The process of speaking to my peer was really helpful I think because it gave me a bouncing board for my idea especially considering that my colleague was not from the gender equality group but from mental health. That being said, she a lot of insightful things to say regarding the lack of representation of women in the media we consume. She mentioned being conflicted over the topic of rape being used as a plot device but did say that the sheer number of cases is problematic. When I was able to speak to my tutor, I was met with great enthusiasm and led me to want to make additions to my plan for my data visualisation. I feel like I gained more clarity as to what I was doing as though I got approval for my thematic segregations for each poster (separated by forms of media) as well as encouragement to looking at what one sees from afar versus up close when looking at my posters – insinuating that we see these injustices everyday but they’re so pervasive that we don’t know how damaging they are unless we look up close which is when we truly see the disparity in the equality of the genders. Now it is just a matter of making it.
For my design intervention I propose a data visualisation called ‘We are Invisible’ elucidating the lack of representation of women in the media we consume (television, film and video games specifically). Though I am aware that we are meant to keep our projects within a local context I feel as though I can look at American media as well because Australian society is so saturated with it.
The overall piece will be comprised of three posters under the themes of television, film and video games; three forms of media that the large majority of 18-24 year olds interact with on a daily basis.
I wanted to highlight elements such as films that fail the Bechtel Test in the last five years or video games that feature a male protagonist vs. female in the same amount of time as well as ratios of casts in television as these are what interest me. Regarding film, I wanted to highlight issues such as the amount of male award winners vs. female award winners and how often rape and the abuse of women is used as a plot device in film (such as suicide squad), television (e.g. Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) and video games (Tomb Raider). With video games I wanted to highlight issues such as the sheer amount of games featuring a damsel in distress or using women as a reward for the player. I feel as though not everyone is truly aware of how male dominated our media is and that my visualisation can potentially poetically illustrate the huge disparity in representation of the sexes.
I intend to create a series of A2 posters in stark white that are hand embossed to highlight the invisibility of these women would make for a compelling piece. From afar, one sees an abstract collection of shapes and up close would you gain an understanding of what the work is actually about.
Ideally, I would like my audience to be shocked, disgusted, and maybe even a little bit ashamed. I would like it to be thought provoking and inspire a desire for change and in turn, invoke action. I am aware that creating awareness goes only to a certain extent but it is only the beginning.