Dark Agenda

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Journal Community
Name: Dark Agenda
Date(s): 2009 – April 2015 (last entry)
Founder: dhobikikutti
Type: Activism aimed at "Promoting Chromatic Sources and Characters in Fandom"
Fandom: Multifandom
URL: http://dark-agenda.dreamwidth.org/profile

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Dark Agenda was formed in October 2009 as an activist community "to offer resources in order to increase the representation of international, non-English, non-Western fandoms in multi-fandom fic, art and vid exchanges and festivals, as well as promote the responsible writing of characters of colour."[1]

Dark Agenda Challenge for Yuletide

The initial focus of the community was the 2009 Yuletide challenge. The goal was to encourage people to request or write fandoms from the list of Yuletide Fandoms with Chromatic Creators and to write Treats in those fandoms.[2] A second list of fandoms from White, Western creators that contained Chromatic characters was also made, but the primary focus of the community has always been in promoting the more underrepresented fandoms on the first list.

Dark Agenda provided various resources for writers interested in participating. The community had a list of betas knowledgeable in chromatic source canons from countries such as Japan, India, China and Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, and Ethiopia.[3]

The challenge's suggested hierarchy was as follows:

  • First, write for a language and culture other than your own.
  • Second, support sources that are as authentic and unproblematic as they can be, especially in relation to those made about a culture from outside it.
  • Third, celebrate actual source cultures before reinterpretations of it, because there just isn't enough of the first; i.e. realistic representations before retellings of myths, and actual religions before fantasy send-ups of them.
  • Fourth, if you end up writing problematic source, engage in fixing it: finding the invisible people of colour and putting them back in, writing the back story for a character without tying it into the white people's narratives, showing not telling the blind spots and bigotry and flaws in the celebrated white heroes of the narrative.[2]

Yuletide participants were encouraged to tag their stories on the AO3 with "Dark Agenda Challenge," "Chromatic Character" and "Chromatic Source."[4] When the archive went live on December 25, there were 50 stories tagged with "Dark Agenda Challenge."[5] The Dark Agenda Challenge tag has since been wrangled into Dark Agenda.

The effort continued with the 2010 Yuletide challenge, but did not run in 2011.[6] A similar challenge under the name 'Chromatic Yuletide 2012' (not linked with the Dark Agenda community) was initiated in 2012.[7]

Dark Agenda Challenge for Remix Redux

A drabblefest was held in March 2010 to encourage people to qualify for, and participate in, Remix Redux by producing at least seven drabbles featuring chromatic characters that another participant could remix, and/or by trying to write a remix that featured a chromatic character.[8] It was held again in 2011 for round 9.[9]

Chromatic Remix Redux collection was set up.

Dark Agenda Challenge for Porn Battle

oxoniensis was inspired by Chromatic Yuletide and invited Dark Agenda into Porn Battle XI in January 2011, to add more diversity with prompts and fills.

The aim: (1) to see if we can increase the number of chromatic works in the challenge, by encouraging authors/artists/vidders to consider prompts they might not have otherwise thought of and (2) to provide a handy resource for fans looking for chromatic stories/art/vids.[10]

Approximately 2000 prompts and 200 fills were made featuring characters of colour.[11]


Dark Agenda has a multimedia fanwork exchange called Kaleidoscope, for rare chromatic source fandoms. It was first held in 2011 and is planned to be annual.

Other Forms of Dark Agenda Activism

In June, 2010, the community launched the Racebending Revenge Ficathon, and called for authors to, "Re-write one or more white characters in the fandom(s) of your choice as chromatic/non-white/PoC, in a story of at least 500 words, with some acknowledgment of how the racial difference would make a difference to the story being told."[12] The challenge went live on July 2, 2011,[13] but is still open for submissions. Fanworks for the challenge are collected at Racebending Revenge Challenge Fanworks & Resources and Racebending Revenge Archive of Our Own Collection.

Related Links


  1. ^ Profile Page accessed October 27, 2010
  2. ^ a b The Diversity in Yuletide 2009 Challenge accessed October 27, 2010
  3. ^ Beta Resources accessed March 5, 2010
  4. ^ Tagging for Yuletide accessed March 5, 2010
  5. ^ Dark Agenda Fic in Yuletide accessed March 5, 2010
  6. ^ Dark Agenda's Archive of Our Own collections, Chromatic Yuletide and chromatic women accessed November 23, 2011
  7. ^ Chromatic Yuletide 2012 (accessed 27 October 2012)
  8. ^ Dark Agenda Remixed! post made 23 March 2010 (accessed 28 November 2011).
  9. ^ Chromatic Remix 2011
  10. ^ Diversity in Porn Battle XI post by oxoniensis 10 January 2011 (accessed 28 November 2011).
  11. ^ I very approximately counted them, ok.
  12. ^ dark_administrator. Announcement: the Racebending Revenge Ficathon, posted on June 04, 2010 dark_agenda's Dreamwidth community. (Assessed October 27, 2010.)
  13. ^ dark_administrator. The Racebending Revenge Challenge is now Live!, posted on July 02, 2010 at dark_agenda's Dreamwidth community. (Accessed May 19, 2013)]