It’s been awhile since I indulged in the Harry Potter craze that actually started back for me ten years ago. The phenomenon for me and other had movies, books, games, candy, clothing , and even body washes that all somehow told the story of the boy wizard. While my childhood (and mid teens) , seeing how multimedia and transmedia worked on me is interesting to look back at now. Transmedia is having different media telling their own story and adding it to the big story. But what gets my attention today is how it even works in real life. Culture, dances, sayings, all these are in a way transmedia. The difference between multimedia and transmedia is that while multimedia associates itself with other medias to tell one general story, transmedia goes further and tells many stories to add the general story.
But what gets my attention today is how it even works in real life. Culture, dances, sayings, all these are in a way transmedia. I don’t really remember when or how I came across the documentary Paris is Burning. It could’ve been another documentary I saw The Queen, Madonna’s Vogue, or curiosity about gay house and ballroom culture. Either way its brought open a world that’s been active since the 1920’s into resurgence again. Like aforementioned these other medias through songs like Vogue or video clips illustrate the “story” of Black gay life.
Take the art of “reading” . In gay culture reading is in short making fun of someone’s flaws, one upping someone with a slick comment. In a clip from the 1991 film, Paris is Burning, drag queen Dorian Corey explains what reading and shade is .In Jenkins “Searching for the Origami Unicorn” he says that “A transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole.” In a rap song named Ima Read by Zebra Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx the rappers rap about their going to “read” someone . The mediums of song and documentary add to by telling two different stories in different ways that add to the culture as a whole.
The way the black gay ballroom culture survives today is really more than a cult following in a way. Some are introduced by friends, music, and sheer curiosity. Since the late eighties and early nineties ballroom culture has been more and more out and proud and still goes on today. One way it engages participants is vocabulary. Words like “cunt” , and “dust” have completely new meanings due to the newer generation.
The ballroom scene from the 1920’s until now has spawn hit songs, movies, and social movements. I think the use of different platforms solidifies it as a history first now then when it was just a way of life. There are stories to pass on and people to talk about and songs to sings and things to stand up for just because of the Black gay ballroom scene.
Dorian Corey explains reading and shade (top) and Zebra Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx in Ima Read