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Reblogged from locsgirl  493 notes

The Air Nomad Genocide

locsgirl:

ladywentworth:

locsgirl:

ladywentworth:

I’m not sure if this has been talked about on Tumblr before, but I want to talk a little about the Air Nomad genocide in A:TLA. According to the show, all of the airbenders, except for Avatar Aang, have been completely wiped out.

I know that the whole point of the show was that Aang was the last airbender and he needed to get back at the Fire Nation for the atrocious act, but was it really necessary? Why did Sozin feel the need to wipe out the least threatening nation of all the nations in Avatar-verse? From what we’ve gathered from the show, the Air Nomads were peaceful and didn’t even feel the need to have a formal military to defend themselves. Sozin wanted Roku’s successor as the Avatar dead, but there should not have been any further intent to hurt the Air Nomads and punish them for that. Sozin’s go-ahead on the massacre of the Air Nomads just seems like a weak and cowardly move on his part (not that it’s completely out of character). If Sozin used the Great Comet in order to send a message to the rest of the world and begin a war, he made the wrong decision to kill the least confrontational nation of them all. If anything, it would have made more sense that Sozin would have tried to advance further into the Earth Kingdom (I’m not sure if he did? Can anyone confirm/correct me?). What did the Air Nomads do or not do to have elicited such a response from Sozin that he decided it was best to kill them all?

Another thing that bothers me is that apparently every single Air Nomad has been wiped out according to the canon. I find this almost impossible to believe. Even if the Air Nomad population hadn’t been large, there should have been at least one survivor other than Aang. It should not have been beyond the realm of possibility that some Air Nomads managed to escape and find refuge in the Earth Kingdom. I’ve seen this idea used in fanfiction and I’m glad that at least part of the fandom has the same mindset I do, but why was it so necessary to have Air Nomads out of the canon? And wouldn’t the Earth Kingdom have made a move to help defend the Air Nomads? Would it really have been that impossible to give Aang a little hope by discovering that some Air Nomads managed to escape and remained in disguise somewhere in the Earth Kingdom? It’s also possible that not every Air Nomad was as peaceful and pacifist as we’ve been lead to believe. Avatar Yangchen is a perfect example—she didn’t hesitate to change her beliefs when she realized that they would get in the way of her duty as the Avatar. Wouldn’t the same have occurred if it meant survival for the hunted Air Nomads? Sure, they didn’t have a formal military, but that doesn’t negate that at least some of them had some airbending training in attack and defense. Did the flight instinct kick in with any of them? 

I know that the Air Nomad genocide was a key plot point in A:TLA, but now that I’m really considering it, it really seems like an unnecessary move for the story. 

I’ve been thinking about this so many times.

The ONLY explanation I can come up with for why Sozin had them wiped out is, although Aang learned he was the Avatar at the age of 12, no one else besides the other monks of the Southern Air Temple knew, so no one else in the world knew, and since Sozin, being the dick he was, didn’t know who the Avatar was, he decided to lash out at the whole population altogether.

Zhao (in one of the comics) said that  Air Nomad cultural artifacts were used to lure surviving Air Nomads, and it was an Air Nomad who turned on his people and had the Fire Nation attack them (the same monk was later executed).  There was also an Air Nomad girl who survived, and she lived in a forest and would fight whenever she could.

Monk Gyatso took out a room full of Fire Nation soldiers before he died, which confirms that airbenders knew some deadly attacks, and coincides with the fandom headcanon that the real reason Sozin had the Air Nomads wiped out was because they were really the most dangerous.

Although I’m still of the personal belief that some Air Nomads did in fact survive all that, and that there’s a secret society of them living somewhere, like the Sun Warriors.

I like all of this—and it makes a lot of sense! I never considered the fact that because the Air Nomads were the least threatening, they were possibly the biggest threat to the Fire Nation. If anyone was half the bender Monk Gyatso was, it’s possible that the Air Nomads could have been a force to be reckoned with if they had a formal military. Aang is a pretty darn good airbender during the events of A:TLA and his training wasn’t even finished yet. I’m glad that in the comics (which, unfortunately, I have not read yet) there were some survivors.

I like your explanation about why Sozin did it. It fits his character, and it explains why it meant that every Air Nomad had to go. It’s devastating to think that an entire nation of people were wiped out because of the greed and thirst for power of one person. What if most of them died defending the identity of the Avatar? :(

I’ve thought of Monk Gyatso and the others dying to protect Aang’s identity, and since Aang ran away and they didn’t know where he’d gone, that probably ticked off Sozin even more. =(

Guru Pathik, being 150 years of age when Aang met him, was around back then.  I like to think he helped some Air Nomads escape and stay hidden.

I still think Ty Lee is an Air Nomad descendent hiding in plain sight. She has the grey eyes, brown hair, effervescent personality, and amazing acrobatic skills. Her parents also had a lot of kids. There are probably more left than Aang thinks; many just don’t know their own family history.

Reblogged from ikkinthekitsune  276 notes

*furiously stans for Ursa* (The Search spoilers)

ikkinthekitsune:

So, I had a chance to see The Search Part 3 for myself, and I’ve gotta say… the fandom’s hatred for Ursa is so predictable, yet so inappropriate.

I mean, everyone’s been complaining how all the mother figures are either blandly idealized or dead, right? Now that we’ve finally gotten one who isn’t, everyone should be happy, right?

... Read more

Diaspora, Immigration and Identity in “Avatar: the Last Airbender”

irresistible-revolution:

(aka another reason this show is my fave and you should all watch it)

cw: genocide

image

This post has been marinating for a while now. As a diasporic WOC there are certain themes in AtLA that resonate very strongly with me, and it’s led me to consider how the story and its characters affirm immigrant/diasporic experiences, the inevitable upheavals of imperialism and the kinds of resilience and strength it takes to survive that. So I’m gonna talk about the diasporic/ immigrant narrative thread I find in each character and the Four Nations at large. 

Read More

Fantastic essay describing the diasporic experience and the nuances of A:TLA

Reblogged from adamwarrock  171 notes

    adamwarrock:

    Adam WarRock “Crown Prince”

    Off of the Avatar: The Last Airbender-themed EP Sozin’s Comet, now available for download here

    Tracklist: 
    1. The Last Airbender
    2. Omashu (Two Lovers)
    3. Sokka Style
    4. Blindness
    5. Crown Prince
    6. Sozin’s Comet
    7. Yip Yip 

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    I was talking with my friend Amy the other day about Avatar: The Last Airbender, and she basically put it perfectly. She said, and I’m paraphrasing: “To me, Avatar is more rewarding, emotionally satisfying, and incredible than any book I’ve ever read.” Preach.

    I finally watched all of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the wondrous Nickelodeon American animated series in one monstrous binge watch. It was the kind of experience where I thought I could contain myself, I thought I could stretch it out and savor it. Where I went to bed around midnight and said “Oh, I’ll just watch like, an episode before I go to sleep” and TWO nights in a row I passed out around 4:30 AM (seriously) before I realized that I had an attachment to this show’s characters, universe, and lore moreso than any series in as long as I could remember. Maybe…ever?

    I made this mixtape EP, yes, because this show is the dopeness. And yes, because, that’s kinda what I do around here. But if I can impart anything to you, gentle reader, who maybe hasn’t given Avatar a chance, or doesn’t think they’d enjoy it: go watch it. Get through the slower Season 1 (which is still great, but there’s a lot of world building and character development. It’s a lot more of a “kid’s show” in that season). Get to the season finale, and I think you’ll find yourself plowing through it. It ramps up so fast, so amazingly that by the time I got to Day of the Dark Sun, there was a moment where I said aloud to no one around me: “Oh my god, SO MUCH IS HAPPENING,” and I realized that I understood EVERYTHING that was going on – the histories of the characters and how they related to each other, the fighting styles and the world around them. The show didn’t have to explain anything. It just WENT. And by the end of the show, I was a sobbing, joyous, jubilant mess. I still am. Don’t talk to me about Iroh and Zuko. I can’t handle it. I’ve started crying at lunch trying to even talk about it.

    I can’t stop talking about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve become one of THOSE people. And y’know what? I don’t care. I’m happy to be one of those people. This is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my geekery, and I pity the people who are too hung up on cartoons, “kids’ stuff,” or just whatever to never give something like this a chance.

    You hear me, people? Go watch Avatar. I have my eye on you…

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    Oh yeah, and I’m caught up with Korra too. Yip yip, son….

    loving this original EP from Adam Warrock!

    hernamewaswritinwater asked
    I heard someone argue that white people doing martial arts is cultural appropriation. White people doing kung fu in movies and the whitewashing of martial arts in hollywood can be very offensive, but I don't see anything wrong for a white girl to learn a martial art for her own use if she is respectful. So my question is- is a white person learning a culturally specific activity (a dance, a martial art, music, etc) a form of cultural appropriation?

    Answer:

    I think it’s important to note that when we talk about “culture” we are not necessarily talking about race or ethnicity.   Culture comes in many forms!   (Just think about how people in cosplay culture are reacting to the new Heroes of Cosplay television series.   Or how some geeks feel about this certain popular sitcom about geeks, created by people who aren’t geeks…)

    Martial arts are a form of culture but that does not mean they are necessarily exclusive to any race or creed.  Nowadays, most schools of martial arts welcome anyone who is willing to learn.   Generally there is an expectation that you will take the art seriously and respectfully. 

    An excellent example of this comes from the background of the Avatar: The Last Airbender series.   The creators knew they wanted to incorporate Asian cultures into the series…and they really could have gone about doing this in a number of ways.  Bryan Konietzko writes on his tumblr: ”Rather than merely copying moves from movies, Mike and I wanted to tap into the martial arts for the show on a deeper level, so we knew we would need an expert.

    After Bryan had been in my class for some time, he mentioned to me that he was an animator. My reply was in the realm of “that’s nice”. I was teaching in my backyard to only a few students after closing my second storefront school in ten years of teaching. I tend to avoid most new students and leave them to my assistants until they have internalized the basics. Los Angeles is home of the waiter / actor, so when some chatty student starts in with a “Hollywood moment” my loss of interest quickly follows.

    Most people have a lot to say about wanting to learn the martial arts, but are very short on actually practicing it. I am big on the practice of gung fu and short on just standing around talking about it. Bryan was the type of student who practiced. He caught my eye and I began to teach him some of the closed door techniques (in traditional martial arts we have public students and close students or CLOSED DOOR). 

    Later again he mentioned to me he was involved in a TV production of some sort and asked if I would possibly be interested in working on a show he was developing. I had worked in Hollywood for years as an actor, stuntman, and production flunkie and left it behind never to look back.

    I liked Bryan because of his dedication and told him I’d be interested to see storyboards of the action sequences. I was blown away when I finally saw them. The characters were Aang and Zuko engaged in a fight for the pencil test. The framing of the action is what caught my attention. I am a big fan of martial arts movies and I have worked as a second unit action director on many films, so I know what I’d like to see in a gung fu film and I said to myself “this kid gets it!” 

    I said yes.

    - Sifu Kisu in an interview with Avatar Spirit.net

    Rather than simply appropriating from martial arts culture, the creators of the series respectfully engaged with people from that culture,  diligently built trust and experience with the culture—and in this case, Konietzko fully immersed himself in and became a part of that culture.  

    The first example I can think of, regarding cultural appropriation of martial arts, is of a cheesy dojo I overheard some of my friends poking fun at.  According to them, this place has totally commercialized martial arts.  Anyone can buy a belt, none of the instruction is done in the original language (instead taught in English using corny, orientalizing names), the decor looks straight out of stereotypical Hollywood, etc.  So you can see there’s a big difference between these two examples and the approach as outsiders to a culture.

    Another example that I’ve been thinking about lately is the practice of Yoga in the United States.   This is an interesting editorial about cultural appropriation and yoga.  

    While many people appear uncomfortable when it comes to talking about cultural appropriation, yoga furnishes a textbook example; westerners lift something from another tradition, brand it as “exotic,” proceed to dilute and twist it to satisfy their own desires, and then call it their own. While claiming to honor the centuries of tradition involved, what they practice is so far from the actual yoga practiced by actual Hindus that it’s really just another form of trendy fitness, covered in New Age trappings. 

    In 2010, the Hindu American Foundation launched a “Take Yoga Back” campaign to address some of these issues, reaching out to educate people about the origins of yoga. Their campaign is designed not to tell people to stop practicing yoga, but to get people thinking about its roots.

    To answer your question, an individual’s approach to a culturally specific activity certainly can be culturally appropriative, but it doesn’t always have to be, because it is about your approach and engaging with different cultures and peoples in a respectful manner.

Reblogged from dongbufeng  1,729 notes
dongbufeng:

"Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift" — Gene Yang’s next Avatar comics triology — March 5, 2014

The new trilogy shifts its focus back to Aang and the building of Republic City — now well known to “Legend of Korra” watchers. Though it was too early in the process to talk specifics, Yang said he was looking forward to return to some of the core “Avatar” cast after spending time away in the Fire Nation for the currently running “The Search.” “That story felt like a story of the Fire Nation royal family. The core relationships are Zuko, his sister and his mom. Those are the relationships we wanted to explore all the way through, so how we thought about it was, “if these are the core relationships, how do the other characters reflect what’s going on there?” That’s why we only touch a little bit on things like Sokka and Katara’s relationship.”
In particular, the writer is aiming at a larger role for his favored cast member. “What happened to me is that as I watched the show, Zuko was my favorite character, but now that I’m writing it, it’s Toph. I mean, I liked Toph before, but now I love Toph,” he said. “We’re trying to keep the focus on the characters. We want to talk about the world in relation to the characters, so what we learn about the world will always be filtered through their eyes. Aang and Toph will be the center of this one. I missed having Toph in ‘The Search!’”
Wherever the titular rift forms amongst the comic’s cast, Yang promises plenty of story movement, and is looking forward to moving the overall plot forward in a way that’s slightly more substantial than the average TV episode. “I don’t know if there’s a one-to-one correspondence. A trilogy covers a little bit more than an episode, and each issue covers a little bit more than a segment of the show. It’s kind of its own thing.”
Finally, while the “Avatar” comics have operated as trilogies since their start, fans shouldn’t necessarily look at “The Rift” as a finale for the series’ comic incarnation. “I think it will just continue,” Yang said. “What Mike and Bryan wanted to do with the comic was show that the characters still had a life after that last episode, and we’re going to keep going on that idea.”

dongbufeng:

"Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift" — Gene Yang’s next Avatar comics triology — March 5, 2014

The new trilogy shifts its focus back to Aang and the building of Republic City — now well known to “Legend of Korra” watchers. Though it was too early in the process to talk specifics, Yang said he was looking forward to return to some of the core “Avatar” cast after spending time away in the Fire Nation for the currently running “The Search.” “That story felt like a story of the Fire Nation royal family. The core relationships are Zuko, his sister and his mom. Those are the relationships we wanted to explore all the way through, so how we thought about it was, “if these are the core relationships, how do the other characters reflect what’s going on there?” That’s why we only touch a little bit on things like Sokka and Katara’s relationship.”

In particular, the writer is aiming at a larger role for his favored cast member. “What happened to me is that as I watched the show, Zuko was my favorite character, but now that I’m writing it, it’s Toph. I mean, I liked Toph before, but now I love Toph,” he said. “We’re trying to keep the focus on the characters. We want to talk about the world in relation to the characters, so what we learn about the world will always be filtered through their eyes. Aang and Toph will be the center of this one. I missed having Toph in ‘The Search!’”

Wherever the titular rift forms amongst the comic’s cast, Yang promises plenty of story movement, and is looking forward to moving the overall plot forward in a way that’s slightly more substantial than the average TV episode. “I don’t know if there’s a one-to-one correspondence. A trilogy covers a little bit more than an episode, and each issue covers a little bit more than a segment of the show. It’s kind of its own thing.”

Finally, while the “Avatar” comics have operated as trilogies since their start, fans shouldn’t necessarily look at “The Rift” as a finale for the series’ comic incarnation. “I think it will just continue,” Yang said. “What Mike and Bryan wanted to do with the comic was show that the characters still had a life after that last episode, and we’re going to keep going on that idea.”

Reblogged from mudron  167 notes
mudron:

It wasn’t until reading the second issue of The Search that I remembered that the 2x3-foot map of the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe that I drew last year is still available here as a 300 dpi, unflattened, print-quality Photoshop file.

Mudron has uploaded a giant map of the Avatar universe to Google Drive so you can download it, look at all the detail, and print your own!

mudron:

It wasn’t until reading the second issue of The Search that I remembered that the 2x3-foot map of the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe that I drew last year is still available here as a 300 dpi, unflattened, print-quality Photoshop file.

Mudron has uploaded a giant map of the Avatar universe to Google Drive so you can download it, look at all the detail, and print your own!

Racebending.com will be holding our third San Diego ComicCon panel on Sunday, July 21st at 1:30pm in Room 23ABC!   

Shattering Convention in Comic Book Storytelling
Moderated by Racebending.com, this panel of comic book authors discuss their experiences writing diverse and innovative work for big franchises, indie, small press, and web comics.Brandon Thomas(Miranda Mercury),Gene Yang(Avatar: The Last Airbender), Christina Strain (Runaways) andGail Simone(The Movement) will discuss diversity without stereotyping, creating compelling heroes and villains, and reader advocacy.
Sunday July 21, 2013 1:30pm - 2:30pmRoom 23ABC

Hope to see you there!

Racebending.com will be holding our third San Diego ComicCon panel on Sunday, July 21st at 1:30pm in Room 23ABC!   

Shattering Convention in Comic Book Storytelling

Moderated by Racebending.com, this panel of comic book authors discuss their experiences writing diverse and innovative work for big franchises, indie, small press, and web comics.Brandon Thomas(Miranda Mercury),Gene Yang(Avatar: The Last Airbender), Christina Strain (Runaways) andGail Simone(The Movement) will discuss diversity without stereotyping, creating compelling heroes and villains, and reader advocacy.
Sunday July 21, 2013 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Room 23ABC
Hope to see you there!