Many enthusisasts dressed up for the weekend's events. /J. S.

Many enthusisasts dressed up for the weekend's events. / J. S.

Where fiction and fantasy come to life

FreakCon: the popular culture convention in Malaga city congress centre saw a record number of visitors over the course of last weekend

JON SEDANO

The Spanish word 'friki' describes somebody who is fanatical about a specific element of popular culture, such as a film, a series or a franchise. This word was used to create FreakCon, the cosplay convention. The fifth edition took place last weekend in Malaga city congress centre.

After being forced to go virtual last year due to Covid-19. This year it has now returned in full force, with 40,000 visitors all keen to be immersed in the world of fiction and fantasy. From superheroes to Squidgame, the weekend's events and entertainment were tailored to all tastes.

One of the most popular events was run by EVAD, Malaga's school for video games and digital art, where people could learn about programming robots and creating video games. In another area, the presence of the Rey Enigma (Enigma King), the Banksy of chess, made for a day-long chess tournament on Saturday.

This year there were two main new features at FreakCon: an automated re-enactment of Squid Game, in which attendees could take part in challenges from the hit Netflix series, and an escape room organised by Black Stage in which participants wore virtual reality glasses, making for a real life video game.

There were opportunities for visitors to take photos in areas designed with the theme of different films and series, both modern and classics.

What makes FreakCon unique is that it celebrates popular culture in a general and expansive way. As well as fiction and technology, there were areas dedicated to handicrafts and bonsai. The event even incorporated sports, with karate and wrestling.

Enthusiasts could also explore stalls selling merchandise, such as magic wands from Harry Potter or wooden clocks painted with images from Marvel or Star Wars.

In the face painting section, fiction came to life as a group of professional make-up artists transformed people into their favourite characters.