Following ‘Judge it! A book by its cover‘ last October, I embraced another invitation to work with the Faculty of Communications, Arts & Media (FCAM) at the International University of Malaya-Wales. This time, my task was to review, reflect and feedback on an extensive collection of digital campaigns about various social issues, to shortlist a final four and favourite, to showcase on emergentthinkers.com.
Digital is a powerful tool, an effective conduit for social change. With so many issues faced across the globe, an effective campaign that can reach the masses, heighten awareness, or influence behaviour, can change or even save lives.
I can honestly say I learnt from, or felt inspired by, every piece examined. The collection of work deserved of extra praise given the uncertain context in which it was produced, with all the personal and practical challenges brought by ‘lockdown’.
In addition to creativity and originality, I assessed the pieces on how well my attention was held, the degree of impact and influence to motivate me to act or behave differently, or new insight gained.
My favourite: ‘Questioning the Receipts‘ by Danial Izzuddin
I found the use of an updating screen-shots design, the very core of this public comms message, to be a simple but effective way to communicate compromised privacy through the use of the shared ‘screenshot’. An issue I hadn’t given any consideration to before, I was immediately sold on how naively people may compromise themselves or misplace faith in others regarding their conversation privacy. I loved the rhythm of the rolling screenshot conversation with interview interludes, introducing a set of characters with whom you begin to develop a sense of familiarity. There was a logical flow and build of argument. The essence of this public advisory revealed in the ordinary detail, and in the ordinary detail, the truth revealed. I sensed a subtle, but carefully choreographed reveal of the ‘human’, how we come to terms with, or justify a position on everyday acts. As a public advisory, I believe this would inform a range of age groups, not just students. Making use of the text speak, that has so infected our lives, made this a contemporary, fit-for-context product.
What Danial had to say: “The inspiration for my video stemmed from personal observation within my own circle. The built-in screenshot function is a very effective tool, but it can surface ethical issues. Whatever you disclose via text can easily be distributed via a screenshot. I wanted people to be more conscious of the acts they make online in today’s communication culture”.
A close second: ‘My Story – Part 1 & 2’ by Aliff Aiman
I love a good story. This was achingly raw and inspiring. There was authentic artist expression, and an effective curation of music and media to evoke and emphasise various states of being. The personalised montages of paper and media spoke volumes. I felt so much compassion for the narrator’s story. She dares to be vulnerable, shedding layers of herself to share a crucial message. Emotional connection is brokered through a sensory retelling of a real-life journey. I believe this would be a compelling mental health awareness campaign; giving others strength and hope.
Aliff comments “I personally feel society is awakening towards subjects that were once taboo, but I still think some people have a hard time understanding or grasping the severity of mental health issues. I wanted to create an up-close and personal view of what it feels like to live with an unsound mind, help someone walk in the shoes of someone who falls victim to these issues or offer a glimpse into the suffering. I hope it will nurture more empathy and compassion for those struggling with their own minds”.
I have a joint-third.
‘In Search of The Peace of Mind’ website by Sarah Abdul Hadi
The website has a soothing, inviting, quiet, reflective tone. The stories documented share different experiences and reflections, but all speak intimately to the visitor. Short and concise and supported by compelling photography that adds a further dimension. I could imagine this space becoming very popular, a source of mindfulness and support. Shared stories that may encourage and strengthen man-kind. Sarah confirmed “I wanted to raise awareness about well-being and mental health, to explore struggles, and map journeys to healing. I hope this campaign allows people to reflect and express themselves. A place where people go to for hope and a sense of community”.
‘Nosophobia’ by Sadduni
Credit here for tackling a very controversial subject, HIV, uniquely. A story behind a story. A disturbing introduction which hooks attention and invites you to unravel the full story.
All of the products, in my view, are essential viewing for a student population, but I hope they are shared widely. I believe many different people will be reached, for different reasons, at different times.
Congratulations, and thank you to all the students submitting work. Thank you also to Dr Nisa Omar for setting the challenge, and for inviting me to contribute to an element of the assessment process.
Images supplied by the Faculty of Communication, Art & Media (FCAM), at the International University of Malaya-Wales. Permissions to publish have been granted.
Media curation within the student work complies with fair use for Teaching, Research and Study.