Från romantik till normkritik: Visuell kommunikation inom digitala fangemenskaper
Title: From Romance to Norm-Criticism. Visual Communication in Digital Fan Communities
Fans and fan communities play an important part in today’s participatory culture. A central aspect of fans engagement in fictional worlds are the fan made artworks, for example fan fiction, fan art or fan vids, inspired by the original story and shared within the community. The article examines fan art related to the fictional worlds of the Engelsfors trilogy (2011–2013) by Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (1997–2007). The analysis comprises two different motifs, both related to common repertoires for fan interpretation. “Shipping” is the term for fan’s engagement in a specific romantic relationship. In this article, I discuss the romance between Linnéa and Vanessa (the Engelsfors trilogy). The other motif, “racebending”, refers to artworks where fans change the race or ethnicity of one or more character. I analyse fan art were Hermione (Harry Potter) is depicted as black. Fans publish their artworks within the communities where the participants share knowledge, experiences, and emotions connected to the fictional world. My discussion focuses on how fan art functions as visual communication within these specific contexts. While fan fiction is usually described as adding to or transforming the fictional universe, fan art can also be said to highlight or underline specific aspects of the story or the reading experience by giving them visual representation.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to The Swedish Institute for Children's Books. However, authors are required to transfer copyrights associated with commercial use to the Publisher.