At a time when the world around us has changed into a global village due to the extensive and constantly accelerating network running through the neural centres of all the continents, the famous faces of film stars, pop culture icons and political matadors of the global scene became our daily virtual neighbors. While the arrival of mass media communication was supposed to unfold the story of a more educated and informed society through the first newspapers, it soon became larded with advertising and the faces (and other body parts) of publicly known figures, or celebrities. Their interconnection with the commercial sector and the entertainment sphere now seems limitless – jewels on red carpets, designing perfumes, clothing lines and furniture represent but a tiny segment of a wide field of production of new capital and fame transforming into global trends followed primarily by younger generations of consumers.
However, with the arrival of the communication platforms of social media, our global village is also experiencing the new phenomenon of local celebrities that have not been created by the marketing forces of the entertainment industry but by the force of the ubiquity of everyday life online. Thus the new celebrities include teenagers who have perfectly mastered the strokes of the make-up brush, parade their gaming skills online or simply share their shopping lists and experiences from school breaks and weekend parties. While YouTubers are gaining millions of viewers, sponsorship offers are piling behind their backs…
When and why was the term ‘celebrity’ coined and how has it changed in the course of time? When did the era of adored Hollywood idols end, followed by YouTube celebrities born out of social media? Do we give our political votes to celebrities rather than opinion leaders and where would Andy Warhol be without the cult of celebrity?
The 50th Fresh Eye presents the following guests:
MARKÉTA ŠTECHOVÁ, media theorist (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague): Celebrities and Political Communication
MATYÁŠ FRYDRYCH, project manager (Get Boost): The New Era of Celebrities
ADÉLA VEDRALOVÁ, journalist (Glanc): Journalists and Celebrities