All about my University work

Creative Activism

Creative Activism Conclusion


The end of a module with very mixed reviews with work perhaps not as a true activist would do but never really being an activist before I think there are a lot of positives to take out of this. I really enjoyed doing a flash mob and may do it again should I get enough people together. Some things I didn’t really enjoy doing but had to be done, but it’s like that with all things I guess. It’s not been the most enjoyable module and I probably would dread doing it again but I look on to doing more open things, fictional things, things I love to do where I can have a creative mind in fiction and wonders other than pressing issues that I have to go out and exploit.

What comes next to this? I really want to make my short film about the affects of releasing balloons. I quirky film with a deep meaning. I have already sent out posters for an illustrator as it will be animated.

So far no responses but I am sure there is an eager talented illustrator out there who will help spread the word about what is happening and therefore continue to be a creative activist and see where this film takes me from there.


Creative Activism Evaluation

Overall I felt I met quite a few goals as in I managed to do all the tasks and managed to share my activism with the world via the internet.

I think I managed to pick a lot of topics that were not picked up by my fellow students by picking Balotelli, balloons and even picking Coventry Cathedral and making their good work noticed. By picking up on things that other people don’t really know I feel that I have the upper hand on quite a few people who picked similar things to follow up on like Apple , the armed forces and Facebook. Not to say they havn’t done a good job but to say I am glad I searched deeper than every day things which when we all think about we can all figure out one way or another and has been proven that coverage on them has not worked no matter how mainstream it becomes. I think Balotelli’s antics are the only thing thats mainstream but his work for charity isn’t so I think I have done well there. I have tried to come up with original workings and I think they have had a positive response in the whole.

I think I need develop my way of being an activist. I could have done a lot more, I could have been more active in going out there and really showing people my view points. I think the one thing that was stopping me was being too proud to go out there and have people think things I didn’t want them to think. I prefer to be heard and not seen which is why I love being behind the camera and not in front of it. If I went out there trying to put a view point across if it was on Twitter, Facebook or out in the general public I would be more bothered about my standpoint with them before I did it than after. I will happily create things but I didn’t want to be the one on the front line. I was happy to sit back and hope it would all be okay without my reputation tarnished.

What I would do differently next time is perhaps not be bothered about my reputation and not care if it changed as a result of doing a bit of activism. I would put myself out there more. I would have made more images and more videos to get my viewpoint across and do my utmost to get my work seen and to provoke a huge response. I could’ve gone to the local council in regards to the balloon releases and try and get them on my side. Start a huge campaign so everyone is aware what is going on with balloons after they’re released. Schools I’m sure would’ve liked to know about this. Teaching young children about the risks of balloons since they are amongst the demographic for balloons. I think I stumbled upon a good issue which not a lot of people know about and if it were more widespread then it really could’ve made a huge impact.

With regards to the Flash Mob I think we could’ve done a lot better even more so if it was done on a Saturday and if we had more people and more time to develop our idea. Full evaluation here.

Overall there are a lot of positives to come out of doing creative activism but I think I still have work to do if I am going to really make a dent on this world for the better.

Creative Activism Reflection

When I first heard about this module I was rather hesitant about the whole thing. I’m not an activist. I don’t go to any protests or marches, I don’t really care for the ones that I see. What I like doing is keeping myself to myself and like a true Brit with any problems that I have I just bite my tongue and get on with what I’ve got bar the occasional drunken rant of course.

Sadly it took me until the Flash mob before I started to really enjoy this module. Getting out there, having fun and trying to cause a stir. It was the one day that I was really glad I got out of bed and yet it was the day I probably needed sleep more than ever since coming back from a tiring trip to Reykjavik.

The balloon activism was something that did also start to become worthwhile doing and I did several things for that. How much of an impact I don’t know. All I got from a randomer on youtube was that they were more bothered about the balloons. I only posted the video up a couple of days ago and it has 70views already which is more than my others which have been up there for years and I didn’t promote it in any way. Only the image was promoted and that didn’t get much recognition.

If we go back to the very first task I took more effort in looking at Mario Balotelli just because of his quirky nature than trying to be a creative activist. In the end however it seems to have amongst the most views on the flickr page which is pleasing so it has provoked a response from people.

I think overall I think the whole creative activism has sadly been put in second place because of the film that I made in Iceland. I felt that there were some opportunities missed which I could have been more  of an activist but I do however think it shows that this isn’t really my path of choice. What it has done however has made me think more about the helium balloons and what destruction they cause a lot more and has really inspired me to make a short film which I wrote a year ago about the balloons entitled the Baby Blue Balloon which I aim to complete by June. So stay tuned.

A Positive Story

I decided to make a short documentary on the Cathedral school’s team. Every week they accommodate students of all ages and give them an incite to the the cathedrals way of life and it isn’t mainly about christ but about the history of Coventry sine the Cathedral got bombed during the 2nd World War.

It’s short and just shows Coventry Cathedral (both of them) in all its splendour with school children enjoying themselves also. I think its great what they are doing as it is completely different to what you would expect from a Cathedral where Christ isn’t always their number one aim.

Media Spoof

Robert De Niro recently jokingly said that the US might not be ready for a ‘white first lady.’ I’ve personally thought it was rather funny since it what was said by some people not being ready for a black first lady.

He has since come out and apologised as it has gone down badly with a few people but it lead me to task where you have to make something satirical and not really true so I came up with this little notion:

De Niro not ready for a white first lady


The image is no where near what De Niro was meaning when it was said, but it could easily be interpreted that way and just a simple picture like this could make you think that way if you didn’t know the story. His angry face making you think that he is adamant about the words in the picture and the expression by Michelle Obama adds to the anger and point that De Niro is perceived to be making.

Creating an impact

So from my documentary proposal I decided to make a short documentary and try and get my viewpoint across.

I think from this short piece it shows what the problem is. Okay so theres not really any facts and figures other than the pictures of the dead or dying  animals, but I think thats all you need in just a short video like this one. Admittedly I could make a longer documentary with more facts and figures with lots of evidence to back it up but that could be a fair few minutes and people would just get bored. I don’t plan on making this a cinematic thing as I think they are pointless because if I wanted to be entertained I will watch mainly words of fiction which doesn’t seem to be that thought provoking.

This short piece is short, sweet dramatic and to the point. Something short like this would get my attention unlike for instance the Kony 2012 video where you have to sit for 30mins just to listen to a load of propaganda with not much said about the actual point.

I also made this little picture:

I think by having more than one for of media to spread the message then more people will see the message of stopping people taking balloons lightly and think that those happy things have no consequences.

I think the more types of media and more different pictures then the more people will take notice.

Audio Cheque Flash Mob reflection and evaluation

So we decided to make a flash mob by making someone famous and pretend to be the public who swarm the celebs and have someone get an interview with them. My role was to be a security guard for the celebs. The celebs where a band called Audio Cheque.

The results was this:

The flash mob went reasonably well. We had three attempts at it and every time members of the public were looking around to see what was going on. I feel that we may have needed more people to be apart of it and with us all being relatively then same age then it did make it look less authentic for things like the paparazzi and the Security guards. For things like the public I think it worked rather well as they would be the people more in the know and more likely to be star struck.

The idea that we made a band up and then spread the word via facebook and twitter was a good idea but not enough people did it. I did it on both my twitter and facebook account but didn’t use other methods like contacting the coventry telegraph or Mercia radio directly which may have made it bigger.

Overall it was decent but I think if it was done on a Saturday around 1pm it would have gone a lot better. More people in town so more people to look over their shoulders and get involved. I thought it was really fun to do and I think with a better idea more planning and a few more people we could do very well indeed.

Audio Cheque Flash Mob

On Monday we did a flash mob where we made up two characters and perceived them to be famous.

We gave them a single.

We spread the word on twitter.

and a personification and went to the streets of Coventry to see what would happen.Here is our Flash Mob

culture jamming, detournement and subvertising Process


When I made this photo I was just browsing at racial equality on the internet. I started to read into Jane Pitman and how she did her utmost for racial equality in the early 20th century.

I came across a photo entitle ‘segregated water fountain’ from 1950 and started looking into the history behind them. Jane Pitman was amongst the first black people to drink from a white only fountain.  The first recorded time of a resistance about the fountains included a young girl that drank from a white only fountain and was arrested along with their curators.

Pictures arose to enforce this racial discrimination but if it wasn’t for people like this young girl and Jane Pitman then this may still be happening. I thought it would show the struggle that they went through just by swapping the white and coloured signs around.

I did the whole thing on Photoshop. I thought about it a lot as I don’t think there was ever any need for segregated water fountains. I experimented, taking the signs away completely and got rather annoyed that these fountains ever came up. So much in fact that I also produced this picture:

This however received some mixed reviews. My idea for this is that I couldn’t care less which fountain you drank out of because the whole idea is farcical to me but other perceived that I didn’t care for this part of history and that segregation means nothing to me which couldn’t have been further from the truth. So due to the mixed feedback I dropped the image and swapped the two around which has a different meaning but I think just as strong.

Balloons and the wildlife

I chosen to look at the topic of how balloons have an adverse affect on nature and the wildlife. Every year millions of balloons are released into the air and around 10% fall back down to the ground. They land anywhere you can think of. In cities, in the sea, farms and the coast. They are often unseen by people and are just left to biodegrade which takes a long time since they are made out of synthetics so the animals unwillingly eat them and get caught up in them and ultimately die. Admittedly there are biodegradable options but it is the string which sometimes the killer which was for a cow last year.

Just last year a farmer won a case with a school over a cow that had died after consuming a balloon which had been released. Full article here.

Balloons landing on British shores has increased over 250% in 10 years

I myself am allergic to balloons. I know, what a stupid allergy. I thinks balloons are great for things like birthdays and weddings but every time I see a balloon I have to try and keep my distance. Even being near a balloon can cause my throat to swell up and any open wound even things like chapped lips will cause them to swell and hurt a bit.
So the empathy with wildlife getting killed it definitely there because they look so good and fun and yet going near them could kill them. Admittedly I am not that allergic that I will die should I touch one but it does stop me doing things like rubbing them on my head and sticking them to a wall.

Not much is known about this issue however, so I feel its a concern that needs to be raised. It has been spoken about but has never really hit the mainstream enough for people to take notice. This little interview says enough about what is happening to the wildlife as a result.
Click the link and find the video.

If you look around there are enough people saying don’t do it but its never done in  a widespread manner. Hopefully from what I do will raise awareness and stop people filling their balloons with helium and letting go of their balloons. Would it be worth it if I save just one bird? Of course it will.

What I plan to do:

  • Make a short video about whats going on
  • Make a poster to discourage people from releasing balloons
  • Spread the word about the destruction it causes.

What I plan not to do:

  • Ram it down peoples throats –  People do this all the time and it makes you not want to do something. I say put the problem out there and let them decide. It’s a free country and people have the right do as they wish.

It is good to see that Oxford City Council are being pro active in this campaign also. However it only really seems to be what is considered one of most intelligent cities on the planet to be doing anything about it.
Here is a leaflet that they have released into the public.

It’s colourful and tells you all the information thats needed along with other facts and figures. Hopefully I can do something similar with a wider audience.