Ok-pop is a world phenomenon. It is a multibillion juggernaut with a legion of devoted followers, among the world’s hottest bands and a seemingly unending manufacturing line of expertise.
So its hyperlink to combatting the local weather disaster is just not instantly clear.
Particularly if you issue within the business’s main output. Over 34.9 million bodily copies of Ok-pop albums had been bought within the first half of 2022 and collectible photocards are positioned in every album to encourage followers to eat extra and purchase a number of copies.
But Ok-pop followers are recognized for preventing for social justice causes. When #whitelivesmatter trended on Twitter following the homicide of George Floyd, Ok-pop stans flooded it with fancams to dam out the racist posts. And in June 2020 followers registered for 1000’s of tickets to a Donald Trump rally that they by no means supposed to make use of, resulting in swathes of empty seats and stopping his supporters from attending.
So maybe it was inevitable that they might quickly become involved in one of the vital vital social justice problems with our time: the local weather disaster.
Why do Ok-pop followers care in regards to the local weather disaster?
Nurul Zarifah is a 23-year-old Ok pop fan from Indonesia. Together with two associates she arrange Kpop4planet in March 2021. It is a platform for individuals who get pleasure from Ok-pop and Korean tradition to battle for local weather justice collectively.
“I have been involved with local weather points as a result of I’ve skilled them,” she tells Euronews Inexperienced.
“I reside in Jakarta and there is so many coal vegetation across the space, it is affecting locals by creating air air pollution. We additionally expertise floods yearly and it is turning into an annual factor that makes me understand how the local weather disaster is actually taking place and the way it’s affecting me and my household.”
Nurul wished to mix “the facility of the Ok-pop followers” with local weather activism. And like that kpop4planet was born.
As 21-year-old Portuguese member Carla Alexandra Almeida da Costa places it: “Ok-pop followers are wonderful, we do wonderful issues. So why do not we use our power so as to save the world?”
What do Ok-pop followers consider turning into local weather activists?
The motion has proved standard with the fandom. What began off as a voluntary function for Nurul has become her full-time job. Two others work for Kpop4planet full-time together with 20 volunteer ambassadors from 9 international locations. The group is funded by Motion Speaks Louder, a charity registered in Australia who foyer to carry massive corporations accountable for his or her local weather change guarantees.
Kpop4planet offers followers who’re involved in regards to the local weather disaster a platform to take motion and help one another.
Many younger individuals battle with eco anxiousness and really feel overwhelmed on the scale and penalties of the disaster. For Nurul, combining her two passions of Ok-pop and local weather activism retains her grounded and helps her to proceed the battle for local weather justice.
“Ok-pop is how we get by way of this insanity,” she laughs.
What does Kpop4planet do?
Nurul and her colleagues have channeled most of their vitality into six completely different local weather campaigns. Over 33,000 followers from 170 international locations have taken half in them.
Essentially the most profitable of those has been ‘No Ok-pop on a lifeless planet’. It known as for Ok-pop albums to go inexperienced by promoting digital fairly than bodily albums, minimizing the packaging and inspiring low carbon efficiency.
The tradition of shopping for bodily albums is robust for a lot of Ok-pop followers. It is a manner of displaying help for his or her favourite band and there is pleasure find a photocard of your ‘bias’ (a Ok-pop fan time period in your favourite member of a band) stashed inside. It is a tradition that may result in overconsumption as followers purchase a number of copies of 1 album to spice up their favourite band and accumulate as many photocards as they will.
Carla believes that their lobbying is having an impression on the business. She factors to the instance of the band Victon. For the discharge of their album Chronograph, they gave followers a selection between shopping for the standard bodily album or opting as an alternative to be despatched simply the photocard and obtain a digital copy of the album.
The ‘No Ok-pop on a lifeless planet’ marketing campaign additionally led to discussions between Kpop4planet, the Korean authorities and the leisure business about implementing extra sustainable practices.
“A few them like SM Leisure have joined the UN World Compact and there is additionally JYP, they’re becoming a member of the Korean Renewable 100 [a global initiative where businesses commit to running their operations 100 per cent from renewable energies]. They’re the primary Ok-pop firm to affix this one,” Nurul says.
“This exhibits that now corporations, even the federal government, are listening to the followers’ voices, not solely as a result of they’re the customers, but in addition as a result of we actually care about these industries.”
Other than focusing on the massive corporations, Kpop4planet has additionally tackled deforestation. Fan items are standard in Ok-pop tradition. Teams of Ok-pop followers will come collectively to purchase costly items for his or her idols. Kpop4planet began an initiative the place they encourage followers to plant or undertake bushes for his or her idols and fandoms to “present look after our forests”.
The group additionally attended the UN local weather talks COP27 in Egypt earlier this month the place they urged international leaders to take steps to remove deforestation and took half within the Korea Pavilion.
Their look adopted on from famous person lady band Blackpink attending COP26 final yr in Glasgow the place they known as on leaders to take pressing local weather motion.
What are the stereotypes about Ok-pop followers?
For Nurul and Carla this elevated recognition of Kpop4planet has the additional benefit of combatting the stereotypes of Ok-pop followers.
The fandom has been in comparison with a cult and is seen by some as obsessive and poisonous.
“I believe Kpop4planet is a manner for different individuals to take a look at us from a special perspective as a result of we aren’t loopy and fanatic youngsters. We additionally do stunning issues,” says Carla.
Nurul agrees: “One of many explanation why some followers will not be that assured to discuss local weather points is as a result of they’re petrified of the stereotyping that’s there about Ok-pop followers.
“We’re so glad that our platform is usually a secure house for Ok-pop followers which are on the lookout for associates to work on local weather motion collectively.”