#Plan for the final project

This week’s blog post is about the plan that I want to create at the end of this semester. As I have noted before, I am going to focus on depression caused by Covid-19. This blog has 3 main contents.

The Outline

The project is about giving my voice to someone who is struggling to overcome depression caused by Covid-19.

The style of program:

video poem which includes aside style

The intended audience:

– someone who is struggling with depression, losing who you are, and others having any mental health issues.

– someone who had experienced any mental illness before

– everyone who meets this program

List of the main characters:

– anything that relates to circumstances

– both natural and artificial components such as sky, sea, highway, train…

– myself as the director

The Treatment

The Theme:

The topic is facing how you are feeling and then ready for the next. As it is mentioned above, the theme that I would like to work on is depression caused by Covid-19. Even though most people know what depression means, how many of them really understand how depression is? It has been a serious problem in the world but it is said the pandemic has accelerated the number of those people. In addition, I am also the one who had (have) experienced depression before so it is possible to imagine how depression is hard to control, how they may feel, and what they need to do. I am not going to emphasise I have (had) some mental challenges in this project. What I would like to highlight is the importance of understanding depression.

The main story

In the poem part, the video is going to be about how our current lifestyle looks. This means to show the audience how covid-19 has given many restrictions to our lives so subjects can be people who are wearing masks, social distance policy, and other related information. Also, the video includes some things that have not changed because of the pandemic such as nature. Shooting where we live in nature can provide the message that we still have places to heal ourselves.

With those videos, I am going to put my messages in poetic style. My messages are not only encouraging to overcome depression but also accepting what they feel/think. This accepting message is one of the most important components, which I have learned from my own experiences.

In an aside part, I am going to talk about why I have chosen this topic and how I have felt during creating. This part should be put in the end and this is for making sure the audience understands my motive. Depression and other similar issues are very sensitive and need to be handled appropriately so it is important to try to avoid any misunderstandings.

To sum up those plans, the story is going to show what the aspects of narrowed life are and how to escape those lives, and it can have a blurred beginning and ending.

The main characters

There are no specific people in this program. As it is mentioned in the outline, the captured subjects are going to be the materials that are related to covid-19 and both natural and artificial stuff. They will show the flow of how our life is spent, how we are stuck in the pandemic, and whether there is hope in this world. After the poem part, I am going to be the main character but it does not mean I act something. My role is like “director’s statement” but my voice is meant to show what I intend to say through the program.

The style

It is going to be a 3 – 5 min video poem + 1 – 2 min aside part. What I have to think about in terms of the style is how I shift to the aside part from the poem part. There are a couple of plans to combine the two parts so this part needs to be researched by other existing works. 

The Script

1. Start with nature view and then back to places where there are many people

2. From the crowded places, it turns to other areas that have not many subjects and shoots covid-19 information such as the

screen of laptop and TV

3. Capture anything that can imply isolation and how it (they) are

4. Back to nature view but it differs from the beginning view

5. Shift to aside part, show up myself, and then talk to the camera

#WeUsedTo – 1

From this week’s blog, I’d like to shift to the next topic, #WeUsedTo from My Helo.

#WeUsedTo is about putting my thoughts into words using “After the Pandemic…” and this first blog is talking about the script and one director that I want to follow to create my #WeUsedTo.

These are the first script:

After the pandemic, how are we able to spend our own lives like we used to before?

Now, we are under many limits and they are both physical and mental restriction.

How many years do we have to fight for invisible monsters?

Who knows what is the solution for that?

We have lost ourselves because of the Pandemic.

We did nothing wrong but we have no opportunities to feel, experience, and release.

We have to help the people who have lost who they are and have no vision and hope for the future.

Everyone needs to HELP to be alive because the time we are spending is never coming back again.

The script is not enough but it is the basis of what I want to say. So it is going to include other information to support my voice to be persuasive in two weeks. 

The director that I want to follow is Yukio Ninagawa who is a famous Japanese director.

Although I have talked about Ayumi Hamasaki as my hero before, he is also my hero. I like his framing style and poetic creation that enable the audience to see how the scenes are sad, isolated, and other emotions. So I am going to follow his style and use my own idea to produce my #WeUsedTo.

Do Governments still have an integral role in supporting the creative industries?

This blog is going to talk about how the government supports the creative industry, especially it is going to focus on South Korea and its soft power this time.Before going into the details, it is necessary to confirm what the definition of soft power is. According to Hwa, Andrew, & Daniel (2016), soft power is explained as ” even though the country does not have enough traditional armed forces or other methods of coercion, the country can persuade other countries if they have something that attracts others and good reputations”. From the next paragraph, it is going to focus on how the South Korean government thinks about K-pop culture and how the government makes the culture work for their own country.

K-pop and its benefits

South Korea is familiar with the South Korean wave and the wave is known as “it is best understood as occupying an important niche in this larger array of soft power policies” (Hwa, Andrew, & Daniel  2016). To demonstrate that explanation, they also mentioned that One press release in 2012 announced a concert “as part of diplomatic efforts to further spread Hallyu, the popularity of the K-pop culture”. This case is able to say that the South Korean government is involved in K-pop. This is only one example that the government mentions K-pop or South Korean culture where they talk about politics. However, Carin (2019) reported that South Korea is responsible for 2.8 % of the global cultural content market thanks to the global spread of South Korean drama and music. This report is able to see how much South Korean culture contributes to their own country in terms of economy. 

How does South Korean government treat K-pop?

As it was said that K-pop or South Korean culture has been popular and they have much responsibility for economic benefits, their cultural sources have an effective and powerful impact on their politics. While it is possible to say that South Korea’s success in establishing their entertainment in the world, they are still trying to make the culture grow. Ryoo & Jin (2018) reported that the South Korean government has decided to put much power into five entertainment genres which include K-pop. For example, they plan to construct a K-pop performance centre near Seoul. They also reported that the South Korean government planned to develop fashion and webtoon as new areas of the Korean Wave. For those kinds of revolutionary politics, Hwa, Andrew, & Daniel (2016) pointed out that the South Korean government has been trying to enrich its economical power by creating and supporting creative/cultural industries. 


As the term Korean Wave or K-pop has been famous all over the world, most people know what those cultures are and people enjoy their culture with each own life. This blog revealed how those cultures have influenced their government and how the government handles the culture for their own country. People might say those kinds of entertainment are not totally related to politics but if the culture has much power or impacts that can contribute to the country, the government tries to figure out how they can make their heritages useful to make their own country stand global relationships.


Carin, H 2019, ‘Digital content promotion in Japan and South Korea: Government strategies for an emerging economic sector’, Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, vol. 6, viewed 20 August 2021, <https://www-proquest-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/2300003116?pq-origsite=primo&accountid=15112>

Hwa, K K, Andrew, E K, & Daniel, C 2016, ‘Catching up to Hallyu? The Japanese and Chinese Response to South Korean Soft Power ‘, Korea Observer, vol. 47, viewed 20 August 2021, <https://uow.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/61UOW_INST/otb3u8/cdi_nrf_kci_oai_kci_go_kr_ARTI_458876>

Ryoo, W, & Jin, DY, 2018, ‘Cultural politics in the South Korean cultural industries: confrontations between state-developmentalism and neoliberalism’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 26, viewed 20 August 2021, <https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/10286632.2018.1429422>

What can Eurovision teach us about the spread of ideologies across borders?

This blog is going to tell about Eurovision that has a long history, and how Eurovision has spread ideologies across borders, which is the main theme. To mention that, it is also going to focus on their identity to see the effects of Eurovision in detail. This content has two different but also similar approaches to explore the answer for the theme. 

Eurovision and Identity

First, it is going to see how Eurovision is related to identity and how they make their audiences aware of that. Sandvoss (2008) described how their own identity started when they were young, and the fan of Eurovision is the one who made their own identity bigger. In addition, The fans of Eurovision are not only kids or adults, but their fans are also very wide, and they basically never gave up their fans once they became their fans. This point can be the strength of Eurovision and it works to make the audience recognise their own identity, which was also explained by Sandvoss. Regarding the contents of Eurovision, he also stated that Eurovision can make the audience feel fantasy and real life, and those two different rooms interact with each other. This featured characteristics because of making the audience fascinated and never bored them. For these reasons, it is possible to think that Eurovision can be the one where people can join with no hesitation no matter who they are. 

Eurovision and Ideology

Looking at Eurovision, on the other hand, at the aspects of ideologies, Baker (2016) introduced Eurovision as the events that encouraged LGBT people and Eurovision has welcomed people to express who they are. It may be possible to say those facts were the reasons for spreading the way of ideologies for the people who watch the show and also across borders through one TV program, Eurovision. To demonstrate that, Baker (2016) explained Eurovision is recognised as the nexus of international cultural politics, fans and other viewers, ideologies of national and ‘European’ belonging, and other things. So it can say Eurovision is not only for the fans to enjoy but also spreading awareness of ideologies both inside and outside of the country.  For the role of political ideologies, Baker mentioned how Eurovision worked the role of political ideologies. He noted Eurovision gave the place for the people who show, express and tell the cultural things of their background when they hold international events to spread the various cultural and political traditions. This fact can support why Eurovision succeeded to handle ideologies even though it has a potentially negative image by many people. Also, what one TV program involved in politics or international relationships is enough to say that Eurovision worked well in terms of its strategies  


What it has revealed by two points which are identified and ideologies is Eurovision has potential messages to make their audiences grow their own identity, which connects to the spread of ideologies across borders. As a result, their influences are not only for providing the place where people join but also affecting politics. 


Baker, C 2016, ‘The ‘gay Olympics’? The Eurovision Song Contest and the politics of LGBT/European belonging’, European Journal of International Relations, vol. 23, viewed 12 August 2021, <https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1177/1354066116633278>

Sandvoss, C 2008, ‘On the Couch with Europe: The Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcast Union and Belonging on the Old Continent’, Popular Communication,vol. 6, viewed 12 August 2021, <https://doi-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/10.1080/15405700802198238>

How and why do reality television formats cross borders?

This blog is going to focus on the features of reality TV programs to find the answer to “How and why do reality television formats cross borders?”. Also, it is going to focus on the relationships between watching reality TV programs and the media environment. Before going to the content, it is necessary to know the definition of reality TV. It is defined as “programs that film real people as they live out events in their lives, contrived or otherwise, as they occur” (Chung, S & Cho H 2014). These types of TV programs have been watched by many people all over the world, and this blog is going to introduce the reasons with two opinions.

The first reason is the feature of reality TV programs. Unlike other types of TV programs, reality TV programs have no scripts and the targeted characters are ordinary people, which was pointed out by Chung & Cho in 2014. In addition to this point, Reiss & Wilts (2009) mentioned that people who watch the reality TV show can imagine if they also can spend the life that is similar to life in the TV show because the audience feels a sense of closeness easily. Furthermore, Nikunen (2015) explained that there are other reasons for the audience to watch reality TV programs in the aspect of education or other things. He used one TV show that focused on the university environment, and he said it was easy to send the message of the programs to the audience because the TV was not fiction and had more persuasiveness as the audience could learn educational things automatically. This blog would like to say these facts can demonstrate why people watch reality TV programs globally.

This paragraph is going to explain another reason which is the relationship with the use of SNS. While it is possible to say people live with media and they always use SNS in this digital society, it is said that reality TV programs particularly make the audience use SNS. According to Chung & Cho (2014), the people who watch reality TV feel the people who are on the TV closely, and they want to share their favorite characters or episodes on SNS. Then they try to connect with other SNS users who have similar opinions to them. Reiss & Wilts, on the other hand, pointed out what kind of people like to watch reality television. They explained that “they value and enjoy getting even with others and also tend to say they value and enjoy competition” ( Reiss & Wilts 2009). So it can be judged that those kinds of people make communication activities on SNS more active.

To summarise those two main reasons, as the reason that reality TV programs are watched globally, it is possible to say that there are people who are easy to feel sympathy for, and they have technological tools that make them share their own opinions on the Internet. However, the convenience of using SNS can cause any troubles so it is important to think of the use of media and SNS.


Chung, S & Cho H 2014, ‘Parasocial relationship via reality TV and social media: its implications for celebrity endorsement’,  ACM Digital Library, viewed 7 August 2021, <https://dl-acm-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1145/2602299.2602306>

Nikunen, K 2015, ‘Media, passion and humanitarian reality television’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 19, viewed 7 August 2021, <https://doi-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/10.1177/1367549415609324>

Reiss, S & Wilts, J 2009, ‘Why People Watch Reality TV’, Media Psychology, no. 6, viewed 7 August 2021, <https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532785xmep0604_3>

#2 Updating #1

This week’s blog has 2 main contents which are updating my biography and research materials that are related to my works.

 After I published the first blog “My Hero – Ayumi Hamasaki, I have thought about what else I missed writing on it and I found some points to explain about myself. What I would like to add is another appearance on Instagram. What I mean by “another appearance” is using the creator name instead of my real name, Satomi. My creator name is Rui (榴唯) which means “be the only one and sparkling like a ruby” in Japanese. I chose this Kanji and put the meaning by myself and the reason why I am using the name is to be the person who I want to be in the future. So when I create lyrics or post photos on Instagram, I always use this name and I always have one theme “I was born by lyrics and I give birth to other lyrics as well” in my mind.

For the second part, the research materials that are related to my works, I would like to use one song, Moments from Ayumi Hamasaki.

Ayumi Hamasaki, Moments

This song was written by her and it has something like a blue mood or sadness with her lyrics, melody, and the music video. What I want to emphasise in this song is not only them but also her hidden messages behind lyrics. It is possible to analyse she used one Japanese proverb, Ka Cho Hu Ge Tsu (花鳥風月) whose meaning is the beauty of nature, and beauty of changes seasons in Japanese. She used four components and put her original meanings on each part. When I realised this strategic message, I was really surprised and moved by how she has a lot of vocabulary and talents. In addition to my personal thoughts about the song and her, I would like to reference one article that is about her to demonstrate there are many other people who have similar thoughts. The Japan Forum Newsletter (2002) introduced her as “Her songs speak of heartache, loneliness and despair, the importance of accepting and believing in ourselves just as we are, seeing failure in love as energy to go forward, and offering the encouragement that “I (ayu) am right here with you.”. These explanations show who Ayumi Hamasaki is and her works make me more influenced.


The Japan Forum Newsletter 2002, ‘浜崎あゆみ Hamasaki Ayumi—Source of strength for young people searching for a place of their own‘, The Japan Forum Newsletter, number 24, viewed 5 August 2021, <https://www.tjf.or.jp/newsletter/pdf_en/Nl24_JCN.pdf>

#1 My Hero- Ayumi Hamasaki

My hero is Ayumi Hamasaki who is a Japanese singer and she is mainly familiar with her lyrics and her fashion.

Ayumi Hamasaki from Instagram <https://www.instagram.com/p/CJNWZ67hcva/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link>

The reason why she is a hero to me is that I have been touched, encouraged, and fascinated due to her songs and the stories behind them. Also, I sometimes follow her style or learn from her because I like to write lyrics by myself. 

Although she has not revealed the style of her works and practice, I pick components that can be her messages to the audience from her songs, her published books as well as some TV programs that focus on herself. According to them, there are some facts that made her very famous in Japan, and they are her words that show up her songs and her fashionable styles. When she became popular among the audience, people said her lyrics always stayed by them and those lyrics were like what her fans wanted to say out loud. I personally strongly agree with this point because her songs and lyrics have so much power that can make people move even though her words are very simple. In addition to that, people like her lifestyle such as fashion, make-up, and her smile so she published some books that reveal her daily life to show who Ayumi Hamasaki is ( I am also her fan so of course I have her books).


It is possible to see how she has been a singer and what she feels, thinks, and works from those books. This is one example.

Ayumi Hamasaki photo book

She put a short message on the picture “I really disliked any flowers because they need people who give water and cannot live their own lives by themself”. I guess these kinds of styles can represent her thoughts and it is important to realise her message as her fans.

To me, her contribution and methods are “her voice, messages, and words”, and I like the way of her thinking and she is like a signal that lights my way up.  So if someone asks me what is your vision or creative style, I will answer “be honest to my heart and just express myself with my own words”.

If you can tell your message through paintings, then take the pen and draw it.

If you can tell your message through conversation, then make a phone call.

I can do neither and that’s why I chose MUSIC.

Ayumi Hamasaki

Lady Gaga & Born This Way Foundation

Audio-Visual Essay of Lady Gaga and Born This Way Foundation (https://youtu.be/JZEChInAY5Y)

Contextual Statement

The Audio-Visual Essay is about an American singer-songwriter, Lady Gaga, her representative song, Born This Way, and Born This Way Foundation. The content is basically focusing on her activism and her foundation to see what kinds of activities they are doing and what they are aiming for.

Before going to see the depth of the Born This Way Foundation, it needs to understand what Born This Way is. The song is known for supporting, adopting, and encouraging people who are in trouble with their own sexual identities. Lady Gaga had her intentions to create the song and that is  “loving who you are, being who you are,” being “generous” and “tolerant, accepting that others are ‘born this way,’” and avoiding being “judgmental.” (Click, Lee, & Holladay 2013). In addition to those kindness messages, there are some reasons that people follow Lady Gaga. Hernandez (2021) explains how she is good at utilising social media platforms to communicate with everyone, not only her fans but also other people who can see her social media. Moreover, Click, Lee, & Holladay (2013) introduced the actual voice from her fans and the voice said that Lady gaga never uses Twitter to only promote herself and she uses Twitter to build up communication so that her fans follow her. When I found these facts, I got why people believe her and why Lady Gaga has succeeded to communicate well. As the Audio-Visual Essay shows, the majority of people showed delight to her when she participated in events and gave speeches. I analyse this as she has never told lies to the audience and has been showing what she wants to tell. If people discover that her message is manipulated for her career, no one can believe her, her messages, and her songs. However, her enthusiastic fans never doubt her messages and they put her messages on their mind as Neary reported (2019).   

She has created her communication in that way, she established the Born This Way Foundation to make her wishes, beliefs, and passions come true. As BornThis Way Foundation (2021) demonstrates, they have been expanding their activities such as holding events, practicing programs, and conducting projects. They are all based on three of their missions and visions that also follow Lady Gaga’s thoughts. For the foundation, Lady Gaga left this message: What’s amazing about the Born This Way Foundation is, it’s also made by young people for young people (BornThis Way Foundation 2021). Through the use of media, the foundation reported that their work is always informed by people’s input and they reached out to our community to learn more about what the Born This Way Foundation means to people. Furthermore, the foundation has partnered with many community-based organisations,which enables people to be aware of the foundation.

What I would like to summarise about Lady Gaga and Born This Way Foundation is that they are using social media as effective tools to communicate with their fans, and their messages are sent by her behavior, songs, as well as activities that are on the Internet.

Reference for Task 2:

Ani 2019, ‘Lady Gaga’s mother reveals traumatic details of singer’s childhood’, GULF NEWS, 25 October, viewed 29 April 2021, <https://gulfnews.com/entertainment/music/lady-gagas-mother-reveals-traumatic-details-of-singers-childhood-1.67374175>

ASSUNÇÃO, M 2018, ’12 Times Lady Gaga Showed Love for the LGBTQ Community’, billboard, 20 September, viewed 1 May 2021, <https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/pride/8475993/lady-gaga-12-times-showed-love-for-lgbtq-community>

Aziz, A 2019, ‘The Power Of Purpose: How Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Is Creating A Kinder, Braver World’, Forbes, 25 April, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2019/04/25/the-power-of-purpose-how-lady-gagas-born-this-way-foundation-is-creating-a-kinder-braver-world/?sh=2df4e1175133>

BornThis Way Foundation 2021, Impact Report, BornThis Way Foundation, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FYyMD_sH_9XFIHVRcWuLnMM9w0L2Xj1N/view>

BornThis Way Foundation 2021, OUR WORK, BornThis Way Foundation, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://bornthisway.foundation/support-our-work/>

Fitzgerald, R 2021, ‘The Queer Politics of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way”, The Glitter and Gold Magazine, 21 March, viewed 29 April 2021, 


Hernandez, B A 2021, ‘How Lady Gaga Created a Web Marketing Spectacle for Born This Way’,Mashable, 25 May, viewed 1 May 2021, <https://mashable.com/2011/05/24/lady-gaga-case-study/>

Juliet, W 2014, ‘ “Same DNA, but Burn This Way”: Lady Gaga and the possibilities of Postessentialist Feminism’, JOURNAL OF POPULAR MUSIC STUDIES, vol. 26, viewed 29 April 2021, <https://escholarship.org/content/qt4gh8b61r/qt4gh8b61r.pdf>

Moreau, J 2021, ‘JoJo Siwa Comes Out as Gay After Viral ‘Born This Way’ TikTok’, VARIETY, 22 January, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/jojo-siwa-comes-out-gay-tiktok-1234890554/>

Neary, L 2019, ‘How ‘Born This Way’ Was Born: An LGBT Anthem’s Pedigree’,american Anthem, 30 January, viewed 1 May 2021, <https://www.npr.org/2019/01/30/687683804/lady-gaga-born-this-way-lgbt-american-anthem>

Powers, A 2011, ‘First Take: Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’, The Record MUSIC NEW FROM NPR, 18 May, viewed 1 May 2021, <https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2011/05/18/136429290/first-take-lady-gagas-born-this-way>

Reference for Task 3:

Aziz, A 2019, ‘The Power Of Purpose: How Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Is Creating A Kinder, Braver World’, Forbes, 25 April, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2019/04/25/the-power-of-purpose-how-lady-gagas-born-this-way-foundation-is-creating-a-kinder-braver-world/?sh=2df4e1175133>

Born This Way Foundation 2020, Born This Way Foundation: What We Do, online video, 24 July, Born This Way Foundation, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://youtu.be/9ZVtjjuNObM>

BornThis Way Foundation 2021, Impact Report, BornThis Way Foundation, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FYyMD_sH_9XFIHVRcWuLnMM9w0L2Xj1N/view>

BornThis Way Foundation 2021, OUR WORK, BornThis Way Foundation, viewed 2 May 2021, <https://bornthisway.foundation/support-our-work/>

Breaking Copyright – Music For Videos & Streams 2020, Copyright Free Chill Background Music – “Way Home” by Tokyo Music Walker, online video, 27 September, Breaking Copyright – Music For Videos & Streams, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://youtu.be/Q7HjxOAU5Kc>

Click, MA, Lee, H & Holladay, HW 2013, Making Monsters: Lady Gaga, Fan Identification, and Social Media, Popular Music and Society, 14 June, vol. 36, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03007766.2013.798546?scroll=top&needAccess=true>

Funny Pets Videos 2019, Lady Gaga message to JGBT on Oscars CNN, online video, 26 February, Funny Pets Videos, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://youtu.be/0AmeLKTqZMI>

Good Morning America 2019, Lady Gaga to LGBTQ community: ‘I would take a bullet for you’, online video, 29 June, Good Morning America, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://youtu.be/K7bNRm1z9gI>

Hernandez, B A 2021, ‘How Lady Gaga Created a Web Marketing Spectacle for Born This Way’,Mashable, 25 May, viewed 1 May 2021, <https://mashable.com/2011/05/24/lady-gaga-case-study/>

Lady Gaga 2021, Born This Way, viewed 3 June 2021, <https://twitter.com/ladygaga/status/1396651208329228291?s=20>

The Sight Of Suffering – How Would You Adopt Photographs?

Starving Child and Vulture/ Kevin Carter (time-100-influential-photos-kevin-carter-starving-child-vulture-87.jpg)

What do you think of this photograph of suffering?  Do you feel any emotions for the object that is the girl and the photographer? This is one of the photographs that made me think about its effects. In this blog, I am going to focus on how people engage photographs of suffering from the morals that photographers have and the reactions that spectators raise, which is my research question. To make this project the right way, I would like to use a case study which is about Kevin Carter who photographed that photo that is shown on the top.

Why This Is Important?

The aim of exploring this topic is to recognise the border that is blurred between the photographers’ intents and the audiences’ reaction. Although there are many scholars who have already mentioned it, there are many cases that are debated around the world, especially on the Internet.  In addition, there are not only debates and discussions, but also there are many serious problems such as the case of Kevin Carter. Hajrizi (2019) reported that despite he won the Pulitzer Prize for the photography Starving Child and Vulture, he committed suicide because he had depression that caused by the dilemma that he just photographed the facts such as the starving girl to report them to the world but he had done nothing to help them. When he took his own life, he left his messageI am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain” (100 photos time 2021). It is possible to assume that there are many people who are in similar troubles. I acknowledge that it is easy to give their own opinions, in particular, the subject is ethical things but it is necessary to consider the purposes of the photographer to not misunderstand their works. At the same time, it is required how to heal photographers of their  traumatic issues or regrets to reduce the number of suffering photographers like Kevin Carter. Otherwise, any creation that includes documentaries, movies, TV programs, and other things will disappear because it can be judged they just make nothing to learn from them.

Who Does It Matter To?

This project is going to focus on the three different types of audiences that are creators, the spectators, and the people who actually experience. Dealing with these kinds of sensitive topics is essential and necessary for those who study media and communications as well as professionals because they will have many opportunities to produce, release, create any kinds of topics for the audience with any creations. Even though they are not students studying the subject, it is meaningful and considerable for everyone to understand this theme to receive messages correctly. Also, the number of giving opinions can be from non-professional people so it is important to point out what is acceptable or can be breach ethics. On the other hand, for the people who actually are troubled and are used by creators as the subjects, they need to understand what creators would like to reveal and tell the audience. It must maintain their rights and people have to respect through experiencing their lives.

What Has Already Been Reported In The Literature?

About the photographs of suffering, Szorenyi (2009) summarised in her publication that those photographs must represent to learn the human cost of war, famine, and other issues in the world. She also wrote, “it can provide a means by which those who are privileged might be prompted to reflect on vulnerability, their own and others” (Szorenyi 2009). For the perception of the photographs of suffering, she mentioned that to read the frame in which it is presented is an essential process not only the photograph. Szorenyi (2009) stated it is necessary to consider the discursive contents not only the contents of the photograph. To summarise her publication, it is necessary to present photographs of suffering and reading their frames at the same time. On the other hand, Ow Yeong (2014) analysed the case of Kevin Carter’s case as the feelings that he felt were paid for the occupation that needs the ability of dispassionate composure in a miserable situation. Furthermore, he pointed out one dangerous point that is “the camera itself might inhibit empathy in a photographer by encouraging the prioritization of images above individuals” (Ow Yeong 2014). As for the impact of Kevin Carter’s death, Hajrizi (2019) stated that his photograph with a starving girl and his death served many people who have similar problems by making international humanitarian organizations aware of the problems globally. He concluded this impact as “Sometimes one life is sacrificed to save thousands of lives” (Hajrizi 2019).

How To Address This Research Question

To undertake the research question that is “how people engage photographs of suffering at the aspects of the morals that photographers have and the reactions that spectators raise”, it is possible to approach two different ways. The first way is reading academic publications to see what scholars mentioned and thought, which enables people to gain reliable facts as well as evidence. This approach is the essential method to prevent gaining wrong theories or facts. Also, this project can be beneficial so referring to academic sources and making any states reliable is the first step to report to the audience. At the same time, it is important to observe what the spectators say and react to photographs of suffering. So I am going to use SNS especially Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube as the method. Those platforms are for posting pictures/videos or giving opinions about that so it is remarkable to use their voices to find the answer to the research question.


Hajrizi, E 2019, ‘International Conference Journalism, Media and Communication’, Conference Book of Proceedings International Conference, no.8, viewed 18 March 2021, <http://conferences.ubt-uni.net/2019/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Book-of-Proceedings_MC_2019.pdf#page=42>

Szorenyi, A 2009, ‘Distanced suffering: photographed suffering and the construction of white in/vulnerability’, Social Semiotics, vol. 19, viewed 20 March 2021, <https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/10350330902815816>

Ow Yeong, WK 2014, ‘Our failure of empathy’: Kevin Carter, Susan Sontag, and the problems of photography’,Think Pieces: A Journal of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, viewed 18 March 2021, <https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1458035/1/Wai_Kit_Ow_Yeong_Our_Failure_of_Empathy.pdf>

time 100 photos  2021, Kevin Carter Starving Child and Vulture, time 100 photos, viewed 20 March 2021, <http://100photos.time.com/photos/kevin-carter-starving-child-vulture>

Reflection Report

Introduction for Autoethnography 

This project is based on the autoethnography that I have learned through this semester. Ellis, Adams, and Bochner (2011) defined autoethnography as an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. Also, they mentioned the autoethnographer can reach wider mass audiences by producing accessible texts, which can make personal and social change possible for more people. 

So what I aim for leaning/gaining the autoethnography is:

  • Putting myself in the right position and analyse the object
  • Informing what I have got to the others 

Introduction for DA 

This project is aiming for understanding what cosmetic surgery culture in South Korea is as well as how the culture is accepted by the audience. To gain the facts of its culture, the autoethnographic approach is conducted.

The DA has these main contents:

  • About what cosmetic surgery is 
    • Its definition, main types of cosmetic surgeries, the reasons why people who get cosmetic surgeries, which are referred by academic sources 
    • Connecting cosmetic surgery with South Korean by using both my personal experiences and public information that are on the Internet
  • One example for this project
    • My ID is Gangnam Beauty is used due to its contents
    • Personal reflections for the drama using collecting my own notes
  • Cosmetic Surgery in Japan
    • What Japanese think about cosmetic surgery. This information is based on academic sources and what I have heard from people actually.
    • One Japanese movie that is related to cosmetic surgery that can give an angle on how the Japanese think about cosmetic surgery.
  • My epiphanies
    • They are based on my experiences to reflect my experiences by watching the drama.
    • Some academic sources are used to support/highlight my epiphanies.

Methodology: Data collection 

To collect my feelings and thoughts about what I watch the drama, a data collection method is necessary. This approach is inspired by the Live-Tweeting activity that was conducted in the first four weeks at the tutorial time. 

The data collection is:

  • The summary of what I experience through the drama 
  • They are based on my personal thoughts

Once I collect my feelings and thoughts, I use those my reflection for analysing why I felt and thoughts and what facts/causes make me think so. 

What I have to pay attention to at this stage :

  • Not determining whether the culture is right or not
  • Not making my thoughts change and lying

Methodology: Prezi

Prezi is for presenting for my project. 

What the Prezi has:

  • Text – any information that is related to the project and they have notes to tell where the information comes from
  • Images – all of the attached images are for making the audience understand what the slides want to tell
  • Movie – the attached YouTube video is able to introduce the content   


There are three main conclusion points after conducting this project.

  1. For autoethnographic research
    • This is very useful and worth doing 
    • Being able to analyse with an objective eye
    • Possible to expand my own perspective
  2. For cosmetic surgery culture
    • Having both positive and negative opinions but no need to decide on one 
    • Different opinions to get cosmetic surgery with two countries South Korea and Japan
    • SNS can be the one cause 
  3. For my epiphanies
    • Being able to acknowledge the facts of what I feel/think
    • Academic sources demonstrate my personal reflection with evidences

What I would like to conclude as the summary of the whole project is the importance of acceptance of each other. I never deny cosmetic surgery, however, some potential reasons for cosmetic surgery are made by the people who judge others by their appearance. As I reported in my DA, sticking appearance can decrease self-esteem and SNS can give wrong information to the audience. If we have the perspective that everyone has a different identity and no one can involve them, the number of people who suffer will be decreased.


Reference for Image:

  • AESTHETICALLURE 2020,Needle vs. Cannula, image, AESTHETICALLURE, viewed 6 November 2020, <cannula-1160×700.jpg>
  • amazon prime video 2018, My ID is Gangnam Beauty, image, amazon prime video, viewed 8 November 2020, <71kqUU5QbqL._RI_.jpg>
  • Brandonk 2017, For Those Looking to Get Plastic Surgery… Know What You Are Getting Into and Don’t Trust the ‘Cosmetic Surgery’ Label, image, steemit, viewed 6 November 2020, <Screen-Shot-2017-04-26-at-12.43.51-PM.png>
  • Jeckson 2019, Plastic Surgery In South Korea: World’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Destination., image, The Wow Style, viewed 6 November 2020, <Plastic-Surgery-1.jpg>
  • Le delano 2016,I turn back to the mirror, staring at my own eyes as they reflect back to me, image, Le delano, viewed 8 November 2020, <girlmirrorlg.jpg>
  • PROMISES BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH 2020, Depression in High School, image, PROMISES BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH, viewed 8 November 2020, <depression-in-high-school.jpeg>
  • Shinjuku Plastic surjery Hospitals 2020,Facial aesthetics, image, Shinjuku Plastic surjery Hospitals, viewed 6 November 2020, <pro-g0.jpg>
  • Retailworks Inc 2020, Social Media Sized, image, Retailworks Inc, viewed 8 November 2020, <Social-Media-Sized.jpg>
  • We Xpacts Guide 2020, Beauty Enhancement: Brief Background to Plastic Surgery Industry of Japan, image, We Xpacts Guide, viewed 6 November 2020, <en_161_4.jpg>