Pop that Festival Cherry

For an amateur festival goer in their early-mid twenties, Yours and Owls was a great way to pop that festival cherry. I was sensibly intoxicated enough to deal with the number of people that were entering all at once… Getting through security was easy peasy with a small bag and a broken arm in a sling. I was cautious all the time of the people around me which at times was frustrating, but when I saw something ridiculous I was able to point it out and have a laugh with my friends.

As soon as the sun had set, I concluded that I made the (obvious) right decision to have worn what I did, warm clothes that didn’t let me freeze my titties off like some of the other girls there. Some girls were wearing nothing by undies and a bra, and even then, it didn’t cover much! Medical thermal foil blankets became the fashion of the night.

“Oh Lordy me, I am seeing too much for what I paid for right now”

As the day turned into night, we all separated and found our place in the crowd to get the best spot for the final acts. You’d run into people you know, and you’d run from people that you don’t want to see, and could get easily lost in the crowd.

The toilet lines were always long and painful to wait in, so you would make friends with the people in the line with you. If you were lucky, you’d see them the next time you went to the bathroom.
As I had broken my arm and still struggled with buttons, I often made friends in the lines to help me undo and do up my button on my pants. That was the best way to make friends, tell them your sick story of how you broke your arm and how life is such a struggle at the moment – they were more than happy to help! Give everyone a bit of alcohol and some fantastic music and you’ll make a new best friend in no time.

Overall, it was a super fun weekend meeting lots of people, catching up with friends and hanging out, sitting on the grass listening to music with a few bevvies in hand… It didn’t even matter that half the time you weren’t with your friends, because you knew that you would eventually find them again or run into someone that you could hang out with. What was great about a festival in Wollongong was the fact that you knew a lot of people there already, it felt safe.  What more of a weekend could you have asked for?

Yours and Owls, what a weekend that was.

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The methodology of my Webtoons Discovery

Autoethnography: The approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural (ethno) (Ellis, 2011). We have all become quite familiar with the term autoethnography, but now its time to break it down and understand the methodology to the experience. There are multiple authors that take different approaches to the process of creating an autoethnography. For example; Ellis (2011), discusses that his methodology is based on experiences, epiphanies and sharing the analysed lived experiences that one undergoes. Denzen (2003), on the other hand, takes a more political approach to autoethnographies recognising that there is ‘elements of freedom, critical imagination and reflexivity’. Anderson (2006), an analytical autoethnographer states that to write successful autoethnographies you must ‘engage in reflexive social analysis and self-analysis and that it requires the researcher to be visible, active and reflexively engaged in the experience’.

Each author’s methods are different and are in no way wrong. It depends on how you want to approach creating your autoethnography. If you want to critically analyse your situation then Anderson’s methodology would be for you, but if you want to take a more creative approach to your experience then Ellis’ methodology is useful. Politically analysing situations and understanding why things are shaped the way they are in a culture means that Denzen’s approach to autoethnographies would be appropriate.

Since I recently broke my arm and had to have a few weeks off from classes, I am now completing a two-part autoethnography instead of one group and one individual assignment. I will be exploring the world of Webtoons more in-depth than originally planned and breaking down the structure through Ellis’ methodology concept and looking into further research through Denzen and Anderson’s methodologies (still yet to be decided as to which research avenue I will be taking).

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To understand Webtoons, I will be creating a two-part podcast series. The first podcast will delve deep into the unknown world of Webtoons. I will break down Webtoons bit by bit so those who are new to Webtoons can fully immerse themselves without becoming overwhelmed with the amount of content that is available. The first podcast will give you all the tips and tricks to navigate through the Webtoons rabbit hole that I was once lost in. The second podcast will explore a more in-depth concept of Webtoons and how the content in the industry has become what it is today – this will take a more political and analytical approach to understand Webtoons.

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Topics that are of interest already involve; South Korean culture and laws, censorship, the sexuality and representation of women in webtoons and growing trends of webtoons and crowdsourcing translation.

Research shows that women in South Korean are meant to be submissive and to maintain harmony (K4E Editor, 2015), but throughout reading different episodes of Webtoons, women are often represented as the ones with power and are seen as the heroes. Song (2016), says that media across the world is “frozen in a time-warp of obsolete and damaging representations” (p. 9). Women have also been heavily sexualised in some Webtoon series and while it is not accepted in South Korea on a national level, especially among K-Pop bands, sexualisation is accepted on an international level. This means that the Webtoons that I view here, in Australia, in my bedroom, on my laptop, may not be the same as those who live in South Korea.

There are also growing trends in the popularity of Webtoon series across the world, not just in South Korea. I briefly touched on this in my last post and will be discussing this topic further with Brian Yecies, a University of Wollongong lecturer. In my discussion, I hope will uncover more on the growing trends of Webtoons across the world and the concept of crowdsourcing translation.

References

Anderson, L 2006, Analytical Autoethnography, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, vol. 35, pp. 373 – 392.

Denzen, N.K 2003, Performing [Auto] Ethnography Politically, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, vol. 25, pp. 257–278.

Ellis, C Adams, T.E Bochner, A.P, 2011, Autoethnography: an Overview, Forum: Qualitative Social Reseach, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-12.

K4E Editor, 2015, Traditional Role for Women, Korean 4 Expats, last viewed 4 October 2018, <https://www.korea4expats.com/article-traditional-role-of-women-korea.html>.

Song, B 2016, Seeing is Believing: Content Analysis of Sexual Content in Korean Music Videos, Southern Utah University, pp. 1-60.

Part One: Festival Virgin

There’s a stigma with festivals nowadays where you get drunk, take drugs and wear some pretty freaking weird clothes – I mean, that’s just the stigma from photos I’ve seen and stories I have heard from the media. For my first festival coming up, I think its fair to say I am nervous. I haven’t been shopping in years, I don’t own any clothes that will make me fit into the crowd and well, quite simply, I don’t like crowds of people where I get pushed around. I don’t like it when I have to be cautious of my drink to make sure I don’t get spiked and whether or not I am being pick-pocketed by some drunk asshole. It is all stuff that I have been lectured many times before when I have gone out or gone to a party, but this feels different.

Yours and Owls is a two-day festival that brings some of the biggest acts from Triple J to Wollongong for the year. It’s fairly new to town and each year gets bigger and bigger – they’re saying 18,000 people this year alone. That’s a lot of people…

Between having social anxiety, a broken arm and being a virgin to festivals (in my 20’s I might add – surprising I know), this week could not be any more stressful than what it has been. I have spoken to so many people saying that I will love it and its so chilled and I can wear whatever and no one will care… but hey, do they really think I believe that… come on guys, everyone is going to look at me when I turn up in normal everyday clothes because I don’t own anything else.  I don’t own ‘festival clothes’, glitter or even have the body/the confidence to deal with all the characters that I suspect I will meet along the way this weekend. I’ve even spoken to friends that aren’t going that will be around town in case I freak out and need someone.

Between ALL of that anxiety and worry that I am holding, I really don’t know anyone playing besides Peking Duck (whom of which I have seen before) and maybe one song from each other set (if I am lucky). They’re all names that I’ve heard in the past few months from dating my boyfriend and listening to Triple J, but none of which I know of fully, nor can I re-site songs of any of the artists. I am ready to just bob up and down and out of time when I need to.

I think I am going to play it smart, warm clothes because it will be cold at night, take it easy with the drinking, but have a good buzz going so I can handle the anxiety and don’t stand fully in the mosh so my arm is protected.

Only time will tell me how this weekend works out, it’s fair to say that it will be interesting.

About the Author

G’day! Welcome to my blog! I’m Samantha – call me Sam!

I am a 4th year Unimg_1786iversity Student at the University of Wollongong (Australia) – Studying a Bachelor of Communications & Media and Commerce, majoring in Public Relations and Global Communications.

I loveeeee to travel – I have lived in the Netherlands for 6 months and returned multiple times since – everytime exploring more of Europe as I go. I have also travelled solo around New Zealand (South) and London, worked abroad at a Summer camp in the United States of America and volunteered my time in India.

I enjoy volunteering, working hard, staying fit. My new found skill is hosting events (MC – Master of Ceremonies – the Master part I am still working on). I have hosted many local events such as the JDRF Diabetes Fundraising ball, local school Trivia Fundraising nights and spoken to many students and young athletes about topics I am passionate about such as leadership and finding your own path to follow.

Aspiring to travel more, and to be a producer. I am an amateur photographer. You can check out my attempt at my “Creative editing” section on my blog.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SammScholte

I’m always open for constructive feedback,

Enjoy!

#MeToo

The Me Too organisation was started in 2006 by Tarana Burke to help survivors of sexual violence with the vision to empower through empathy. The ‘Me Too’ movement came into light in October 2017 when Alyssa Milano tweeted “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem” (@Alyssa_Milano, 2017). Within 24 hours, the ‘Me Too’ hashtag had become a trending campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment, not just for women, but for everyone that has been affected. The ‘Me Too’ hashtag was just the start of the movement to get it noticed. Many actresses came forward about being sexually assaulted in Hollywood from former colleagues. January 2018, stars attended the 75th Golden Globes wearing black inline with the ‘Times Up’ movement. 2 months later at the Oscars, the Me Too and Times Up movement was addressed by multiple award recipients that felt the need to speak up about the issue. Through both of the Hollywood award nights, I became more aware of the campaign as big names were starting to intervene with the campaign and more and more noise was being made. Through social media and celebrity spokespeople backing the campaign, people have united and become more aware of the serious situation. It has given not only women but men, disadvantaged, LGBT people and many more minority groups the confidence to speak out about the sexual harassment that they have experienced. Since the Me Too movement has come into the light, there has been a significant increase in people reporting and seeking help. From January – March this year alone, 28,000 people have contacted 1800 RESPECT helplines – that’s a 68% increase in helpline usage (Medhora, S 2018). The significance of this movement is that there has been a significant increase in people reaching out and seeking help. Its significance in the media is important as it has allowed more people to become aware of the situation and there has been an increase in conversation about sexual assault and harassment.  The Me Too movement is significant because it has enabled so many innocent people to speak out and feel like they are not alone in their journey of recovery. Although there are limitations to the Me Too movement, while social platforms have been an extraordinary place where victims have found their voices, victims still have to emotionally deal with the assault as it is something that never leaves them. Laws have been enforced in the USA, more statistics have been released about possible reasons and victims coming forward. In Australia alone, there are 6 helplines that people can contact if they need support and they are being utilised more than ever.  Since the movement has come to light, there is more awareness on such an important issue and how victims can get help. Furthering this research, I will be looking at the impact that sport and alcohol has on sexual and domestic violence.

This has been an assignment but also therapy for me to research, discuss and know I am not the only one.

I am a victim and I will not let this define who I am.
#MeToo


References:

Alyssa Milano Twitter, last viewed 14 August 2018, <https://twitter.com/alyssa_milano/status/919659438700670976?lang=en>.

Hamilton, M 2017, Seven Changes that would empower the #metoo movement, Newsweek, Last viewed 14 August 2018, <https://www.newsweek.com/seven-changes-would-empower-metoo-movement-722283>.

Johnson, C Hawbaker, KT 2018, #Metoo: A timeline of events, Chicago Tribune, Last viewed 14 August 2018, <http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-me-too-timeline-20171208-htmlstory.html>.

Me Too Movement, n.d., Last viewed 14 August 2018, <https://metoomvmt.org/>.

Medhora, S 2018, #metoo movement sparks hige spike in people contacting 1800 RESPECT, Triple J Hack, Last viewed 14 August 2018, <http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/calls-to-1800-respect-go-up-by-68-per-cent/10083738>.

Stevens, H 2017, #Metoo campaign proves scope of sexual harassment, flaw in Mayim Bialik’s op-ed, Chicago Tribune, Last viewed 14 August 2018, <http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/stevens/ct-life-stevens-monday-me-too-mayim-bialik-1016-story.html>.

Sullivan, R 2018, Brutal Truth: ‘If England gets beaten, so will she’, The Bulletin, Last viewed 14 August 2018, <https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/if-england-gets-beaten-so-will-she-shocking-campai/3463897/>.

The new era: Webtoons

Independent Autoethnographies is something that I have experienced in another class – Communication across Cultures (ELL230). Although I have completed an autoethnography before, the Digital Asia approach seems much different as I have learned that there are analytical and creative approaches to writing an autoethnography. Previously, I have written an analytical autoethnography which relied heavily on other research and the reflection of my experiences in a standard essay format. With different ways to approach the Digital Asia autoethnography, I will be able to explore more options and platforms to share my research and experiences.

Sitting in my Global Media Interventions class, Monday morning of week 6 and our lecture is on Webtoons, transformation into the global space and the new era of platformisation. Webtoons history was introduced and I learnt that they were created in South Korea in the 2000’s where comics became digital and online (Yecies, B 2018). It’s the practice of using a mobile scrolling device with the flow of imagery to make a story. The lecturer Brian Yecies (2018), has completed studies on the popularity of Webtoons across countries. Statistics show that Webtoons has a large fan base in Japan and China and it is increasingly growing in Indonesia, Malaysia and even in the United States (Yecies, B 2018).

In my own research time, I googled “Webtoons” and I clicked on the first link. It was in another language and before clicking translate, I had a quick look around to see what I could discover without the English language at the forefront. I didn’t get very far until I was rummaging around in a rabbit hole with like Alice in Wonderland. I translated the page and found that what I was looking at was a gold mine for comic lovers – so many genres, types, and artists! With multiple genres in the Webtoons comic series, it made choosing a comic series hard. There are so many different types of comics within each genre all with a large number of likes and views making my decision difficult. Normally, I am a sucker for romance, action and drama but considering autoethnographies are about experiencing “new and abundant opportunities” (Ellis, C et al. 2011) exploring a new genre was on the cards. I decided to have a quick browse through the Fantasy genre to see what I could find.

With my brief research and viewing of Webtoons and the Fantasy genre, I can see that translation is not always correct which highlights the significance of the imagery used. This was a major epiphany as translations and meaning of words may have a different significance in different cultures and you can often get lost in translation without the images. Thus, making sure that I fully immerse myself into the Webtoons culture to have a better understanding of the comics that are produced. I will have to make sure that I read the text bubbles as well as taking in the imagery of the comics as images are a crucial part of Webtoons and comics. Translation can be defined as “a message that is transferred from one language to another and the tropes of border and bridge work powerfully” (Gambier, Y 2016). Translators for Webtoons, do not need a degree in translation nor do they get paid for their efforts. They are all volunteer which is a crowdsourcing initiative to create a more socially inclusive platform for all.

This initial experience of exploring the Webtoons online community has gotten me excited to explore Webtoons and for further research that I will be conducting throughout the process of this autoethnography.

 

References:

Gambier, Y 2016, Rapid and Radical Changes in Translation and Translation Studies, International Journal of Communication, vol. 10, pp. 887 – 906.

Jenkins, H 2008, Convergent Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York University Press, Chapter 3: Searching for the Origami Unicorn: The Matrix and Transmedia Storytelling, pp. 93 – 130.

Johnston, R 2016, 42% of LINE Webtoon Comics Creators are female and half are read by women, Bleeding Cool, last viewed 28 August 2018, <https://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/02/29/42-of-line-webtoons-comic-creators-are-female-and-half-are-read-by-women/>.

Shin, M 2013, How Webtoons are Democratizing the Korean Contents Industry, Atelier, last viewed 28 August 2018, <https://atelier.bnpparibas/en/prospective/article/webtoons-democratizing-korean-contents-industry>.

Sui, 2014, Tower of God: Season 2, Ep. 108, Webtoons, last viewed 28 August 2018, <https://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/tower-of-god/season-2-ep-108/viewer?title_no=95&episode_no=188>.

Wass, J 2009, Manga Guide to Statistics: Statistics with heart-pounding excitement (well maybe), R&D Mag, last viewed 28 August 2018, <https://www.rdmag.com/article/2009/05/manga-guide-statistics-statistics-heart-pounding-excitement-well-maybe>.

Yecies, B 2018, Transcreation Intermediaries in South Korea’s Digital Webtoon Platform Ecosystem, BCM322 Global Media Interventions, University of Wollongong.

 

Reflexive experience – Akira

Akira, my first Anime experience and it was an experience to talk about. I was lucky to watch this film in English, I think it would have been a much more difficult experience otherwise. Adding live tweeting into the mix made it more difficult as I missed a lot of the film. I have noticed that throughout the weeks of live tweeting it is becoming easier and I am getting the hang of it.

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Throughout the film, I experienced a range of emotions – fear, confusion, surprise, sadness and I also experiences flashbacks causing me to look away. Live tweeting helped me deal with these emotions as those that were experiencing the same emotions tweeted similarly and I felt like I was not alone. Following the #BCM320 feed, I was able to get a good laugh out of some of the tweets that were coming through which helped distract me from the confusion, putting puzzle pieces together.

Ellis et al. (2011) say that autoethnography’s “introduce unique ways of thinking and feeling, and help people make sense of themselves and others” (p. 1). Reflecting on my experience of watching anime for the first time, I was able to make sense of the Japanese culture and their history a little more while making sense of my own feelings and thoughts throughout watching the film. Ellis et al (2011), draws on the fact that autoethnography’s should be a reflexive experience while you try to understand cultures other than your own through race, gender, age, sexuality, class, ability, religion and education (p. 2). Since watching and experiencing Akira and live tweeting I have a new perspective on anime films and Japanese culture. My perspective was originally closed off to the idea of watching and experiencing anime and Asian cultured films, but I now have become more open to the idea of anime. I feel that this may be a good experience for me to reflect on in my final project.

Live tweeting throughout Akira allowed me to share my experience, thoughts and emotions while watching the film which Ellis et al (2011) states to be an important factor to an autoethnography as it “brings readers to the scene” (p.3). While I am not able to experience Akira or any other cultured film from Asia in its true sense of being emerged fully into the culture as critiqued by Ellis et al. (2011), I will be able to compose a value piece that will allow me to step out of my comfort zone and into something I would have never imagined.