ljlee: (Default)
Title: The Need to Be Seen
Author: [personal profile] ljlee
Rating: K
Words: 474
Genre: Gen, Drama
Characters: Tenzin, OC
Summary: Will Air Acolytes be content to remain so forever?
Notes: This arose out of [personal profile] amyraine's speculation about the place of non-benders in the preservation of Air Nomad culture. Edited and slightly expanded from a shorter version originally posted to [community profile] avatar_contest Prompt #67: Hunger.

The repairs are well underway... )
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Right on the heels of my long speculation about Air Nomad genocide and their future, and my promise to [livejournal.com profile] amyraine to write a fic about Air Acolytes' place in the culture, I've written a drabble on that very premise for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_contest's Week #67: Hunger. At 300 words it's obviously not a full treatment, but it's a start.

Edit: It won Week #67! Thanks [livejournal.com profile] lye_tea for the banner.


(The Need to be Seen)
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Part I: A Genocide in Four Easy Steps and As Many or More Decades

So I've been blowing my top over fun things like fictional genocide, and the Air Nomads were on my mind a lot. Together with arguments that Sozin might not necessarily have hated the Air Nomads, plus the evidence from the show, I've started speculating that the destruction of the Air Nomads wasn't industrial-strength massacres like the German Third Reich perpetuated. Maybe the process was more akin to the reduction of the American native peoples, a combination of very real atrocity and oppression with population issues, social and economic change, and loss of culture. It even culminated with little Airbenders growing up in Air Nomad Reservation Air Temple Island.

Why are your words so big, Grandma? The better to crush you with, dear. )
ljlee: (Default)
In Part 1 of this essay I have discussed the contours and contradictions of Air Nomad culture and how it influenced Aang and other air Nomad characters. Now I continue with a more in-depth discussion of their cultural values through Aang's story.

Returning was the just the beginning of Aang's journey for the meaning of freedom. Also, Star Wars! )
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Culture in Avatar: The Last Airbender Series:
1. What It Is to Be Free: Aang and the Spirituality of the Air Nomads
2. We Can Do This, Together: Community and Change in the Water Tribes
3. Stand Strong, Stand Proud: Earth Kingdom Resilience and Identity
4. Burn for My Belief: The Fire Nation and the Courage of Conviction
5. Subcultures and Conclusion

My account of Air Nomad culture is basically a story of one character, Aang. We know of others such as Monk Gyatso, Avatar Yang Chen, and other monks in flashback scenes from "The Storm," but as far as we know Aang is the last of the Air Nomads. His struggles to find the meaning of freedom and spirituality, while an individual story, is also about the culture he was raised in, its values, perspectives, and flaws. In a very real sense, his culture lives on through him.

In this essay I'll examine the idea of freedom. And Star Wars comes into it somehow. )


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L.J. Lee

June 2016

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