UNVEILING THE TRUTH 2011 CAMPAIGN FOR ISLAM AWARENESS
INTRODUCTION The idea for this campaign first began with a brief which explored the human rights injustices of the Burqa ban in France. As this issue needed to be translated for New Zealand audiences, I conducted an online survey of 200 people, asking the question; â€˜Would you support a public Burqa ban in New Zealand?â€™ There were some very interesting results, in which I found that 60% of people would support a Burqa ban, many commenting that foreigners should try to fit in with New Zealand culture. I found through this survey, and through discussing this issue on forums, that many people have an opinion about this issue. This interested me, and I decided to base my campaign around the idea of awareness, knowledge and discussion/debate. Another integral part of my concept was the idea of Muslims campaigning for themselves; giving them a voice, so that people can understand their stories.
THE CAMPAIGN I began with the idea of Muslims campaigning for themselves, and ideas of public vs. private, transparency, honesty, openness, discussion and debate. I quickly decided that the best forum for all these concepts would be a website; a safe place for people to gain knowledge, be connected, and ‘join the discussion’. The campaign is directed both at Muslims (who will want to change the often negative perception of Islamic culture), and at non-Muslims (who need to be made more aware of the values of Islamic culture). The website contains a home page with a sequence of quotes from New Zealand Muslims, a page to view videos, photos and stories uploaded by Muslims, a page about Islam in New Zealand (history, community and family values, the importance of diversity), and a page to discuss issues in a forum and chat room. The print campaign is bold and strong, both in colour and in message. The colour scheme and graphic style which I used for both print and online media was influenced by Amnesty International, the main client. For the posters I used statements which aim to intrigue and capture attention, such as ‘Islam means peace’. The campaign is to be held over 2 weeks in August 2011, during 3 related events: Amnesty International Freedom Week, Islam Awareness Week, and the Human Rights Commission Diversity Week. The campaign is based in Wellington as it is the capital and the home base of the 3 clients. The idea is that the events and the campaign will be trialled in Wellington in 2011, and if successful will spread to the rest of the country in subsequent years. Events will be held over 1 week, and these events aim to educate, inspire, raise awareness, and get people talking about issues. Events will include an open day at the Kilbirnie Mosque, fashion show at the Newtown library, art exhibition at the City Gallery, food tastings at various restaurants, and many more.
BILLBOARD The billboards are designed to be controversial, to make people think, to engage the viewer by actively asking a question. They are designed to appear like political billbaords. The billboards are rolled out in two phases. During the week before the events, the billboard asks the question: ‘Ban the Burqa?’ The audience has only 2 choices: ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. They are then directed to the website. This billboard is designed to draw attention to the campaign. During the week of the events, the billboard has a third option: ‘I need more information,’ which has been pre-selected for the audience. The aim is to imply that most people don’t have enough knowledge on the topic, and that to learn more about this complex issue they should go to the website.
Join the discussion
Join the discussion
Week 2 I NEED MORE INFORMATION
BAN THE BURQA? JOIN THE DISCUSSION
BAN THE BURQA?
YES? NO? I NEED MORE INFORMATION
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Week 1 The billboard is designed to be versatile. It can be placed on any suitable building, as well as on the back, side, and inside of buses. Buses are an effective medium because they are prolific in Wellington, and will be seen by a wide range of people. The second image is a variation of the billboard.
Week 2 The billboard will be printed at a range of sizes to suit different locations around Wellington city. The billboards will be placed strategically; mainly at busy intersections and on motorways. The aim is that the campaign reaches an extensive range of people.
POSTERS A series of 8 posters have been designed, to compliment the billboards. The posters are bright, bold and eye-catching; they demand attention. The aim of the posters is to raise awareness, to engage, draw the viewer in; make them think about this complex topic by interacting with some of the statements and questions which are raised by the posters. The ultimate call-to-action is to â€˜join the discussionâ€™ by going to the website. The posters will be present in many diverse locations around Wellington city, both the week before, and the week of the events.
The posters will be placed in a wide range of contexts and locations in Wellington city, and in the suburbs of Newtown and Kilbirnie (where there are large populations of Muslims). The posters are designed to be placed separately, or can be placed as a series of 2 or more.
This series of 5 posters were printed A2 and placed on Riddiford St in Newtown. They received a lot of intereest, and the colours and bold typography contrasted well with the other posters and graphics in the area. The plain black poster on the far right is designed to capture attention, and to be like an open-ended question. Again, these posters are designed to be place separately, or as a series with the previous 3 posters.
STICKERS & INFORMATION BOOKLET A sheet of stickers was designed to be placed inside an informational booklet, which will be handed out at events during the week. The booklets will be distributed during public events such as the Kilbirnie Mosque open day, and will also be distributed through stalls in public places, such as on Lambton Quay, in the Railway Station, in the Wellington City Library etc... The information booklet will be double-sided, with each side containing similar information, but aimed at 2 different audiences; Muslims and non-Muslims. The information for Muslims will be aimed at explaining certain statistics, and how Muslims can campaign for themselves, in order to raise awareness, to join a more public sphere, to create a more diverse community (both in the real world and online). The information for non-Muslims will contain facts about Islam, about Muslims in New Zealand (present and historic significance), and general information about the importance of diversity, and also how non-Muslims can join the discussion, and help raise awareness. The stickers are designed to be a little more fun, and to further promote the campaign. The stickers are a more interactive medium, as they encourage people to both interact with the message, and with the environments in which the message will be place and received.
EVENTS, STALLS & T SHIRTS Events to raise awareness, and to celebrate Islamic culture, will be held at the Kilbirnie Mosque, the libraries in the city, Newtown and in Kilbirnie, the City Gallery, and various other locations. Stalls will be at all events displaying posters, t shirts for sale, and informational booklets. These stalls will be manned by Amnesty International volunteers, who will be there to answer any questions, and to direct people to the website. These stalls will not only be at events, but also on various streets around the city. There will be main stalls where people can read about the campaign, buy t shirts and receive booklets, and also volunteers who will walk around handing out booklets and answering any questions. All volunteers will be wearing an Amnesty International Islam Awareness t shirt.
SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook and Twitter pages were made to compliment the website. Social media is an important aspect of this campaign, as it is all about joining, connecting, discussing, debating, sharing opinions, being part of a diverse (and often global) community. While researching I also found that many Muslim groups are embracing the internet and social media as it is a way of connecting with each other, no matter where one lives. This is significant as Muslims do not come from one country, but rather are spread all over the world, united by their culture and beliefs. The Facebook page can be used to its full advantage by enriching it with media such as photos and videos, and by hosting polls, and informing fans of events.
WEBSITE This is the main feature of the campaign. All the other print and online media compliment the website, but ultimately aim to direct viewers to the site: www.unveilingthetruth.org. The aim of the website is primarily to raise awareness, by providing audiences with a place to discuss and debate their opinions about certain issues. The aim is also that people will learn something, to take something new away with them, which may change their minds towards a more positive perception of Islamic culture, or at least a greater understanding. The idea of a local/global and connected community is evident in the concept of this website.
The website is live and can be found at: www.unveilingthetruth.org
LOCATIONS The map shows locations of various aspects of the campaign during August 2011
Events Brochure stalls Billboards Posters