I am happy that I attended!

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

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