Call for Participation to MCH2021
Due to the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a MCH2021. We are exploring alternatives, including having an event in 2022, but there will not be a big open-air event in 2021. We have closed this CfP.
May Contain Hackers 2021 is requesting proposals for participation, including content.
TL;DR: submit here.
What is May Contain Hackers 2021 (MCH2021)?
MCH2021 is a five-day international outdoor technology and security conference, to be held in the Netherlands, running from the 6th till the 10th of August 2021. We are calling for participation in the form of talks, workshops, installations, volunteers - the only limits are your imagination!
Is this a new thing?
No, it is the 9th edition of an event with a proud lineage and which happens every four year. Starting with the Galactic Hacker Party in 1989 and going outdoors with Hackers at the End of the Universe in 1993, here we are, several wars and pandemics later, with another outdoor hacker camp. So there'll be 32 years of history by the time it rolls around.
Where is it?
Near Zeewolde, the Netherlands, Europe, Earth. The exact location is the Scoutinglandgoed in Zeewolde, 55km east of Amsterdam and a bit less than 55km north-east of Utrecht. OpenStreetMap shows it here.
When is it?
The 6th to the 10th of August 2021.
What kind of participation are you looking for?
Right now we want your content: the things that you are enthusiastic about and want to share on a stage and engage an audience with. Lectures, workshops, art installations, all those kinds of things.
What kind of an audience can I expect?
A motley crew of around 3500 hackers, freethinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, makers, creative minds, and others from all over the world will convene to share, discuss, criticise, look ahead, code, build, and reflect.
What kind of content are you looking for?
We're into technology, society and science. We would like this event to be many things at once and call on you to contribute in the following (or other interesting) domains: information security, decentralised infrastructures, hardware hacks, '"undocumented functionality" (we're into full disclosure, mind you), surveillance and/or anti-surveillance, free culture, free software, art, mechatronic or otherwise. Escapist tinkering with technology on a campground below sea level? Yes, please. Dreaming about a solarpunk future? Tell us all about it. Confronting your fellow participants with the harsh realities of surveillance capitalism? Come aboard. Launching water rockets with the little and not-so-little ones? Sounds fantastic! Making trippy kaleidoscopes of high- and low-tech wonder, seriously reflecting upon ourselves and the world, wallowing in nostalgic retrocomputing, unadulterated fun as well as catching up with each other? This event is for all ages.
To give completely three random examples from the past: at SHA2017 there was a workshop organised by a teenager how to efficiently pack your luggage for air travel. At OHM2013 there was a literary workshop by the Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg. At HAR2009 there was a lecture on how to build your own particle accelerator. So if it is something that gives you a sense of wonder, tickles your curiosity or just a vehicle to show off your cleverness, go for it.
Yes, that is pretty eclectic, is there something that ties the room together?
Ever since GHP1989 supply chains have gotten longer and more fragile, civil liberties and democracies eroded further and improvements in information security got swamped by whole sectors of society adopting ICT in ways that ignored hard-learned lessons from the past. Part of our joint mission for August 2021 is figuring out how exactly we, as a community, can deal with this. How to rebound from drastic events, from the micro- to the macro-scale. Because nobody expects a Black Swan and since we're also pretty good at ignoring elephants in our rooms, regardless their colour, the question is how to be able to rebound. The future is Eventually Consistent, it is up to us what kind of consistency it'll have. So long story short: we are especially looking for content that is about our ability to recover from extreme events of whatever nature.
And if I don't like this theme?
Then submit it anyway. We have preferences, so it may not be a good fit. At the same time we do not want to pre-empt awesomeness that we didn't think about. It is up to you to define what will happen at MCH2021. This is a call for participation to you, the avant-garde of the information revolution and those who live and breathe technology, subversively or just retro and everything in between. Help us to create the inconceivable. Submit early, submit often - submit to MCH2021.
By stepping forward you can help make MCH2021 the most exciting, inspiring and awesome community-driven event everyone is looking forward to. Submit your proposal now, and if you know of someone you think should be present, ask them to submit!
How can I submit?
Submissions can be entered through the MCH2021 content submission system:
When does this CfP end?
The deadline for proposals is March 31st, 2021 (extended from February 1st). If you are from outside the European Union and have visa requirements with a substantial lead time, please mention that in your proposal so we can give it priority for processing it.
What happens after March 31st, 2021?
All proposals submitted before the deadline will be reviewed by several people and ranked. This will be discussed with the whole of the Content Team. We're aiming for a diverse set of lectures, workshops and events, as well as lightning talks. A big stage with a large audience is just one of our formats. We also aim for intersubjectivity and dream of objectivity. Review of proposals submitted after the deadline may or may not happen. Submission after the deadline comes with a tacit agreement to bribe the Content Team with single malt whiskeys. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will start being sent out before April 30th, 2021. A rejection can also mean that we would like to recommend your proposal to villages that have their own programmes, so do not despair.
When will the program be public?
The program will be made available incrementally, from May 1st, 2021.
How is this organised?
MCH2021 is a non-commercial, self-organised community event. Visitors help us make it happen. Being a community event means that it is unlike your typical conference. Luckily just a few hours of collecting bottles already includes you in the community instead of being a consumer. This also means that as a rule of thumb almost anyone who will be there, including the speakers, will have paid their own tickets.
But I am not a rich Western tech-dude, how can I afford to speak at such an event?
Rules of thumb always have exceptions, so please indicate in your proposal whether you would need support for attending. Do realise that even if we are going to support you, there'll be things you'll have to sort out for yourself, such as travel and lodging.
Are there proposals you wouldn't like?
Yes. We are not terribly keen on panels. Having a panel is a format that is difficult to get right. Neither are we keen on anything that is about blockchains, at least if they involve proof-of-work blockchains. We think blockchains are terribly interesting, but very rarely a solution for anything. We are even less keen on flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, climate-denialists, conspiracy theories, crackpot science and nazis. Especially nazis, fuck nazis. Also, we really don't like it when speakers opt out from recording and/or streaming. The event is made possible by volunteers that tacitly expect to watch the content afterwards. Unless you state very good reasons for not wanting to be recorded and/or streamed, you will drop the likelihood of your submission getting accepted dramatically.
What copyright license will you publish the content under?
As a rule, it will be CC-BY. If your content proposal is having a film shown to an audience, we will obviously not publish it and your own license choices will apply. Otherwise, exceptions are unlikely to be made since we want to record and stream content under a uniform license regime and having more than one is a pain for the volunteers who make this happen.
What if I don't want my submission to be recorded or streamed?
Look, it is 2021, we are not going to police the audience when they happen to hold a smartphone in the air and do it themselves. Moreover, a lot of the volunteers contribute under the tacit assumption that content, especially main stage content will be made available afterwards. If you delivering your content is dangerous to you, wear a mask and we will provide a vocoder. But that's about it. In some exceptional cases we will not stream the content live, but we do want to be able to show it to our volunteers afterwards.
On behalf of the wider ORGA that is working on making this happen, the MCH2021 Content Team.