Your Project IDEAS

 

Hi everyone,

Please use the comment section of this blog post to add two project ideas for a semester long media project of a social issue that affects campus before class on monday. This way we can all see what everyone’s interests are to work towards creating groups around topics.   Also add one idea for connecting a media project to the larger college community.

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WITNESS – Human Rights Video

For class I chose to talk about a quick list of guidelines on how to capture protest videos. Some of the points included were:

1) Make sure your device is fully charged.

2) Only record the important stuff. You only have so much memory on your phone.

3) Try not to get bystanders faces in the film.

4) Hold the phone horizontal for a wider view.

And more. I chose this resource because I have never put that much thought into recording or taking pictures with my phone. Typically when using the device, its for spontaneous use and never meant to be fully planned, however, for protests, more thought and attention goes into production for many safety and legal reasons. It’s beyond beneficial that almost anyone can carry around a small, handheld device that has the power to record and take photos, and it’s great that this site provides people with the right guidelines so that they can use them efficiently.

Week 11: Barbie Liberation Movement

The Barbie Liberation Movement was an interesting, and eye-opening (more so ear-opening) way to challenge gender stereotypes within dolls. Since then, Mattel has made adjustments to Barbie by making slight changes from a nurse Barbie to a doctor Barbie to help challenge these stereotypes. I think changing the voices of the GI Joe dolls and Barbies definitely got people talking and caught them off guard. I think Mattel in general just shouldn’t make voice animated dolls because that can put certain implications on what someones voice should sound like. But I think it’s interesting how old this movement was. I think another large issue is the diversity of Barbies. Even in the video they only showed white children and white dolls. I wrote a research paper about how Barbie needed to make more racially inclusive dolls without perpetuating racial stereotypes. Dolls are present in the lives of many children and therefore it is important that they don’t get brainwashed into certain gender and racial stereotypes. I know now Barbie makes a wide variety of dolls including shorter dolls, and dolls with different body types in order to attract a wider range of consumers.

Week 9: Tongues Untied & Act Up

Tongues Untied was an interesting film that portrayed queer struggles, but also queer POC struggles. It was definitely produced with an artistic approach and meant to make the viewer think. I remember the first time watching it and not really understanding how to analyze the film, but now I think it offers a different perspective on the issue at hand. Regarding the ACT UP organization, there was a movie made about how the organization came about. The movie is called the Normal Heart. One of the main themes of the film was the focus on anger. One would typically associate anger with negative actions, however, in this film, anger was essential to getting the government to notice the injustices against the gay community, and that real people were dying at alarming rates. Viewing this emotion in a new light is essential for any form of social injustice because people will notice anger before they acknowledge sadness or any other emotion.

Week 7: The Medium is the Massage

In class, I believe I talked about page 16 titled, “your government.” I acknowledged the following quote:

“A new form of “politics” is emerging, and in ways we haven’t yet noticed. The living room has become a voting booth. Participation via television in Freedom Marches, in war, revolution, pollution, and other events is changing everything,” (McLuhan 16).

I found this quote interesting because I think it says a lot about how the public involves themselves in politics today. People watch the news on a daily basis yet don’t get out to vote, or will share their opinions online but won’t attend marches or protests or really any form of real physical resistance. Are people in it for the attention nowadays or only share their ideas for likes and favorites on social media platforms. Don’t get me wrong, the media has changed the way people do engage in politics and resistance, however there are other downsides as well. In some ways it can make protests “lazy”. I think now a days it is harder to find real social justice warriors in the world.

As stated before, I do think that the media and technology have also created a lot of good when it comes to protesting and politics. This quote from page 17 proves so:

“The shock of recognition! In an electric information environment, minority groups can no longer be contained– ignored. Too many people know too much about each other. Our new environment compels commitment and participation. We have become irrevocably involved with, and responsible for, each other,” (McLuhan 17).

This quote proves how media is also making sure more people have a voice and making sure certain instances shouldn’t be ignored. I do think that in some ways people are being more desensitized to things like police brutality and school shootings despite the physical evidence, but I also think it is forcing people to not ignore it as much.

Overall, I believe that media allows more good than harm when discussing politics and whatnot, but people just have to be aware of the downsides media can have and make sure their intentions are authentic and take better action if injustices are reported. Just because the public can see it, doesn’t mean it is going to get fixed. As a society we need to hold each other even MORE accountable.

Week 4: Adbusters Website

Although I was not in class during this screening, I have always found the Adbusters website to be quite interesting. In my Intro to Media Studies class at Pomona, we also discussed the Adbusters site. I think the website/company is beneficial and has an interesting message for people including the holiday in response to Black Friday where instead of buying a bunch of items, you buy nothing at all. One contradiction we discussed in class was the no brand shoes the company developed. They looked like converse yet didn’t have any real labels or tags to have the look of it being “brandless.” The shoes I believe were made out of recycled materials and were made locally, yet they still cost quite a hefty price and they were definitely made for profit. Money was also used to advertise the “brandless” shoe as well, so in a lot of ways the development of this product went against a lot of ideas that the company stood for. I question their intentions of the production of the shoe, and if there were any other ways to raise money or make the product not as problematic.

Blackspot Shoes

Teaching Youth Media

When reading Goodman’s Teaching Youth Media, i began thinking about Black Journal, but then researched to find other organizations that teach different forms of media to the youth. I came across this group called “Street-Level Youth Media.” This is their mission statement:

Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago’s urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change.

Street-Level’s programs build critical thinking skills in youth who have been historically neglected by policy-makers and mass media. Using video and audio production, digital arts, and the internet, Street-Level’s young people address community issues, access advanced communication technology, and gain inclusion in our information-based society.

http://www.street-level.org

 

Mapping Memories

Mapping Memories is a multimedia project led by Elizabeth Miller which focuses on bringing attention to the problems experienced by many different oppressed groups within society including; refugees, LGBTQ members and sexual assault victims. I personally found the one-on-one, interview-style manner in which many of the films in this project are filmed (similar to that employed when creating our microaggression videos) to be a very effective way of conveying the terrible experiences to which the subjects of the project had been exposed. I feel as thought this project is very important as it provides many refugees and migrants who had not previously been given a voice with a platform from which they can share their experiences.

The Iraq Campaign

The 1991 political remix film, titled The Iraq Campaign was created by Phil Patiris and inolves the transformation and convergence of network news footage, clips from Star Trek, and sports coverage to critique the media/industrial complex promoted by television at the time and the 1st Gulf War. The film managed to demonstrate how many television commercials promoted the first Gulf War, whilst also depicting the brutality of the war itself, something which was previously unseen on American television. I personally found this film quite shocking due to its graphic images and the way that it depicted the brutality of war without a filter.

The film itself can be viewed at the link below:

Barbie Liberation Operation

The Barbie Liberation Organization are a group of social activists who engaged in the swapping of voice boxes from talking GI Joes and Barbie dolls in 1993 to combat the gender stereotypes being forced upon children by their toys. This movement was known as the Barbie Liberation Operation and reportedly involved ‘surgery’ on over 500 dolls across America. The operation was picked up and made notorious by many major news networks such as the one shown in the video below. I personally think that this movement was great as it brought attention to the manner in which toys are manipulated by large corporations to perpetuate gender stereotypes. This is also a subject, which had not been addressed to any great detail at the time and therefore this movement was very progressive.

 

Occupy Wall Street

After reading Manuel Castells’ journal article and watching multiple videos in class on the Occupy Wall Street Movement I found the relationship between physical and online activism to be especially interesting. Personally I believe that there will always need to be some form of physical activism to back up whatever is going on in the online space. I watched this video, linked below, which pinpoints some of the weaknesses of online activism and it can lead to many people feeling as though they are contributing to a cause without actually becoming involved/doing anything to help to any real extent. It is an interesting topic which I would be curious to check out more in the future.