Author: rossyupdates

An autoethnographic analysis thanks to Ellis and co.

Original post can be found here.

Embarking on an autoethnographic research journey throughout BCM320 has closely followed the process discussed throughout the reading by Ellis et al. (2011). My recent blog post followed the wave of Asian hip hop and it’s increasing popularity, highly credited to the 88rising collective. This autoethnographic research was influenced by my cultural identity being closely aligned to the world of Australian and American R&B and Rap.

Image result for joji

As my understanding of Asian hip hop is extremely minimal, drawing similarities to Western musicians in this genre allowed me to use my own cultural framework to relate to the content I am unfamiliar with. For myself, this further emphasised that music is a universal language. Yet, an important epiphany of mine in relation to Asian artists rapping in English was that I did not acknowledge their nationalities until starting my group digital artefact. Rich Brian and NIKI are Indonesian, Joji is Japanese, and 88rising reflects that R&B and Rap are not limited to Western artists. Since listening to these artists as a result of my own research, I’ve followed their social media accounts and added them to my own Spotify playlists.

‘Midsummer Madness’ is a song by the collaborative 88rising group, which I had heard prior to this subject. I didn’t know that all the artists were Asian, and in all honestly, I didn’t notice the part of the song that wasn’t in English. Give it a listen below:

“Reflexive ethnographies document ways a researcher changes as a result of doing fieldwork”

The entirety of the blog post is reflexive in nature as I have personal ties to the genre as it is part of my day to day life of media consumption, so in exploring a new avenue of this world, the face of hip hop changed dramatically. The blog post also follows the narrative ethnographic format as my own cultural framework impacts my interpretation and how I discuss the topic at hand with others. Ultimately, in analysing and describing my own personal experiences, I have expanded my cultural understanding regarding Asian hip hop and its importance, particularly for the Asian community.

What did I learn about autoethnographic research?

During this process, I learnt that group autoethnographic analysis is extremely useful, as my group members Jonathan and Phillip provide important cultural insight to this topic of interest as their upbringing differs to mine.

Thanks for reading,

Caitlin


References

Ellis, C, Adams, T.E & Bochner, A.P, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, <http://www.qualitativeresearch.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095&gt>

The wave of Asian hip hop

The original post can be found here.

I must admit my exposure to the world of Digital Asia has been extremely limited, but upon conversing with a group of fellow BCM320 students, we acknowledged the importance of the rise of Asian hip hop and the artists influencing the movement. Throughout our discussion, we discussed rap as a form of rebellion, cultural appropriation and the translation of Asian hip hop to Western audiences. I was personally first introduced to the world of Rap and R&B through my mother, our morning trips to primary school would consist of a variety of 80s, 90s and 2000s tracks. My own personal favourite being:

If you could picture James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke that was my mum and I in the car, no shame.

Indonesian rapper, Rich Brian, caught my attention a couple of years ago now, and not once did I acknowledge his ethnicity upon listening to his tracks. I associate this with the concept of cultural proximity that I have studied throughout this semester in BCM289. As Brian’s lyrics are (mostly) in English the content is easy to consume and is similar to African American artists that I follow including Childish Gambino, Tyler The Creator, Jaden Smith and BROCKHAMPTON. Brian is also a member of 88rising, a collective focusing on Asian American/Asian Rap and R&B artists, providing them with a platform to reach Western audiences. The concept of a unified collective is a familiar concept, as A$AP Mob approached the scene in the same way representing various African American artists.

Our mission at 88rising is to change the game for how Asian culture is perceived in the West.” – Sean Miyashiro

The wave of Asian hip hop is an important one, changing the face of hip hop as we know it. Western rappers often fetishise Asian culture, and through establishing their own scene, 88rising continues to pave a path for Asian artists to create their own identity in the hip hop scene.  As a result of my passion for this genre, my group digital artefact will focus on Asian hip hop. Being a series of reaction videos, this concept was inspired by Cody Ko’s and Noel Miller’s ‘That’s Cringe’ series and FBE’s ‘React’ channel on YouTube. Our personal experiences and interpretations will impact how we consume this content, and capturing this will display an authentic autoethnographic analysis of various artists.

Thanks for reading,

Caitlin

The exploration of ‘Akira’ (1988)

The original post can be found here.

Throughout the course of BCM320, the autoethnographic approach to study will encourage my personal cultural framework to be challenged by cultures and media I am unfamiliar with.

This week in BCM320 I visited unfamiliar territories by watching my first anime in many years. It has been around 9 years since I voluntarily watched ‘Deathnote‘, with subtitles that I read vigorously as I don’t speak Japanese. In this classroom setting, we watched the English dubbed ‘Akira‘ and my viewing experience was incredibly different now as an autoethnographic student. I believe the reason for my interest in ‘Deathnote‘ whilst in primary school was directly influenced by the social atmosphere I was immersed in. With most of my friends being of Vietnamese background, they encouraged me to dive into the deep end and without their encouragement, I probably wouldn’t have watched any anime at all. This had the power to breakdown cultural boundaries and opened an inclusive conversation in the classroom amongst friends.

The live-tweeting experience (or lack thereof) is reflective of my disliking towards the Sci-Fi genre, for some reason I have never been able to enjoy this genre of film, which made this film hard to follow 99% of the time. I found myself reading a summary of ‘Akira’ on various webpages to develop some kind of relationship to the film. And at this point, I still identify as a ‘cultural stranger’ (with much to learn) in the world of anime as I was left unscathed by its culture. On the other hand, I could admire the pleasurable cyberpunk aesthetic, and this is credited to my excitement for the upcoming ‘Cyberpunk: 2077′ video game to be released in April of 2020. I’ve hyperlinked the cinematic trailer for all the Keanu Reeve’s lovers out there. Upon discussing this with my partner, we both came to the agreement of enjoying ‘real’ actors, humans in film and realistic gameplay on gaming consoles (‘Detroit Become Human’, ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’), as we can create a stronger emotional connection to the content.

Image result for akira anime logo

What also intrigued me about ‘Akira‘ was the external impact of the anime, and how it intertwined with elements of Westernised culture that I am familiar with. Kanye West himself proclaimed his love for the film via Twitter and direct commentary throughout his 2009 music video for ‘Stronger‘. For many people Yeezy is their favourite artist, so a natural response is to also view what inspires his artist development. This acts as a form of intercultural communication through popular media and artist trends. West’s publicised love for the film can encourage his 26,749,938 Spotify listeners and 29,180,671 Twitter followers to watch ‘Akira‘. Similarly, the director of the film collaborated with the ‘Supreme‘ label in creating various merchandise from t-shirts to skateboard decks. These pieces of merch were available for purchase in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, London and Paris which continued to spread anime culture across American and European cultures.

Thanks for reading,

Caitlin

 

Hello Digital Asia! #BCM320

The original post can be found here.

Prior to our first class as I enrolled in this subject, I admit I was hesitant as my consumption of Asian television and film was almost nonexistent. I went into this screening of a Koran film titled The Host, (2006) directed by Bong Joon-ho with no idea what to expect but left pleasantly surprised and overly excited for the semester ahead.

As an Australian Portuguese individual, throughout my childhood I was exposed to Westernised media, most commonly deriving from the United States of America (USA) and Australia, as this was familiar content for my household to digest. When visiting my Great Grandmother and Grandmother I was exposed to European media which was mostly the Portuguese news and the dearly loved programme Kommisar Rex (1994-2008) which I thoroughly enjoyed. My first encounter of Asian media occurred in primary school as my friends introduced me to the (arguably mainstream) Japanese animes Bleach and Deathnote, however, I did not continue to consume this form of media past this point.

As the live-tweeting experience is not foreign to me I felt comfortable with participating whilst watching the film. Although following the subtitles proved to be challenging at times, the mighty combination of a horror thriller, comedy and daring political commentary captured my attention until the very end. The explicit anti-American dialogue is extremely powerful throughout and is evident at the very start of the film as the American mortician orders his Korean staff members to dump dangerous formaldehyde into the Han River. This scene follows the actions of Albert McFarland in 2000, who instructed his employees to dump embalming waste down the drain at the Yongsan military base. Once Joon-ho heard of this news, it was the starting point of his upcoming film (Wallace, 2006).

Image result for the host korean family

In meeting the main cast of the film, the Parks, we are presented with the textbook dysfunctional family, similar to other families in Westernised films, for example, Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Their unusual actions met with a complimentary soundtrack heightened the comedic moments of the film, proving to be the most engaging and arguably my favourite. The narrative of this film is to date the most powerful feature, as 13 years on it is definitely enjoyable, with the political satire also easily applicable to the political climate today.

Image result for little miss sunshine family

As an overall experience, BCM320 hit the mark with a great introductory film to the world of Digital Asia, I am definitely excited to participate in the seminars and an autoethnographic approach to my studies.


References

Wallace, B 2006, ‘Who’s the monster?’, Los Angeles Times, weblog post, November 1st 2006, viewed 2nd August 2019, <https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-nov-01-et-host1-story.html&gt;