Amena Banu

Amena Banu

I'm a contributing writer for The Artifice. Writing is my passion and strength, and I believe in bridging interpersonal gaps through art.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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What are some of the attributes of male characters written by women?

With much said about how the male gaze affects female characters ("men writing women"), and with more media now being presented from the female perspective, what are some common threads among male characters written by women? Examples could come from various mediums, like Speckle from Tuca and Bertie (TV) and Khalid from Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (literature).

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    Does online toxicity in fandom prevent us from enjoying shows we otherwise love?

    We often hear "it’s a good show but the fandom is so toxic" in the context of various popular TV shows. Many of us have had personal experiences of "leaving" a fandom due to toxicity, an experience that can unwittingly impact our enjoyment of that show going forward. Discuss this phenomenon with any examples of your choosing. Some suggestions: Voltron: Legendary Defender, Rick and Morty.

    • I think one important factor is what part of the internet you find these toxic fandom members. The closest example I can think of is the subreddit for an anime I watch. I used to feel very alone there because everytime I expressed my opinion I was either mocked or downvoted (or both) which made me not want to offer my opinion at all. Then I discovered, through a poll, that it was because a majority of the active users of the sub were teenage boys ( whose opinions vastly different from mine, a grown woman's.) I've since found myself at home on a different online forum because the people there were closer to me in age, and while the experience did leave a sour taste in my mouth, it didn't make me leave the fandom entirely. My advice to anyone dealing with a toxic fandom would be to try looking for different sites. – brightasgold 2 months ago
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    • I reckon what is more important is ones own opinion about the show and that what anyone else says shouldn't matter. I have been watching anime for a very long time and have been part of such toxic fandoms, but I have never done anything toxic or tried to push my own opinions on to other people because of what they think is wrong. One example I can think of is Attack on Titan. Fans who read the manga think it is funny to spoil anime-watchers only fans and do it all the time without having a care in the world, as well as "fans" who complain about MAPPA's use of CGI and animation in Season 4 (which i didn't really see the problem with) are what make this fandom annoying and toxic but even so, it doesn't affect my love for the anime. I also think another example would be the My Hero Academia fandom where literally half of the fandom ship characters together (mind you, most of the characters are minors or grown ass men and women) while the other half of the fandom argue that My Hero Academia is the greatest anime of all time (*insert eye roll* I mean don't get me wrong, I actually like the anime) but it doesn't overall affect my love for the anime. I can understand why people would want to leave the fandoms but is there really any reason to stop loving the anime? – toria03 2 months ago
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    • Yes. I totally agree with this point of view. Quite recently I watched a Thai drama called 2gether. I loved the plot and the actors but the toxicity of the bl fandom, otherwise known as the boy's love genre, made me weary of engaging with it anymore. The toxic fans watch these dramas solely to fulfill their shipping agendas. They fetishize gay love and ship the actors in the lead roles to such a ludicrous extent that the boundaries between the actors and they characters they play are rendered invisible. The actors are also encouraged to do fan service which is nothing but a marketing of their relationship as will encourage the delusional fans to ship them even more. The Thai bl industry therefore is the main culprit and is responsible for generating these toxic fans. – Madhukari 2 months ago
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    Emerging critical analysis on contemporary arts by their target audience

    In recent times, it has become common for the people who are meant to consume media, or those who genuinely partake in the fandoms of such media, to scrutinize it and break it down — technically, thematically, and generally. For example, Transformers is a show aimed at 7-14 year olds, and it also has a strong outer demographic of 18 . The fandom is highly critical of the TV shows, video games, comics etc, and it has gotten to the point where things are broken down within 10 minutes of the media being released (or the episode being aired). Transformers is just one example; other examples may be found and used. This article could analyze this phenomenon, and perhaps look into why/how it came to be — an analysis of the analysis of the arts, so to speak.

    • This is an awesome topic and should be explored further! Targeting an audience while writing is crucial! You must know your audience to be able to produce the content and media that they will share and enjoy. – Morgan Muller 6 years ago
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    The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

    Analyze this Pride and Prejudice adaptation, which was the first YouTube series to win a primetime Emmy. What made it click? This article could also look at the accompanying book: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.

    • Could go from the angle that theatre shows, films etc. often 'update' the original to modern times (think Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet as just one example). YouTube is a very modern platform, perhaps this has something to do with the success of an updated version of a classic? – Camille Brouard 6 years ago
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    Humans of New York Spinoffs

    Compile a list of (and analyze) photo blogs that sprung up in the wake of HONY across the world, like Portraits of America, Humans of Rome, Humans of Amsterdam, etc.

    • This is interesting! One might also consider the appeal of Humans of New York and why these spinoffs have sprung up so much. – Nicole Williams 6 years ago
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    The use of animation to convey character traits

    Analyze how a character’s animation can be used to convey some of his/her traits. For example, in Up, Carl is drawn as boxy and square, which signifies his containment within his house and within his memories of Ellie.

    • Yes, Pixar and other kids movies do a great job of secretly symbolizing character traits in how they are represented. Not in this article but perhaps in another one this same idea could be explored in anime, times when certain symbolic colours are used and how the shrinking of eye size is usually an age indicator (thought not in someone like Brock from Pokemon's case). – Slaidey 6 years ago
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    • Fantastic idea, really interesting to think about :) if you're interested in a more 'academic' angle Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980) could be interesting to look into. They (and other CMTers) argue that how we think, our 'conceptual system', is very based on metaphorical thinking e.g. thinking about an ARGUMENT as a WAR ('your argument is indefensible', 'I will defend my opinions', 'I attacked his position on the topic'). Such conceptual thinking could tie in to why the use of animation is effective in transmitting ideas about character traits, because it could draw upon ways in which we already think (based on our experiences as bodily beings within a society/culture etc.) – Camille Brouard 6 years ago
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    The Many Faces of Gary Oldman

    With Child 44 slated to release next month. this article could look at the various roles Oldman has played throughout his career, and how he has been able to maintain diversity in his repertoire.

    • This topic would have to be split into examples of different genres he has acted in – Ryan Errington 7 years ago
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    Film as Escapism: a Historical Analysis

    Analyze how films have played an escapist role over the decades, and what factors of the respective times influence this phenomenon (such as economy).

    • A great film worth mentioning would be "The Purple Rose of Cairo." The movie itself is about escapism in film. – Cagney 7 years ago
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    • This is really interesting. Perhaps it would be beneficial to extend this to other art forms as well and maybe reflect on the idea of art in general as an escape? It can't only be limited to cinema - this title can be applied to literature, music, art too... Looking at how cinema treats the theme of escapist desires would also be interesting to study – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 7 years ago
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    • That would be a looong article. I suggest anyone who decide that they want to write about this to divide the topic into a series. Or go do a PhD on it at university. – Arlinka Larissa 6 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Amena Banu

    Fairy tales resonate in people’s minds even today. The Lunar Chronicles is a series based on action-adventure retellings of traditional tales.

    Great article!

    Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?
    Amena Banu

    Mulan is my favorite as well!

    Feminism and the Disney Princesses
    Amena Banu

    This was a nice, thorough article. I would have given an honorable mention to Merida as well (though she is a Disney-Pixar princess) for breaking gender norms even further.

    Enjoyable read!

    Feminism and the Disney Princesses
    Amena Banu

    Nice article. I love the funny image captions.

    Mouse-opoly: Is Disney Dominating the Entertainment Industry?
    Amena Banu

    I’m glad you wrote this article; I actually never heard of any of these. Great work!

    The Most Influential Musical Acts You Never Have Heard Of
    Amena Banu

    Lots of details here! Good work.

    The History Behind Disney Princesses
    Amena Banu

    Interesting and well-put together article!

    Autism In Modern Media
    Amena Banu

    This is just what I needed right now. Thanks for this wonderfully useful resource.

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