Date: Fall 2019
Skills: Motion Design, Animation, Storytelling, Content Design
I was tasked with making a PSA about one of the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I chose Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Within this topic I wanted to focus on awareness of street harassment. Although goal 5 focuses on women and girls, I wanted to make a video that addressed the equality of all genders including those in the LGBTQIA+ community. This piece was written, performed, and produced by me.
I want to focus on eliminating gender violence across all genders. Through this PSA, I want to bring awareness to this issue while also providing an avenue to a solution. To achieve this goal, I want to focus on rape culture. Rape culture is an environment that normalizes and trivializes sexual assault and abuse through attitudes, behaviors, language, and media. There are a lot of aspects to rape culture, but I will be focusing on the role of language and conversation in propagating sexual assault. Within this language, there are a few categories that I have identified: victim blaming, objectifying women, cat-calling, social gender norms, sex as power, and justifying talk. Through my video, I want to bring to light how this language is learned and why it is wrong. I want to show people that they might be part of the problem without even knowing it.
Through interviews, research, and personal experience I gained insight into how this experience affects people. 
Some examples of how it felt:
–People throwing words at you
–The words stick with you and never go away
–It changes how you see yourself
–Unsafe and scared in public
–People are constantly looking at you

Views from people who participate in this behavior believe:
–The victims are imagining it
–The victims are asking for it
–The victims should feel lucky
–They are complimenting the victims

How this affects people long term:
–Lowers self esteem
–Flashbacks to prior experience
From these storyboards, I found that there is power in words. I moved towards using words as the main visual for this video. For my next prototypes, I thought about questions such as: How can I use words to insight reflection? How can I make people confront these words? From here I came up with the idea to put text in the physical environment.
I conducted an experiment where I printed out phrases used during street harassment at a scale of 10ft x 10ft. I taped this paper to a staircase in the front of campus and observed people as they were forced to walk up it.
I learned a lot from this prototype. I found that seeing words in the environment is powerful. Although some people walked right by this, many people were forced to confront the words in a way that they don't normally do. Additionally, I learned a lot from hearing people's reactions. I gave validity to the issue and added a personal layer.

Unfortunately, I did not have the resources to this at a larger scale or with better materials. If I did, I would have liked to try this in a more public space and find a way to attach the words to the ground using something that is see through to make the words more connected to the environment.
Moving into the digital space, I used the strengths from my last experiment and built on them to create an impactful story. I aimed to find a way to juxtapose language and behavior because the comparison of those two aspects proved powerful in the last piece. In addition, I wanted to add a personal layer to give validity to the issue and help create a personal connection.

To begin this next stage, I crafted a narrative that would be spoken over the piece.

People say these are just words. 
Words that are merely observations, compliments, facts. 
They say this is just a reality of living.
A reality of the choices we make about our clothes, about our behavior, about our partners.
Imagine a word that could make someone feel small, helpless, scared.
To the point where they live their whole life in fear. Fear of these words that pile one on top of the other until it’s all too heavy to handle. Fear of these words that could lead to something more. Always on guard feeling like everyone’s eyes are on them constantly.
Thinking, what can this word do next?

Then, I iterated on the visual style and the balance between video and words. I aimed for something that felt personal, serious, intense, and impactful.