K-Pop for Climate Action?

February 16, 2023

Whatever works.

Technology Review:

K-pop fans in the US had made headlines in 2020 when they reserved tickets for one of Donald Trump’s rallies and then neglected to show up—leaving the president to face a nearly empty auditorium. During America’s civil unrest after Minnesota police killed George Floyd on camera, BTS donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter; its fandom, known as BTS Army, matched the donation in 24 hours. 

Fans have also foiled white supremacist attempts to spread hate speech on Twitter, hijacking the White Lives Matter hashtag with K-pop GIFs and memes. When the Dallas Police Department asked the public to submit videos of protesters through an app, fans bombarded it with clips of their idols; it was shortly taken offline for “technical difficulties.”  

And that’s just in the US. Around the world, K-poppers have organized acts of civil resistance, often campaigning against the creep of increasingly authoritarian regimes. Fandoms have learned how to quickly and effectively use their digital skills to advocate for social change and pursue political goals. 

Impakter:

Blackpink are YouTube’s largest musical group with over 83 million followers, and with internet-breaking sell-out tours, best-selling albums, luxury designer sponsors and fashion house collaborations, the foursome are now widely regarded as the biggest girl band in the world.

Minsuk Yang, chairman and CEO of Blackpink’s label, YG, says “Blackpink will continue to play its role as a trendsetting icon, not only in music, but also in beauty, fashion, and other industries.”

You’d think they would have their hands full being prominent members of the K-pop industry, known for its hardcore rules, discipline and high throughput approach to churning out stars. But despite their impressive world success as K-pop music artists, fashion icons, and beauty role models, they’re also using their global stardom and influence on the South Korean and wider global youth for good, in another important area their presence is prominent within, and that’s climate change. 

All four members of Blackpink are official UN SDG advocates, and have on several occasions addressed audiences at events such as the UN General Assembly in New York, COP26, and COP27

Kpop for Planet:

Ever wonder how K-pop fans can help protect the Earth? Have you noticed how our Earth is (literally) getting hotter than our bias? Kpop4planet has. We’re a platform created by K-pop fans concerned about the climate crisis. Since our launch in 2021, we’ve asked those in power — from the top e-commerce company in Indonesia to the biggest entertainment labels in South Korea — to take climate action. After all, there’s no K-pop on a dead planet. Join us today!

Euronews:

Nurul Sarifah is a 23-year-old K-pop fan from Indonesia. Along with two friends she set up Kpop4planet in March 2021. It’s a platform for people who enjoy K-pop and Korean culture to fight for climate justice together.

“I’ve been concerned with climate issues because I have experienced them,” she tells Euronews Green.

“I live in Jakarta and there’s so many coal plants around the area, it’s affecting locals by creating air pollution. We also experience floods every year and it’s becoming an annual thing that makes me realise how the climate crisis is really happening and how it’s affecting me and my family.”

Nurul wanted to combine “the power of the K-pop fans” with climate activism. And so Kpop4planet was born.

As 21-year-old Portuguese member Carla Alexandra Almeida da Costa puts it: “K-pop fans are amazing, we do amazing things. So why don’t we use our strength in order to save the world?”

What do K-pop fans think of becoming climate activists?

The movement has proved popular with the fandom. What started off as a voluntary role for Nurul has turned into her full-time job. Two others work for Kpop4planet full-time along with 20 volunteer ambassadors from nine countries. The group is funded by Action Speaks Louder, a charity registered in Australia who lobby to hold big companies accountable for their climate change promises.

One Response to “K-Pop for Climate Action?”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I love Blackpink, but I notice their COP26 rally video only got 13M views.


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