Welcome to Chapter 2—for BTS. For us. This is a chapter about change. Not just the change that happens to you, but the change you choose to make.
Two years ago, we published Issue 3. In our letter at that time, we talked about courage. The courage it took our creators to share their work, and the courage we took from them and from BTS to keep moving forward. The courage it takes to keep moving forward.
At that time, we asked ourselves what we were running TOWARD and WHY. We reminded ourselves that this journal was created as a space to house but one archive of the impact of BTS on living, breathing, unique human beings.
But we had not yet asked ourselves exactly what KIND of race we were running. A sprint? A 5k? A marathon? A steeplechase? Until we know how far we are going and what obstacles we may find on our path, we need to pace ourselves.
We have spent the last two years re-considering our long-term viability, re-evaluating our mission, and redefining our values. We do not have all the answers, but we thank BTS and ARMY for reminding us that it is not only important to revisit these fundamental questions, but to remember that we have the agency to answer them each time we ask.
We’d like to express our gratitude to and for BTS and ARMY as we endeavor to find our footing and navigate our way in this new chapter. We know that we’ll still stumble, on occasion, or be asked to redefine or reevaluate our path of exploration and discovery; however, we will continue moving forward and we will stay focused on our Vision of reaching a future in which the impact of BTS’s music, art, contributions to culture, and the ARMY community’s discourse are held in high regard and esteem.
For R3’s 4th issue, we invited our creators to submit their own pieces about re-definition. We received an Academic Article that investigates the nature of parasocial relationships and asks readers to see them in a new way, a personal story of an ARMY returning to Seoul to discover her roots, a reflection on how the lyrics of “everythingoes” helped an ARMY find comfort, a perspective of BTS as seen through complex equations, and an account of how BTS helped an ARMY redefine the word “fandom.” The story each creator tells is well worth sharing and contemplation. We hope you enjoy them!
‘Cause we’re still life, but we’re movin’!