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MA candidate of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University researching Asian American relationships with film and new media.
Poster from online series House of Ho (HBO Max)

For more than a year, and especially in recent months, images of Asian Americans being harassed verbally and physically, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have become the forefront of national attention. These racially-motivated attacks have, on the record, affected at least 3,795 people as of writing this — and has culminated into our most recent tragedy in Atlanta last week.

Immediately after these events, media companies suddenly took to the internet to post that they supposedly stand with the Asian American community, such as the example below from HBO Max.


Source: UC Davis Memes for Egghead Teens; Ariana C

Background

The University of California, Davis closed down as a result of the poor air quality caused by the smoke coming from the Camp Fire, approximately 90 miles away. Due to the ever-changing conditions, the university closed the campus one day at a time which resulted in flurry of memes posted on the school’s meme Facebook page and sub-Reddit.

Before continuing, it should be acknowledged that the Camp Fire was an absolute tragedy resulting, at the moment of writing this article, in around 80 people losing their lives and over 700 people left unaccounted for. …


Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984, 20th Century Fox)

The marriage between film and propaganda have essentially been around since the commercialization and mass-viewership of film — from the British Pathe newsreels of World War I battlefields to the Soviet montage films of Eisenstein and Vertov to present day North Korean soap operas and the military recruitment commercials of the United States. Though there are other methods to display and distribute propaganda, such as print and radio, film is the most powerful medium for its ability to display life to a certain extent of realism that other mediums cannot achieve. A major backbone to films of the dystopian genre…

Jacob Lacuesta

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