OTW Guest Post: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu

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Interviews by Fans
Title: OTW Guest Post: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu
Interviewer: Claudia Rebaza
Interviewee: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu
Date(s): March 2, 2018
Medium: online
External Links: "OTW Guest Post: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu". Archived from the original on 2018-03-09.
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OTW Guest Post: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu is a 2018 interview done as part of a series. See OTW Guest Post.

Some Topics Discussed

Some Excerpts

How did you first learn about fandom and fanworks?

Ioana: It was so long ago that I’m not even sure. I think I must’ve been a pre-teen, crushing on all things Addams Family related. At the same time, in school we were being encouraged to have penpals in Western European countries. You could pick a penpal based on their interests and many professed their fandom for one artist or another. Fanworks were a later discovery, linked to the era during which I discovered the Internet — so around the time I was 14-15. I found fanfic forums and realized that the universe of a book or movie is not strictly confined to the initial author’s creation.

Alex: When I was 19, me and a couple of my friends started doing small movies in our dorm room, drawing themes from Kung-Fu and Star Wars movies. One was picked up by the Star Wars community in Romania. They were all geared up, with good looking costumes and lightsabers, unlike our brooms we used to mock-fight with! That’s the first time I learned about fandom and I was quite impressed with their devotion.

What made each of you decide to take on the issue of copyright?

Alex: Growing up here in Romania, nobody I knew questioned the morality of piracy. So later on, when Hollywood’s marketing machine started blaming piracy for everything here too, I was quite wary about its actual impact. So I started reading about remix culture and became really interested in this whole weird concept of “owning” ideas.

Ioana: I hopped on board with Alex’s project because it echoed some of the post-structuralist critical theory I’d studied at uni — particularly the notion that the author is dead. Delving deeper into the history and current legislation of copyright, alongside Alex, I found out there were instruments truly designed to keep culture open and free–antidotes to copyright, if you will. It’s those (Creative Commons licenses, the notion of public domain) that made me stay on board.

What fandom things have inspired you the most?

Alex: I recently went to a gaming convention and I’ve got to say, some of those costumes look quite stunning. And most of them are hand-made from scratch. That’s remarkable.

Ioana: To this day, I am moved by good quality fanfic. I think it takes a lot of dedication — and bravery — to expose your work to a community of like-minded fans, whom you know will scour your work for any inconsistencies. But when fanfic works, it really hits home 🙂