Since 2007, we have participated in World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Japan – our first international qualification, which we have been very proud of taking part in, and which our cosplayers have loved participating in year after year.
Unfortunately, we have to announce that we will not be participating in World Cosplay Summit from this year onward. This is due to their continued collaboration with Saudi Arabia in relation to their WCS Exhibition event held in the country. We did not participate last year and we had hoped that World Cosplay Summit would not continue the collaboration following the critique and worries that arose because of last year’s event. So, we were both frustrated and disappointed when we received the invitation to this new event once again.
WCS is an event that normally creates opportunities for cultural exchange across borders, which is something that we have appreciated through all these years. In Nagoya, we could meet cosplayers from all over the world and, in that way, Japan has been a neutral meeting place where everyone could safely meet and enjoy what we all love: cosplay.
Cosplay is for everyone – but under the current circumstances, Saudi Arabia is not a country for everyone. We are nothing without our guests and our community consists of people of all kinds – men, women, nonbinary, LGBTQ+ in all shapes and sizes, and very few of these can safely visit Saudi Arabia with how the country and its laws currently work. We will always put our community and our guests first – and to support Saudi Arabia would be the opposite.
We hope that the country will one day become safe for women, LGBTQ+, and minorities, but with the way things currently are, this is not the case, and we cannot support a qualification that chooses to disregard this. We are disappointed in WCS’ collaboration and we also hope that they will reconsider it. Until then, we will not participate in the qualification.
World Cosplay Summit has been informed about this decision. We are currently making arrangements with new qualifications, about which we will make further announcements when everything is settled.