White Paper Project

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Academic Commentary
Title: White Paper Project (The Impact of a T-Shirt: BTS Meets Politics in a Digital World)
Commentator: 4oclock__bts, aflowercastle, agirlinthepark, bts_vmegu, doolsetbangtan, doyou_bangtan, ErinBrownWrites, hallyuhousewife, kaffeeundtae, Kelliente, kinotyka, Modooborahae, perreeyeah, realmyystik, rhdaodai, warm__honey, velvetfield_bts, whenkookie, Yoonchuus, writer_court
Date(s): November 28, 2018 (Version 1), December 6, 2018 (Version 2)
Medium: Google Drive PDF, Website
Fandom: BTS
External Links: whitepaperproject.com, @teamwhitepaper Twitter
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The White Paper Project is a 133-paged paper explaining the events of October 2018, where "an image of BTS member Jimin began to circulate. In the image taken from the group's 2018 YouTube Premium Burn the Stage, Jimin wore a T-shirt featuring an aerial photo of the mushroom cloud from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945."

Due to the shirt being "controversial it ignited debate about the propriety of the design, as well as the impact of an idol wearing it."

The project chronicles the controversy, along with a few others, and contextualizes historical nuances behind the events. It has seven sections with the most relevant to Fanlore being its Fandom Response section.

The creators said their goal for the project was to "show that there was more to the story than was being reported. We wanted to show that the skewed reporting by the media and perceptions by some members of the public erased Korean experiences of history. We wanted to show that the SWC's statement was problematic. We all wanted to do something."

On the White Paper Project website, translations in both English and Korean are available.

Messages from the Creators

20+ ARMYs from 5 continents spent days and nights over the past two weeks to write a 73-page, thoroughly researched and debated essay. We hope this will act as a compass as we nagivate our way forward. Sending my love and respect to all the team members![1]

@doolsetbangtan Nov 30, 2018

💫 Please find yourself an hour, make yourself a cup of tea, and do yourself a favour by reading this. All my love to the entire team, and especially to @doolsetbangtan, my moon and my rock. Everything I want to say is here so[2]

@doyou_bangtan Nov 30, 2018

This is, by far, THE most incredible project I have had the privilege of being involved in as an ARMY—as a digital citizen, period. I urge you to give this product of hours of research, many sleepless nights, and incredible passion and dedication a thoughtful read.

@doolsetbangtan @doyou_bangtan You guys are the smartest most wonderful bestest most crazily passionate friends ever and I love you for bringing this to fruition.

And everyone else, there are too many amazing contributors to @—you know exactly who you are—you're INCREDIBLE and it was an absolutely privilege to work with you![3]

@velvetfield_bts Nov 30, 2018

I'm so honored to be part of @teamwhitepaper. Working with this brilliant, talented, hilarious group of ARMYs from around the world has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I hope this paper provides clarity, light, and answers for everyone.[4]

@ErinBrownWrites Nov 30, 2018

Hi everyone😊A group of us 20+ ARMYs worked day and night from all over the world to write this thoroughly researched, beautiful paper. We would really appreciate it if you would take the time to read it💜 thank you![5]

Academic Reactions

Seok-Kyeong Hong, professor of communication at Seoul National University, introduced WPP at a Korean Association for the Study of Popular Music conference on December 8 and later shared her thoughts on Facebook. "This is a strong example of fan activism."[6] Professor Seok-Kyeong Hong's Facebook post linked

Chang-nam Kim, professor of media&communication at SungKongHoe University and founder/president of the Korean Music Awards, shared White Paper Project on Facebook. He highly evaluated the thoroughness of the paper and said he is impressed with BTS' fans.[7] Professor Chang-nam Kim's Facebook post linked

Fan Reactions

If you’re not here in Nov 2018. This is White Paper Project.

A group of ARMY took the risk make this (in) less than a month. Despite them being Koreans & discussing a very sensitive that can backfire them.

To protect the boys from being dragged. Who started by some Kpop stans.[8]

@TwentyFiveFor7 Feb 21, 2021

If you are a new army, or you simply never read this document please READ the whole thing. It's very important to understand context. I hope many learn to not just go by what you see on this app. There are a lot of lies, so make sure you always think critically and look for proof[9]

@liveinWassaland Feb 3, 2021