I Am ARMY, It’s Time to Begin
In 2019 we went on a journey to write about why we love BTS so much. We felt our story was unique – being older women in fandom – but were delighted to discover that there are so many others who are just like us. I Am ARMY, It’s Time to Begin is a book by an all ARMY publishing company, with stories by ARMY. It’s inspirational and heartbreaking, poignant and funny, but most importantly, it’s completely relatable.
As ARMY, it’s always unendingly interesting to hear how people discovered BTS and why they love them so much. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been an ARMY. “How did you discover BTS?” is always the first point of discussion. Followed closely by, “so, who is your bias?”
I Am ARMY, It’s Time to Begin is a collection of stories by ARMY about their journey towards – and with – BTS. It’s about pain and heartbreak, but it’s also about resilience and hope. Our story, in particular, examines the relationships we’ve formed, the journey we’ve been on since discovering BTS, as well as challenging our own perceptions of racism and prejudice. Furthermore, we explore being women in their 30’s who love a boyband, and the frustrating judgement we face because of it.
The identity of ARMY, the dynamic global fanbase of Korean music group BTS, is complex and nuanced. I Am ARMY locates, documents, and celebrates just some of the unique identities within the diverse fandom. A collection of autoethnographic essays, each chapter in this book contains an ARMY experience which transcends the personal entirely. As such they sit as part of a broader socio-political examination and critique of the world we live in today. I Am ARMY gives the reader a chance to immerse themselves in the world of an ARMY living an entirely different life, and the opportunity to understand just how socially constructed and influenced our lived-experiences truly are.
Co-editor Eaglehawk frames the socio-political stories in I Am ARMY as accounts of ‘practicing revolutionaries’ and introduces BTS as ‘participatory revolutionaries’. Drawing upon universal truths detailed throughout the book, Eaglehawk develops a set of components for what she calls the ‘Love Yourself, Speak Yourself Revolution’ which is currently underway.
Within this book, you will find the answers to questions such as: “why are fandoms devalued?”, “how can I learn to love myself?” and “how can I be a feminist and an ARMY?” Above all else, you will find a little piece of yourself written on the page; for each of us are ARMY, each of us are human. I Am ARMY serves as a reminder that despite how disconnected we may feel from the world, how disheartened or downtrodden, we are not alone; ARMY or not.
Published by Revolutionaries.
BTS by ARMY: 2020
Where we were compelled to tell our story in I Am ARMY: It’s Time to Begin, BTS by ARMY: 2020 was a different context. Instead of telling our story, the book was telling BTS’ story, through the lens of 2020, the year the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The book explores the lessons BTS taught us, how they grew as artists and musicians during a global crisis – and how they managed to inspire a generation.
Furthermore, where I Am ARMY, It’s Time to Begin was co-authored, BTS by ARMY: 2020 was a solo endeavour detailing Jungkook’s performance, words and music.
BTS by ARMY: 2020 shares the journey of Grammy-nominated BTS during the year 2020. From their chart-topping Map of the Soul: 7 to surviving the pandemic together and creating BE featuring Billboard Hot 100 #1s Dynamite and Life Goes On, every moment is compiled to provide an authentic and dynamic profile of the group, and each member throughout the year. A culmination of interviews, lyrical analysis, live performances, and more, these profiles show the journey of RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V and, Jung Kook from the unique perspective of some of those who walked with them every step of the way: ARMY.
Happy 8th birthday. This book was written by ten ARMY from around the world and published by an all-ARMY publishing company. Though we cannot speak with you directly, nor write a book that shares new stories or truths, what we can do is reflect who you showed yourselves to be in 2020 back to you.
While this book is firstly a gift to you, it is a gift to our fellow ARMY who wish to celebrate you on this day, and every other day for that matter. Further, we hope that anyone interested in learning more about who you are and connecting with you on a human level will find this book and find joy, solace, and understanding amongst these pages. We know and trust that the right people will find this book at the right time.
Thank you for all that you do, and all that you are. We know 2020 was a difficult year for you, but we appreciate you for including us in your journey as you always have done. Just as you have seen and heard us, we see you, we hear you, we love you, too.
Published by Revolutionaries.