Golam Rabbani

Golam Rabbani

Golam Rabbani is a Canadian-Bangladeshi researcher of culture and creativity. He teaches at Toronto Metropolitan University and holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies.

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Latest Articles

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Movies and Media as the Source of AI Phobia

While AI scientists and technology specialists are signalling AI’s ambiguous and unpredictable consequences, they constantly stress that we should not be anxious about AI. However, movies and media narratives sometimes promote AI phobia. The embedded messages of many films are how human flaws destroy civilizations through AI. But the collective focus of the audience may see AI as an entity causing massive anxiety and fear. We can discuss how AI is portrayed in films and media, especially now that AI tools like ChatGPT are causing interesting discussions worldwide.

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    Latest Comments

    Golam Rabbani

    After watching the Netflix series, I re-read the book. “Keeping reading humble” is something I need to reflect on. Thanks for this great piece.

    Poe's Horror: Reading "The Fall of The House of Usher"
    Golam Rabbani

    Reading this article is a great learning experience for me. The reflections in the comment sections are equally enlightening. I studied a few psychoanalytical approaches to trauma and resilience in Shakespearean plays, but knowing about their impact on KH in conscious and subconscious dimensions is unique.

    How Kingdom Hearts Handles Trauma and Resilience
    Golam Rabbani

    An essential piece of writing that is needed now.

    Loyal Citizens of Pyongyang in Seoul: Understanding Enemies of the Empire
    Golam Rabbani

    Erotic art is one of the core artistic forms of all major civilizations in human history. In the folk songs of Bengal, sexual engagement is celebrated as a flow of creative energy bonding two creative souls instead of two different sexes. Some paintings from the Hussain Shahi dynasty (1494-1538) of present Bangladesh represent the sexual act as a spiritual connection to nature. In those paintings the bodies are not painted as male or female with genital specifications rather they are shown as two human bodies submerged in natural landscapes while making love. The eco-centric folk songs are assumed to be the inspiration for these paintings.

    Japan: Art, Eroticism, and Religion
    Golam Rabbani

    The film in queer romantic drama genre Brokeback Mountain (2005) received significant backlash even when representations of same-sex relationships were well-accepted in mainstream media. The author, therefore, addresses a crucial point by depicting the dehumanization of non-cis-gendered characters in the media. Some mainstream media and online critics use harsher words for trans and non-binary artists. For example, when Sam Smith’s album Gloria (2023) was released, many found the artistic and self-expressive contents of Sam’s music videos offensive and sexually triggering. Surprisingly when the presumably cis-gender or heterosexual celebrities, for instance, Harry Styles, portray similar artistic expressions in music videos, he is glorified for being brave. This represents the embedded queer and trans-phobia in the mainstream media.

    The author is entirely on point about art and censorship. The artistic expression of sexuality and sex has been commonplace in many ancient civilizations, for example, the Kama-Sutra in South Asia. So, censorship of any kind on this art form can be problematic. However, policies and trigger warnings should be placed before presenting content to an audience. The audience should have full authority in deciding what they wish and wish not to watch.

    The Portrayal of Sex Scenes in Media
    Golam Rabbani

    Noam Chomsky’s notion of “manufacturing consent” is quite applicable when we ponder the broader implications of Instagram in our society. Instagram manufactures the consent of consumption and normalizes it among its global users. When Justin Bieber posted an exhibitionist image on this platform, many fans and influencers began normalizing exhibitionism. I acknowledge that it is arguable whether Bieber’s 2015 Instagram image can be coined as exhibitionist or not. However, many clout chasers on social media consider these acts as affirming consent for their exhibitionist behaviour. Bieber consciously or unconsciously manufactures them.

    While as an immigrant in North America, I see constant exhibitionism on Instagram; I also see another contrasting picture in the South Asian context of this social media platform. While South Asia is the birthplace and the place of growth for many progressive religions, this subcontinent also sees the recent rise of chauvinism mainly because women are surpassing men in almost every career path. I grew up in South Asia, and what I see now popular among many young male Insta-consumers are the religious narratives of hatred against women empowerment constructed by preachers in religious institutions. Many religious preachers on Instagram manufacture a movement of misogynists and incels and affirm narratives that legitimize consent of hating successful women. I have several examples of such narratives in my own native language, which are popular on Instagram. One can find many more with a simple Google search, “incels in South Asia.” And some of these religious preachers are celebrities in the subcontinent.

    It is evident that Instagram is unable or does not wish to regulate such exhibitionist or hateful narratives. The author hopes to break free from the illusion of fame and fortune these social media display. However, with such dangerous tactics of manufacturing consents in different dimensions, we can only hope social media improves for the betterment of millennials and Gen Z.

    The Mystery Behind the Influence of Instagram and The Popular Culture Industry