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‘Gorgeous gorgeous girls lie awake at night mourning kafka’: How Franz Kafka inspired thousands of TikTok fancams

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The famous writer Franz Kafka, who died over a century ago, has inexplicably found an audience on TikTok, in the form of fancams.

Fancams have been a part of internet culture for decades, although they started out being referred to as “edits” on YouTube. Google Trends found that people were searching for fancams as early as 2004, but the trend really started to peak in 2020 — thanks, in part, to the rise in K-pop.

The modern fancam is made up of clips of a person or character set to a song, and usually including sparkly effects, filters and transitions. It’s essentially a visual ode or a video shrine to a person or character.

Anything and anyone can be made into a fancam, but it’s fascinating that a Czech author who died in 1924 is suddenly finding a resurgence in popularity thanks to TikTokers.

Why are TikTok creators obsessed with Franz Kafka?

The hashtag #kafka now has over 137 million views on TikTok, but it’s not the first site on social media to churn out Kafka-related content.

Memes of the protagonist in Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis have been around on Twitter for years. On Tumblr, users who posted existential entries from Kafka’s published journals would see hundreds of reblogs from other accounts.

Credit: <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:@shi-saa / Tumblr;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">@shi-saa / Tumblr</a>

So it makes sense that TikTok creators are the latest to jump on the bandwagon, with their bizarre fancams of the surrealist author.

The Metamorphosis is commonly taught in high school and college-level English classes and discusses many themes that younger generations — particularly Gen Z, in part thanks to the pandemic — naturally gravitate toward: repetitiveness of everyday life, loneliness, isolation and feeling misunderstood.

With fears swirling around a potential recession, The Metamorphosis is also a timely commentary on how jobs can be seen as a worker’s entire identity rather than an economic necessity. As Gen Z starts to enter the workforce, this message resonates with them — that however hard they work, if they get burnt out or can’t work any longer, they’ll be tossed aside.

It’s hard to pinpoint the reason why a certain meme or trend takes off, but in the case of Kafka fancams, and with all that’s happening to the members of Gen Z in the real world, it makes sense that they’d gravitate towards celebrating an author who, honestly, completely understood the uncertainty and frustration they’re currently feeling.

As one commenter put it, “gorgeous gorgeous girls lie awake at night mourning kafka.”

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The post ‘Gorgeous gorgeous girls lie awake at night mourning kafka’: How Franz Kafka inspired thousands of TikTok fancams appeared first on In The Know.

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