Integrated Project

My thesis question is ‘How is gender inequality still present in media?’ I am still thinking what kind of media I will be exploring, I am almost sure that I will be focusing with social media in my research question.

Gender inequality is not only present in media. It’s present everywhere. And with recent abortion law changed in Poland to worse I wanted to focus on that in this project. As a part of gender inequality. The government should not be able to control what women can and cannot do with their bodies. No one should be able to control that. Abortion should be legal and available to everyone.

However with this integrated project I want to be looking at feminist protest art as it relates to my research question and links well. I initially wanted to write my thesis about what has been going on in Poland with abortion laws and women’s rights. The laws were very strict with little exceptions before summer however just a few days ago on October 22nd of 2020 they were changed to worse, which is causing polish women to strike and use a red lighting bolt to symbol pro-choice.

Image from https://lwowecki.info/strajk-kobiet-jelenia-gora-boleslawiec-luban/

The image on the left has been marked as an official poster of the All-Poland Women’s Strike. It was created by Ola Jasinowska. She has said the red lighting bold symbolises a warning. It has been since used across Poland. Used by angry women fighting for their rights to safe abortion. 

Integrated Project Brief

Aims/Context:  Create a collection of GIFs that can be used by the public on social media

Objectives:  

to explore story telling 

use research to support my final outcome

create artwork with a meaning behind it

Create artwork that can be shared by the public on social media

explore animation/gif making

Outcomes:

  • portfolio of experimentation
  • finished GIF pack

Research:

On https://pogotowie.tumblr.com I found a lot of posters that are very powerful. All posters are related to the women’s protests in Poland which are against the strict abortion laws. Below are few I found inspiring.

Above are the founders of the All-Poland Women’s Strike.

All-Poland Women’s Strike is a social movement created in Poland in September 2016. The founders of the movement are Marta Lempart and Klementyna Suchanuw (seen above). This movement originated from Czarny Protest (Black Protest) which was a campaign organized by the Left Together political Party also known as Razem(together). Black Protest was a movement in which women across Poland wore black clothing and published selfies on social media tagging #czarnyprotest. Black Protest was created when a bill to ban abortion was up for a debate in Sejm in September 2016.

The sources:

1.https://www.ft.com/content/b6012449-0c11-419a-b439-6e3320f47e86 2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klementyna_Suchanow 3.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-Poland_Women%27s_Strike

One of the research artists found in my final submission is Silke Mueller, her artwork can be seen on her website: https://silkemueller.net/2020/11/02/strajkkobiet/ She has personally contacted me to tell me her artwork cannot be up on my blog. Which was an interesting experience, in the last 3 years this has never happened where an artist got offended that their artwork was on a university blog.. anyways I enjoyed her work until the situation that happened earlier with her. I liked her work because she created artwork about the situation in Poland to empower polish women from another country, which I haven’t seen many people that aren’t polish speak out on.

Images below are screenshots of photographs that I found on @Strajk_Kobiet official instagram. Seeing people protesting and fighting for their abortion rights has made me very emotional. This situation in Poland is effecting so many individuals negatively, it’s discouraging to see the situation in a country that I am from. Even though it’s hard for me to call Poland my home because I haven’t lived there in many years it’s still very painful to see this.

Below are the 25 images that I have created for the last exercise. I worked on this the same way as in the minor project, and I am happy with the way the coloured paper looked, however I added more of a fine black liner and it made a difference which I was very happy with.

When I was collecting some imagery I decided to use some to make collages. Below are some images I found that I thought related to this project. Along with some sketches I made.

All of the images I found google search.The image of the church I specifically googled as it was a church I have been to multiple times. It was in the town I lived in right before moving out of Poland.


The collages above I created when I felt a little bit stuck with this project. I didn’t know what I wanted to do exactly. So I played around without thinking and created the images above. I took it kind of the same as the postcard exercise. Created without thinking much of it. I used some images that made me think about the Protests in Poland. Personally I really dislike churches in Poland and how christianity works as a religion, when growing up in Poland I went to church every Sunday because my mum forced me to, only after we moved out of Poland we stopped practicing Christianity. Church in Poland has a huge control over people, my grandma would tell me absurd things that are supposedly going to happen because the church told her so, it made me crazy (still does, there’s a lot of arguments in my family caused because of the lies that the church tells my family. My mother always fights with her mother about her beliefs because they’re honestly crazy…. anyways.) Growing up I had to take religion classes, and honestly it was cult like, now that I look back at it. We were taught horrendous and crazy things, about sex and sexuality, self pleasure = self rape. Just things that are honestly FUCKED UP and shouldn’t be taught to young children, like I am honestly traumatised by some of the things that were said in those classes. You know saying that being gay is a sin, being sexually active before marriage is a sign, etc. I really took out all of my negative emotions through those collages, it felt great honestly. I used images found on google, In one of them I used an image of a church that was in the town that I grew up in. Long story short, churches in Poland control the public, telling them and scarring them that certain things are sins, etc. And this also made me realise to not give up on this project, and showed me how passionate and angry I am about the current abortion laws.

Short animation/gif ideas:

Communication

1.    With the idea that your work will communicate to a specific audience, what questions are you asking that audience?   I want the audience to ask themselves what it is that they can do to help during movements, such as protests, educating themselves and their family etc.

2.    Who is your audience?  feminists (age does not matter)

3.    When the work is seen on its own, and you are not there to back it up, what do you want people to think about when they look at your work?  I want them to feel empowered and hopeful. I want them to think about the importance of protests and movements.

4.    How will people benefit from your work?  Hopefully realise that being a feminist and empowering women isn’t scary. Spread the world, educate themselves and others. Feel empowered and united.

5.    In a dream scenario, how would you like to financially benefit from this work? For example, would you like a gallery to sell it? A publication house to market it? An advertising agency to commission you? An illustration agency to represent you? You choose.  Being sponsored by an illustration agency would be ideal as there is many possibilities for my animation to be used, it could work as advert, news. I imagine for it to be used on a social media platform, so used as a post on instagram by a bigger account or showcased on a website.

6.    Select 3 unfamiliar people or groups from the new References Database to introduce to the group next week explaining why they made an impact on you.   I really like the look of these agencies ;BigActive, Pocko and A-GENT. They made an impact on me as they are Illustration agencies and for how diverse their artists are, seeing how different artists work in so many different styles, and mediums, it would be nice to be a part of them.

Realisation

As I previously wanted to create a comic book I have realised that it wouldn’t be as effective as I would want it to be, so I have researched if creating an animation would be more affecting and attention grasping. “A picture paints a thousand words, but a moving image tells a story.”-https://dlaignite.com/moving-image-social-grabber/

As I want to create a moving image that would empower women and grasp attention. I decided to create a gif pack that can be shared and used by everyone on social media, as a lot of us spend a lot of time on social media during the day I thought it would be a great place to place my work. I was verified as a creator on a platform called GIPHY, in which u can upload gifs that then can be found on instagram and other platforms.

Below are some ideas for final gifs to include in the gif pack. I yet still have to decide how many gifs I want to create and if I want to use the same colour palette for them all.

Below are some finished GIFS:

Below are the colour palettes I was debating between. So originally I wanted to include four colours, but then by looking at my research I realised that less can be more. So I just went with red and black as they are two powerful colours.

To plan the final gifs I used the planning board I previously designed, just ton map the frames to make it easier for myself. I designed each gif frame by frame on Procreate on my iPad, the application has an animation assist which made this process much easier as it has the option to be saved as an animated GIF. Below are all the gifs that I have planned.

I also wanted to show how the gifs can be accessed. They can either be found on my Giphy account. But I also took screenshots and highlitted how they can be found on Instagram.

Below are the final GIFs:

Evaluation:

In this project I wanted to create something interactive and accessible to everyone who uses social media. As most of us spend a lot of time on Instagram throughout the day I decided to create a pack of GIFs that would empower women and help spreading a message across on social media. I also thought using social media during a pandemic was the best idea as it can be used without having to leave the house. 

My expectations were high as it was something that I worked with before, having experience in creating a moving image was helpful. I was excited about thisproject because creating something that can be sharedwith others makes me feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose as an artist. It’s great to see people’s interest in my art. After I’ve uploaded the final GIF’s I could see how many views they were getting, it was strange to see that people were using them, and still I couldn’t see who exactly used them. However, it did make me happy seeing the engagement they got, I can only imagine that they will continue getting attention from the public. I am happy that I continued with this project and haven’t changed my final idea. I am also satisfied with the simple color palette that I chose in the end; it made my final gifs look like they belong together. Because of this decision I learnt that less is more sometimes.

In the future I will continue with creating short moving images. I really enjoyed making them. If I had more time, I would have expanded the collection and made more gifs. I think using social media to spread important information is a privilege and me being a visual artist I can do my part by creating elements and art that can be then used by others. 

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