奈良 ♥ (pyrefly) wrote in tanzaku,
奈良 ♥
pyrefly
tanzaku

Integrating Tanabata with the Dark Agenda Challenge

So I've been thinking a lot about the Dark Agenda Challenge (see [community profile] dark_agenda for more details) and the various conversations around fandom in the past year about Race Fail and chromatic sources/characters. This post discusses some of the problematic things that have come up with writing fic for Asian sources specifically, which are issues that are likely to come up in our exchange as well.

Now, I don't particularly want to add additional requirements to our exchange, like, "Your fic has to have an accurate portrayal of the chromatic source and characters," as that could get problematic for many reasons. I also imagine that [community profile] dark_agenda will still be around and may issue another challenge for participants in Tanabata — which would probably be more effective, so that the people wanting to participate in the challenge can, but nobody will be forced to, and that way we avoid some of the problematic modly issues like determining what's an accurate-enough portrayal of a culture.

However, I have been thinking about what we can do resource-wise to help and encourage our participants to stay true to the culture of their source, and to celebrate East Asian culture in general, since one of Tanabata's goals is community-building. The most concrete idea I've had is to have weekly(ish) guest articles on various aspects of the cultures we represent, providing facts and resources and especially focusing on clarifying things and dispelling fact from fiction.

FOR EXAMPLE (and this may or may not be the best example), somebody might do a guest article on religion in Korea, and talk about such things as how wide-spread Christianity is there, and how Christianity (espec. the practices thereof) in Korea vary from Christianity elsewhere, etc. And maybe even talk about things such as whether a Korean person would use the phrase, "Oh my God." (Okay, maybe that's a bad example but I'm trying to think of ways to tie this in specifically with writing. Hopefully you get my drift.)

ANOTHER EXAMPLE — some articles might focus specifically on subjects and themes we know are prevalent in East Asian fandoms, such as school. Somebody might write an article about Japanese school culture, covering anywhere from what subjects an average high school student is likely to be studying, to how many hours a week the average student attends juku, to whether or not Japanese high schools really all have those rooftops where students gather and smoke and cut class and whatever. Anything related to that topic that might be interesting and/or useful to writers.

As for the organizational aspect, if we did go through with this, I'd probably create a mod position for this. The mod wouldn't be the only one writing articles, but they would be coordinating it, anywhere from finding writers, making sure all the various cultures are equally represented, setting a schedule, sending reminders, etc.

Let me know if you think this would be useful, or how we could modify this idea to make it more useful.
Tags: ! mod post, dark agenda challenge, new ideas
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