presentation by Antónia Belcher
Wednesday, 17 june, 7 pm.
str. Brassai S. nr.5
There is an online subculture based on writing stories about characters in mainstream media. The creators have no copyright and can’t sell anything, so they developed a scene with peculiar ways of producing and circulating content, with its own genres, conventions, clichés and traditions. Fanfic doesn’t aspire to be Art; it’s a thing for creative play, humour, wish-fulfilment and self-projection, and also for facing one’s worst fears and processing traumas. It is also used to redefine norms about acceptable bodies, kinds of relationships and gender roles, and to offer better representation to anyone who can’t identify with the kind of stories and characters executive boards of mythology-creating corporations tend to approve for production.
Antónia Belcher is not a scholar of sociology, literature or media studies; she has just read a lot of these stories, and also the writings of fans reflecting on what they do. Thanks to fan culture, she had the opportunity to wonder about pre-WWII constructions of masculinity, the logistics of Tolkien’s dwarf mines, and of what kind of idyllic family roadtrip the events depicted in the new Mad Max movie could have been in a different universe. She has written a single story, combining the setup of the novel Perfume with the BBC serial Sherlock, but she will never put it on the internet.
The presentation about fanfic culture is part of the Cultural Hypothesis project developed by tranzit.ro/Cluj in 2014.