GLOBAL CHALLENGES: CLIMATE CHANGE

Due to our modern societies large use of fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; global and regional climates have altered, impacting our environments, communities and economy. We must learn to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for warmer temperatures that have been evident in the last 50 years due to human activities.

Climate Change is a global issue that has created heated debate within electoral campaigns and the news. We must work together at local, national and global scales to ensure the global challenge is controlled and acknowledged as a top agenda.

‘For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week- terrorism, instability, inequality, disease- there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate’- Obama

It is recognised in the above statement that our world has global wars and problems that impact us all individually as nations. However, global warming is something that effects the world as a whole and is the most important challenge that has to be addressed.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organised by WWF that started in Sydney, 2007 where an allocated date for each country is set and individuals can get involved by switching off all lights and electricity use for an hour. This allows an ‘interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world’.

References:

Dreher, T 2014, Global Crises, Global News: Pacific Calling Partnership, BCM111 Lecture, University of Wollongong, delivered 8 October 2014

Video: http://www.earthhour.org/earth-hour-starter-kit

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Global News

News is continually sought and offered in the course of social communication because it is a necessary and valuable commodity of social exchange. (Khorana 2014)

News is available through many different media platforms such as TV, radio, newspapers and social media. In our modern society, social media is especially becoming more frequent with all ages. It allows people to share their opinion on what’s happening around the world. For example, a YouTube duo known as JustKiddingFilms created a YouTube channel called JustKiddingNews which basically involves the duo and other YouTubers or friends that read about a news article and discuss their opinions and views.

I watch JustKiddingNews because it’s simply entertaining listening to others opinions on issues around the world. The news they talk about isn’t usually on the front page of newspapers and all over TV, therefore it gives opinions on problems that aren’t as recognised. The YouTube channels motto, ‘Realer News, Realer Opinions’ describes their true honesty when speaking of global matters. Other than JustKiddingNews I usually get my news from social media, especially Twitter. When ‘following’ news group accounts, it enables me to get instant articles on my feed that I can read. It also enables me to see others viewpoint and opinions to able a better understanding on the matter.

‘It may be more useful to recognise that globalising media and journalism simply mean that the creators, objects, and consumers of news are less likely to share the same nation-state frame of reference. To the extent that certain transnational media emphasize this approach to news, we may call it ‘global journalism’- Reese 2010

References:

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8fvxux93t8&list=UUfPhyExfcaqJBKc3HO3cNBw

Khorana, S. Who Counts in Global Media? News Values. Lecture from ‘International Media and Communication’ at the University of Wollongong. 14/10/14

Translation of a different kind, Drama.

Dramas operate across cultures, locations and nationality; so changes need to be made successfully to be able to be looked at by the culture it emanates. (Frew 2014) Sherlock Holmes has been adapted many times and is accepted as a successful drama adaptation.

Sherlock is presented through an English detective genre with the typical English country style, a skilled amateur detective and interfering policeman professionals that can’t solve the crime. Elementary has been translated to be an American detective fiction, therefore its values differ. The hero in this case is more violent, attractive, damaged from drugs and alcohol, a womaniser and has strong morals.

The casting also differs as Elementary casts a female, Lucy Lui to play Dr Joan Watson to form a strong partner like relationship. Whereas the English version, Sherlock; Dr Watson is played by a male. This adds an ‘americanised element of political correctness to the narrative’. This also displays Elementarys’ modernity through changes of gender but also the use of a multicultural cast- highlighting ‘the open nature of American society’.

A huge noted change to the original text is having Nathalie Dormer play both roles of the lover, who broke Holmes’ heart as well as a the criminal mastermind. This provides an Americanised quality of ‘unresolved sexual tension’ which is desired by American audiences.

Both dramas have gained popularity and success through the positive translation and adaptation that is accepted by both cultures.

This Englishness is a constructed quality. The take on Englishness can be seen as a transnational trope which is used in each narrative to serve different dramatic purpose. – Frew 2014

References:

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aozbi-Gexdk

Asher-Perrin. E. 2014, ‘Battling Super Sleuths: The Awkward Case of Elementary, Sherlock, and Building the Better Adaptation’ http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/02/battling-super-sleuths-the-awkward-case-of-elementary-sherlock-and-building-the-better-adaptation visited 14/10/14

Frew, C. 2014, ‘Television in Translation: Drama Focus’, Lecture Week 8, BCM 111: International Media and Communications, UOW, 14/10/14

That’s No, No.

‘Jonah From Tonga’ is a mockumentary about a troubled 14 year old boy from Tonga named Jonah who is played, produced and directed by an Australian comedian, Chris Lilley. Lilley, a white man is presented in brownface as a Tongan boy with behavioural problems. After being expelled from High School in Sydney, he is sent back to his homeland Tonga to help get his like back on track. However, he still disobeys school policies and still has his Poly-posse who continues to cover the surroundings with his tag, ‘Dicktation’and his offensive swearing.

The show was seen extremely racist with the use of ‘brownface’ as well as misrepresenting the Tongan community. Fahina Tavake- Pasi, the executive director of the National American Tongan Society, said that the title of the show was initially what brought her interest but after watching it, she found offense in what Lilley was trying to portray.

‘The focus is on Jonah from Tonga. It’s him and his awful lines. It almost speaks to that fact that it stereotypes brown people. When you’re white trying to play brown and have never been in the community, what comes out is the stereotype of what’s underneath that brown paint: a white man’s stereotype, a white man’s racism, a white man’s perspective of our community, a white-man assumption, devaluing, all of that’. – Fahina Tavake- Pasi

There are major inaccuracies within the show that are extremely problematic for Tongan community. The disrespect Jonah demonstrates to his elders, sexual comments and connotations and his indecent swearing are considered to be heavily inappropriate in a traditional Tongan society.

‘The fact that it’s supposed to be representing a Tongan culture. I know even Tongans in Australia would feel the same way- they’re traditionally built on that Tongan Foundation. That’s very inappropriate’ – Tavake- Pasi

Leitu Havea's protest against the comedy Jonah from Tonga. Picture: Facebook

Young people began to backlash against the TV show, Jonah From Tonga, posting photos with #MyNameIsNotJonah to ‘stand up to the stereotypes of how Pacific Islanders are being perceived as. The show was controversial in both Australia and America after HBO picked it up and aired it in American in August. Viewership in Australia dropped from 441,000 viewers to just 287,000 by the second episode.

So what do you think about the show? Is it extremely degrading and racist or is it just intended as playful satire?

References:

Law. J 2014, Backlash over Chris Lilley’s Jonah from Tonga as protest movement gains momentum in news.com.au. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/backlash-over-chris-lilleys-jonah-from-tonga-as-protest-movement-gains-momentum/story-e6frfmyi-1226918651717 visited 14/10/14

Orley. E, 2014, The Brownface Controversy Surrounding ‘Jonah From Tonga’ on ‘Buzzfeed’. http://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyorley/the-brownface-controversy-surrounding-jonah-from-tonga#1yzb49s visited 14/10/14

Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VupwSUj1Nl0/UpRr3GvmkzI/AAAAAAAAfJI/1d68__v_bU8/s640/jonah+from+tonga+abc+show.jpg

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZbf4WfJiko

Riding the Hallyu Wave

The first Korean song I heard was in 2007, Big Bang’s Haru Haru (Day by Day), which was simply due to the fact that my older sister kept playing it around the house. At the time, I didn’t even realise it was in Korean and knew nothing about the Korean music industry. It wasn’t until around 2010, that the song resurfaced and I became fascinated and slowly obsessed with the music style and everything else Hallyu.

Here, listen for yourself. You may get caught up in it like everyone else. Haru Haru (Day by Day)- Big Bang

Hallyu is basically the ‘Korean Wave’, referring to the global popularity of South Korean cultural products of film, television, popular music and fashion. K-pop has become a global phenomenon, not just within Asia but all over the world. When people think K-pop, Psy’s Gangnam Style may be the first thought for many; being the first YouTube video to reach a billion views and being a worldwide hit in 2012, but K-pop is much more than that. K-pop is characterised by their flashy, catchy audio visual elements, combined with good looks and presentation which reasons for Korean Pop Stars global fame and appeal. K-pop groups such as Big Bang, Girls Generation, TVXQ, 2NE1 and Super Junior are a small portion of the popular groups evident whom are loved and adored by dedicated fans; with TVXQ recorded to having the biggest fandom in the world in 2008 by the Guinness Book of Records.

North America’s exposure to K-pop has steadily increased with girl group Girls Generation performing their English version of ‘The Boys’ (which also featured Snoop Dog as a remix) on Late Show with David Lettermen and Live! With Kelly in 2012. Collaborations between American artists such as 2NE1 and Will.i.am, G-Dragon and Missy Elliot and JYJ and Kanye West have also brought awareness as American artists acknowledged and recognised the K-pop culture.

Niliria- G-Dragon featuring Missy Elliot performance at K-CON in LA 2013

Korean television dramas are extremely popular globally, with streaming services that offer multiple language subtitles. Winter Sonata gained widespread popularity in Japan which boosted tourism between Korean and Japan, which later on created a relationship that allowed several Korean drama remakes in Japan and vice versa. It soon spread outside of Asia and reached North America, with Netflix offering Korean dramas in there video selection in 2008. Korean drama hit, My Love From Another Star which aired early 2014 has been bought by (America’s) ABC to be adapted and remade. CBS and EnterMedia have also ‘teamed up to develop a media drama based on the South Korean series Good Doctor and NBC is also preparing to release a show based off Korean variety show, Grandpas Over Flowers’ (Hollywood Reporter)

The usual question I receive when I tell someone I listen to K-pop is generally, ‘how can you listen to music you don’t understand?’

Yes, I don’t know Korean but it’s the music, performance, passion, visual appeal and lack of profanity, sex and drugs that attracts my attention. From the Korean pop culture, I’ve become occupied with watching Korean TV shows, films and listening to K-pop to the extent where I can say I know plenty about Korean traditions, culture and even some Korean. I guess the power of the Hallyu wave has certainly affected me. The growing acceptance of South Korean pop culture in many parts of the world has allowed the use of the Korean Wave as a tool for soft power, being one of South Korea’s biggest exports. It also allows foreign countries to embrace Korean culture and encourage tourism, which has definitely worked, considering I’m going to South Korea next month to see it all first-hand.

References:

Goldberg.L, 2014, ‘ABC Adapting Hot Korean Drama ‘My Love From Another Star’ in The Hollywood Reported- The Live Feed, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/my-love-star-abc-remake-733887 viewed 2/10/14.

Jung. EY, (2009), ‘Transnational Korea: A critical assessment of the Korea Wave in the US in Southeast Review of Asian Studies Volume 31, pp. 69- 80.

Images: http://www.mcmbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/20110703_seoulbeats_samenamemix.jpg

YouTube Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzCbEdtNbJ0 – Haru Haru (Big Bang)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VjE4RHZAaI – Niliria- G-Dragon feat. Missy Elliot (Big Bang)

Crossover film: Rush Hour

A crossover film is a film or production that crosses cultural borders during production, distribution and reception; it draws on universal themes and is characterised by crossover film techniques and languages. Films such as Babel, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight and Rush Hour are all considered transnational, crossover films simply due to there various cultures analysed, displayed or even influenced in the films.

Rush Hour (1998) presents stereotypes to public which are interpreted differently by a wide variety of audiences. Carter, played by an African American comedian, Chris Tucker and Lee, played by world-renowned actor, Jackie Chan; are teamed up; demonstrating a clash of cultures which lead to series of comical yet racially offensive incidents. Jackie Chan’s history of film appearances involve mixed cultural content, such as Hong Kong martial arts, that successfully appeals to both Western and Eastern audiences; making him a global film icon that allows films to gain a culturally hybrid approach. Thus, in Rush Hour through the casting of Jackie Chan, the film was able to be recognised as a transnational film due to its multicultural influences and representations.

The basis for majority of humour in Rush Hour is based off two characters with conflicting cultural backgrounds, trying to function within a white nation. An individuals perception is heavily based on their cultural background and that racial insensitivity s only based off of a specific culture. If Carter didn’t have an African America stereotype and Lee didn’t have a thick Chinese accent, or know some sort of martial arts; the movie wouldn’t have worked. This is simply due to the fact that the audience is trained by the media to expect certain qualities from people of various cultural backgrounds. The film encourages acceptance of the racial remarks from both Western and Eastern audiences; therefore validating racial differences and justifying modern, multicultural society.

References:

Sukhami, K, 2013, Crossover Cinema: Cross-cultural Film From Production to Reception, Academia.edu, viewed 1 October 2014, <http://www.academia.edu/3449865/Crossover_Cinema_Cross-cultural_Film_from_Production_to_Reception&gt;

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPULDr0cn6A

Image: http://content6.flixster.com/movie/11/16/97/11169764_800.jpg

I know what Hollywood is, perhaps even Bollywood but what is Nollywood?

The emergence of East Asian and Indian films have positively impacted the global film industry through the use of hybridity with the combination of modern and traditional culture that meet consumer demands around the world. This particular ‘soft power’ gained by countries such as India and China can further allow promotion and awareness of political, economic, social and cultural interests to other audiences. Bose predicted that Indian films stood ‘the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the movie making world’- proving that hybrid films is definitely making an impact and changing demand.

Movies such as Slumdog Millionaire, Avataar and  Moonsoon Wedding are western films that are influenced by Bollywood themes. Slumdog Millionaire won critical and popular acclaim throughout the world due to its cross- cultural collaborations, international distribution and hybrid film gramma that entangled techniques from both Hollywood and Bollywood. It contributed to Indian cultural context by including Bollywood-style song and dance routine at the end of the film, typical of the Bollywood film. The director, Danny Boyle also used several techniques associated with mainstream Hollywood cinema such as double plotlines, flashbacks, empathy and parallel editing. The hybridisation of the film was also demonstrated through its western director and Indian co-director collaboration which allowed the Indian culture’s ‘finer cultural complexities of life on the street’ be correctly displayed.

Before doing research, I never even knew Nollywood even existed. Despite its minimum budget and quality, Nollywood (Nigerian film industry) is actually the third largest film industry in the world. The films content is usually based on a mix of modern and traditional, melodramatic themes with real characters and situations with a corruption motif. Onookome Okome states that ‘there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts… the form and content of Nollywood narratives reminds the casual observer of the obvious ties it has to the complicated trade in global media images even when the point has been made of its unique place in world media culture’- demonstrates Nollywoods’ success due to hybridity and popular media.

Hollywood is seen as becoming useful for other global film industries through use of hybridised contra-flows to gain recognition with ‘Western audiences through Eastern movies, and Western movies for Eastern audiences’ (Lagerkvist, 2009: 370).

References:

Karan, K , Schaefer, D.J, (2010), ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of Popular Indian Cinema in Global Film Flows’, Global Media and Communications 6:309.

Okome, O (2007), ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, Postcolonial Text Vol 3 No 2, pg1-21.

Sukhmani Khorana, 2014, ‘Global Film Beyond Hollywood’, lecture notes, BCM111, UOW, viewed 1 October 2014