I have three media interests that I want to touch on in week 1, and hopefully narrow my search as the weeks go on. Some of these I have a passing but inquisitive interest in, such as a show I am watching (Avatar: The Last Airbender), or things I l do, like doing art as a hobby, so I am interested in the subculture of fan artists. There is one I have a deeper interest in, because I have been following it for so long, which is kpop.
To explore my first point, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I watched the series as a kid in primary school, and then watched it as a young teen, so I know major plot beats already. I am currently rewatching the series in its entirety after the internet exploded about it again after it was available for streaming on American Netflix. I am interested in exploring how this show has held on to popularity and status after finishing in 2008. What made the series so loveable, and how did this show still garner so much attention? I still see people making memes and discussion posts on twitter about the character arcs and world of ATLA (There is no war in Ba Sing Se anyone?)
This segues into my second point nicely, which is about fanart. There are many shows airing, and some of these can even gain additional fans if there are fan artists that draw them. Fan artists are usually big fans of a shows characters or designs if them draw them and share that with their followers. That leads to a bunch of fan artists getting together to create a community to create zines, fan books or merch. A good example of fanart that reaches people in this piece by @devinellekurtz about Avatar, and has been some of her most liked posts.
There are also multiple artists that only post fanart, because they love a specific series or movie so much. I want to know why they enjoy being fanartists so much, and if they like the community they’re surrounded by?
My third and final niche is kpop. I have been into kpop since 2017, when BTS dropped their title track ‘DNA’. Ever since then I have been fascinated by kpop, such as they lingo they use, like ‘Comeback’, ‘Music Show Win’, ‘Perfect All Kill’ and ‘Daesang’. I was also fascinated at how kpop is basically a cultural export for foreigners to come to South Korea. I am amazed at how fast kpop has grown in the past 3 years, and how the fanbase has grown. I am also interested in the cultural differences and hardships of kpop. Many people on the internet like to tout about the ‘dark side of kpop’ with slave contracts, fainting etc. and while some of them might have truths embedded, I always wonder why the American entertainment industry is seen as so ‘different’.
Everyone talks about how kpop is awful, but neglect to mention the cultural situation they are in that separates them from America, such as being in South Korea, and has a totally different and in some ways, more oppressive culture than America.
Those are my niches, thanks for reading! 🙂