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BCM332 Digital Artefact: The Destitute Survivors of Hong Kong

In this project, I want to raise awareness on the destitute society of Hong Kong.

We will be looking at despite the government’s efforts to alleviate the impoverished, how it has failed because we can see there are still a large number of people who are homeless, who have to make a living through hard-labor and who are low-income earners.

First off, the destitute are ‘poor or lacking other necessities of life, think of someone who is in desperate straits. A very, very tight budget is poor. Living on the streets is destitute.’ (Vocabulary.com)

According to the statistics from Hong Kong Poverty Report 2016, 1 in 5 people are poor in Hong Kong. (Lam J, 2017) Also the ageing population is only increasing as Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung says ‘tens of thousands of residents will fall into the elderly category every year.” This slows downs and undermines any poverty alleviations the government has done or planned.
“You can imagine this has nullified the [poverty alleviation effect] brought about through government intervention”

(Cheung K.C., 2017)

I believe the wealth gap is an increasing cause of the rise in urban poor. Right now, Sham Shui Po in Kowloon is the poorest district. 24.6% of its residents live below the poverty line. According to C.Y. Leung on the SCMP, “the high housing costs remained the core reason driving low-income households towards poverty.” (Lam J., 2016)

The government has provided CSSA, one-off grants, “old age living allowance and low-income working family allowance.” (Yau C. and Zhou V., 2017) However, it is seen that the minimum wage never meets with the inflation rate, leaving people with barely an income to support their daily basic necessities. After the minimum wage raised to $30/hour in May 2013, there is still a soar in homeless persons (per 100,000 population), from 10.00% in 2013 to 12.38% in 2016.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 3.03.55 AM.pngSource: Oxfam Hong Kong

I wanted to do something about this issue, so I decided to raise awareness. To start my project, I went out and took pictures of those on the streets who are needy and those who are surviving. “5,700 people died in the year 2013 while waiting to enter care homes” () Later, I did some research and supported my pictures with raising the issues such as the elderly that go unnoticed, but they do most of the rough and hard jobs.

Then, I combined my photography with the sources and created a visual essay. Moreover, I added creative common music to make my visual essay more compelling. I started a hashtag with this video — #sayNOpovertyHK, which I want to continue on my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/akofficialphotography/ . I believe with this hashtag I can take this project further after graduation as a way of my care to the urban poor.


References:

  1. Destitute definition (n.d.) Vocabulary. Retrieved from https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/destitute
  2. Homeless persons per 100,000 population. (2018, July 12). Social Indicators of Hong Kong. Retrieved from https://www.socialindicators.org.hk/en/indicators/housing/8.10
  3. Kwong C.K. (n.d.) PHOTOGRAPHY – HK’s Invisible Caged Poor: Mini Sculptures by Kwong Chi Kit. Hong Wrong. Retrieved from http://hongwrong.com/invisible-caged-poor/
  4. Lai, C.W. (n.d.) Reporting Health and Medicine. Retrieved from https://jmsc.hku.hk/reportinghealth2016/2017/04/09/five-truly-sad-but-important-numbers-about-elderly-homes-in-hong-kong/
  5. Lam, Jeffie (16 October 2016) “Hong Kong government slammed as poverty figure hits six-year high”. The South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2028422/hong-kong-government-slammed-poverty-figure-hits-six-year
  6. Lam, Jeffie (18 Nov 2017) “Poverty in Hong Kong Hits Record High with 1 in 5 Considered Poor.” South China Morning Post: Community, SCMP, Retrieved from www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2120366/poverty-hong-kong-hits-7-year-high-one-five-people
  7. Ng, Naomi (23 April 2017) “Living conditions in Hong Kong’s poorest district have got worse in last four years ago”. The South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/2089939/survey-hong-kongs-poorest-district-finds-living
  8. Read, T. (23 December 2017) “Tackling Poverty in Hong Kong Requires Reform of the Economy as a Whole.” Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved from https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/23/tackling-poverty-hong-kong-requires-reform-economy-whole/
  9. Report on Hong Kong’s Working Poor (2010-2014) Oxfam. Retrieved from http://www.oxfam.org.hk/content/98/content_23043en.pdf
  10. Yau C. and Zhou V. (9 June 2017) “Wealth gap in Hong Kong hits record high.” Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/hong-kong-wealth-gap-problem-2017-6

 

 

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BCM240 Digital Artefact: The Changing Landscapes of Photography

Video by me link: https://youtu.be/OUoaPr3D1qg  (Turn on CC)

BCM240 Media, Audience and Place
Digital Artefact 2017/2018
Khan Asma 5980136

  1. The Idea

For my BCM240 Digital Artefact, I was really enthusiastic to produce a result that is aligned with my passions. We were assigned to look at a topic revolving around media, audience and place.

So, I took a media element – photography, audience – photographers and subject models then studied how it affects one another.

In the project, I found exciting to find out the different uses of film, digital and instant cameras. For this I needed to jump back in time to the history of photo-taking, which is explained in short in my proposal. (click here to read)

Specifically, I looked at the different purposes photographers used a film camera for. Also, what their actions were depending on the medium of camera they were given as McLuhan quoted “the medium is the message”. Furthermore, I questioned and observed how the subject will behave differently to the situations in which different cameras are used for the same purpose.

  1. The Process of background research

When I started, I had no idea about the Polaroid existing long before Fuji-film produced them. I only had knowledge of the film camera, which my mom had been given as a second-hand item. She used it to capture me everywhere we went. This was a use of media in different spaces. I must have adopted a liking for photography from then. Not long after I got my first phone with a camera, I started by taking pictures of any objects or landscapes, including myself.

Sooner or later, I was begging my mom to let me buy my first ever digital camera, which I wanted to use to take pictures of people at my high school sport’s day. I wasn’t even on the school photography club, I was simply passionate on my own.

  1. The process of Interview

To fulfill the purpose of my study, I had to find photographers who used both a film camera and a digital to give me some data on their use of these cameras. Luckily, most of my close friends did.

I interviewed four photographers in total. There were three photographers who owned a film camera and also used a Polaroid Instant camera before.

I asked them the following questions:

  1. What kind of cameras do you use, and why?
  2. Have you ever used a Polaroid camera?
  3. Given a situation where you have to create a photo, i.e. a portrait using different cameras, such as film, Instant or digital. What are the challenges or difficulties you will face?

I found interesting new data, while discovering a pattern in their answers. Most photographers had a similar say, such as why they liked film camera for people or street photos. It is because they like the nice and warm colours that it produces, which requires them to do less touchup work in the post-production process.

In addition, I asked follow-up questions on the spot, according to the answers I received from my interviewees. Mostly, it was about their experience with the different cameras and whether they had owned an Instant camera before.

  1. The Process of Deliverables (Video)

It was a difficult task to take on in the limited amount of time. However, I was dedicated to make a digital storytelling narrative combined with ethnography to observe and share with others the challenges or behaviors that came with different photo-taking medium.

In my video, I have combined many elements, for example a personal story, interviews with photographers, an observation of the photo-taking experience.

I have used creative common background music, retrieved from YouTube audio library or other no copyright channels. The purpose is to enhance those scenes without a narrative and also to add ambience to the parts where there is speech.

The biggest technical challenge I faced in the audio part was to have a levelled sound without a lot of background noise. However, even after applying effects on Adobe Premiere Pro, that was difficult because the video recordings were made without a isolated microphone in noisy environments. If I had the right equipment, such as a boom mic, I would be able to have a smoother audio output.

  1. Career aspect

The reason I have chosen this topic for my project is because I am really passionate about photography and would love to work in the photo and video production industry. Also, I chose to produce a documentary-like video as my deliverable because I want to use this digital artefact as prove to creative companies. I can show my skills in public speaking, my video production and editing skills. It can also reflect some of my research skills and my knowledge on photography.  I believe that to enhance the research aspect of this video project, I could have supported my points with more citations from scholarly sources.

  1. My feelings

I feel really accomplished with this project despite all the challenges I have faced in executing it. I put in hard work and dedication to the idea I had in mind and to meet my professors, Kat and Jason’s expectations on the kind of video they envisioned. I believe I have fulfilled it. I feel that I was on task and getting the project done according to the timeline. However, I had one setback. I didn’t start the video editing early enough and realized I had too many problems, such as audio, color grading and adding subtitles to compensate the lack of audio clarity. Next time, I will review the videos such as interviews in advance and prepare notes on which parts I need to include in the video. So that, it will help speed up my final production process.

Disability Discrimination: On-Screen and Behind The Scenes (BCM332)

Final Part of Case Study – BCM 332 Global Media Intervention

=====================================================================

In the past, social media sites were used for simple reasons such as connecting with friends and family through the media, through photos and videos of yourself posted online. The use of it may have shifted to sharing of video footage and articles from the latest news or events now.

It is easy for someone to openly or secretly record a video with their smartphones and upload it on social media sites, especially Facebook. Whether it is a child being bullied or a conflict between someone in public, the footage goes viral since the public can repost it infinitely. This usually gets two kinds of responses from the viewers, those who voice out to strictly oppose the injustice in the video and those who are too bored to care.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 2.26.27 PM

A teacher used alcohol sanitisers to spray the face and eyes of some 6-year olds, who would drool in class because of their conditions. In her defence, she said “she sprayed the liquid on the pupils’ hands and their surroundings for sanitisation.” (Lau C., 2015) The kids showed otherwise, when they tried to push her off. The school released the footage to parents as well as reported that teacher to the police. It’s a matter of unequal treatment for these special needs children (SNC) and the media intervention has allowed for the public to be informed of it.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 3.08.31 AM

In another case, a video was pulled out from Facebook for a crime that involved an SNC. The clip showed the 18-year old teen being teased by a bunch of youngsters. It shows him as vulnerable and helpless as he is tortured and assaulted. The post may cause further emotional and physical threat to the victim because of online comments or worse, in real life.

As we see, these media interventions can be for better or for worse. What does help is media-monitoring activities, such as Facebook has a team to interrupt or take down videos that cause real life threat or as required by the law. Facebook adds it allows videos as long as the purpose is “to condemn violence or raise awareness about it.” (Grinberg G.,2017)

On the other hand, the online posting is a positive result of media advocacy. 1 (see appendix) People feel more accepted because their situations are shared online and the public’s awareness has improved since then. A mother told The Mighty,

“because of social media, we’re reminded daily about others around us…
that feeling of connection is empowering,
and the feeling of empowerment turns into acceptance.” (Steiger H., 2015)

However, not many people would know about this if the existence of Facebook wasn’t there to share such news, which is too trivial to make it to bigger news outlets.

“While…community media interventions have contributed to empowerment for participants and improved reporting in mainstream media” (Dreher T. pg.186), it has also stereotyped children in many ways, such as ‘kids as victims’, ‘cute kids’ or ‘little devils’… the list can go on. (Higgins D., pg.4) Nevertheless, for SNC, the right kind of media exposure and ‘citizen journalism’ is needed more than anyone else. This is why I would like to study further the positive and negative impacts of the social media presence of SNCs.

After looking at how social media represented some disabilities, we look further into the disabled people’s portrayal by other media outlets and learn about the hashtag #DisbilityTooWhite. In an article on Campaign UK, a fact has come to light that advertisements treat the issue of disabled people indifferently. There is an inequality seen on the exposure of disability, compared to normal people in advertisements.

disablednot(Figure 1: Models and Actors posing for Vogue’s Instagram ad for the 2016 Paralympic Games /img src: Campaign UK)

In this case, the article discusses how media doesn’t engage with the issue of disability often. When it does, it doesn’t justify the cause. For example, in Figure 1 a Vogue Instagram ad for Paralympic Games 2016, you can see people in wheelchairs who are “able-bodied models and actors”, but they were photoshopped to seem disabled. This can seem insulting to the disabled community because of the indication that their lives are less desirable and flawed so that they are actually invisible from the screen. (Magee, 2016)

A journalist comments, “what I see most often is that disability is rarely covered, and when it is, the coverage tends to be very patronizing, simplistic, and infantilizing.” – (Smith, 2017) The media’s misrepresentation is often more disturbing when the majority is white dominant. Vilissa Thompson started the movement #DisabilityTooWhite on Twitter to raise awareness on the idea that there is a lack of disability representation of people of colour. After the hashtag went viral, there were both encouragement and criticism being tweeted. (Figure 2)

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 9.36.34 PM
(Figure 2: a search result on Twitter for hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite/img src: screenshot from my search on Twitter)

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 11.31.13 PMImage Description: Tweet by Aleksei!!! On Wheels  (@ai_valentin) on 19 May 2016: “I could finally get disability accommodations at my university when white coordinator was replaced by a Filipino man. #disabilitytoowhite” (img scr: screenshot from my search results on Twitter)

Some people felt a surge of confidence to share their stories. A user shared: “I could finally get disability accommodations at my university when white coordinator was replaced by a Filipino man.”

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 11.45.08 PMImage Description: Tweet by [heart emoji] Dr C.J. Subko Listro [crescent and heart emoji] (@sarcasmlemons) on 19 May 2016: “White privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard. It means there are some types of hard that you’ll never experience. #DisabilityTooWhite

Others felt compelled to defend themselves. This user tried to argue that their life isn’t any easier than PoC (persons of colour) by posting a comment that argues “white privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard.”

vilissathompsonImage Description: Tweet by Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson) on 18 May 2016: “#DisabilityTooWhite when you search for Black disabled women images & end up finding your own pictures [frowning face emoji] – we need diverse stock images.” (img src: Huffington Post)

Disability activist Thompson further argues that, “if they’re not white, then showing the disabled person not having a lot, despair looking.”(Thompson, 2016) We see that even if there is a representation of disabled people in the media, there is little evidence to say that all races across the world have been covered. People immediately have a bizarre reaction to certain races like the one shared here with us. A disabled Paralympian TV presenter, Ade Adepitan comments:

“I’m black and disabled, so when people meet me you can see them thinking: “Flipping heck, you’re not allowed to be black and disabled.”
(Adeptian A., 2016)


There can be so many things done to inform the public to be more aware of people as more than just in a wheelchair or deaf. Media advocacy is needed now more than ever. Marshall McLuhan quotes, “the medium is the message.” The media has the power to promote the right campaigns and send out a positive message, so to reform the social stigmas or “the ugly duckling” image of the disabled in the public’s eyes.

It yells in the campaign article that “the media plays a crucial role to help challenge people’s perceptions about disabled people and the industry is in a unique position to be at the vanguard of change.” 

So, we will be looking at how the media and other stakeholders can do better to represent and value the disabled.

It’s not enough. Every one of us has a role to play in making a difference in the representation of disabled people. (Unerman S., 2016)

As a lingering thought on this study, I wondered why the advertising agencies and companies feel so afraid of having an incidental inclusion of disabled people in the advertisements. The United States and Great Britain are realising the potential of gaining profitability by publishing adverts that are inclusive of disabled people. (Haller BA.,2001)

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in Hong Kong also aims to help disabled people to be protected from discrimination by implementing the Disability Discrimination Ordinance(DDO). “Under the DDO, it is unlawful to vilify a person with a disability in public, or discriminate or harass a person on the ground of disability in the following areas of activities, [such as] employment and provision of goods, services and facilities, etc. (Chapter 13, pp.80)

However, you may notice there is nothing which shows they have an equal right to be on the press or in other media as individuals not as disabled group. Unless this factor is counted under the employment sector, I suggest this ordinance to be revised.

The United States has already stepped up their game by addressing the needs of disabled people as regular consumers of tangible household and lifestyle products. This sentiment is felt by the public and the disabled community and businesses grow. Unfortunately, it turns out that the UK is a bit of a turtle. According to the research by Beth Haller and Sue Ralph, they “are still more hesitant in including disabled people in their advertisements due to both different advertising methods and societal attitudes.” (Haller and Ralph, 2001, p.1-3)

You may wonder what kind of attitudes and methods are there? Well, in this case the TV ad time is limited and strictly advocated in the Great Britain, when in comparison to the US. Moreover on UK TV, due to some misunderstandings in the early stages when Fuji TV published an ad in 1990 about fixing a man who has learning disabilities. There was misleading information that this involved getting a cosmetic surgery promoted by Fuji Film.

After the incident, people are reluctant and careful not to post advertisements which can cause controversies. Some disabled magazines and charities have a different perception of the disable community’s needs. The disabled community hopes that they will be included in advertisements, magazines, jobs and more as part of the general population, rather than aimed and categorised by disabled-charities.

“MARK: Your Fuji film commercial in 1990 – you were the first actor with a learning disability to be on a TV commercial.

PINO: That’s right, but that became a discrimination thing again.

MARK: Well, yeah, because it was really interesting – there was an article where Brian Rix, who was the Chair of Mencap, saying it was disgusting that this learning disabled man was being exploited on this TV commercial, without ever actually having a conversation with you, because you got paid, didn’t you?

PINO: I was happy, yeah!”

                                                                                 (Changes in Society, pp.2)

In fact, what the general public may believe that some advertisements are a discrimination of the disabled community, they may not be hand in hand on this statement. The disable person in the above commercial was very happy to have been part of the commercial and got paid for it as well.

So I believe that the community, advertising agencies, government lawmakers need to wake up and start talking to disabled people instead of making assumptions! Also, there is a strong need for revision in the laws to keep up with the latest media and advertising prejudices.

Hope you have all learned something.

Much appreciation,

~ k.a.



Appendix 1. [It] is a term developed in public health and refers to a combination of media-intervention activities that aim to develop a proactive media strategy in order to influence public perceptions and debate.

References:

  1. Blahovec S. (2017, December 06) Confronting the Whitewashing of Disability: Interview with #DisabilityTooWhite Creator Vilissa Thompson. Huffington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2018 from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-blahovec/confronting-the-whitewash_b_10574994.html
  2. Changes in Society (n.d.) Changes in Society. Heart and Soul. The Big 30. Retrieved from: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5849779420099ed16a2a2d13/t/5a16f913c83025aa86ed71e4/1511454996010/Big+30+Website+-+Changes+in+Society+-+Long+-+Transcript+Inew%29.pdf Podcast: https://www.thebig30.com/changes/
  3. Deakin, A. (1996, September 20). Body language. Marketing Week, 19 (26), p.37. Retrieved from https://www.marketingweek.com/1996/09/20/body-language/
  4. Dreher, T. ‘Community media intervention’, in M. Abdalla, J. Ewart & H. Rane (eds), Islam and the Australian News Media, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. pp. 185. 2010, http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1518&context=artspapers

  5. Grinberg, Emanuella. “Chicago Torture: Facebook Live Video Leads to 4 Arrests.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Jan. 2017, https://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/04/us/chicago-facebook-live-beating/index.html
  6. Haller B. and Ralph S. (2001) Profitability, Diversity, and Disability Images in Advertising in the United States and Great Britain. Vol 21 No 2. Disability Studies Quarterly. Retrieved from http://dsq-sds.org/article/viewFile/276/302%20Beth%20Haller%202001
  7. Higgins, Daire. “Children’s Rights & The Media” Page4 Chapter 3. Unicef, Learning Technology Team, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland http://elearning-events.dit.ie/unicef/html/unit1/1_3_4.htm

  8. Lau, Chris. “Hong Kong Teacher Punished Special Needs Pupils, Some as Young as 6, by Spraying Alcohol Sanitiser in Their Faces.” South China Morning Post, South China Morning Post, 23 Dec. 2015, scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/1894419/hong-kong-teacher-punished-special-needs-pupils-some-young
  9. Magee, K. (2016, September 09). The invisibles: Why are portrayals of disability so rare in advertising? Campaign UK. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/invisibles-why-portrayals-disability-so-rare-advertising/1407945
  10. Twitter (2016) #DisabilityTooWhite. Twitter. Retrieved 23 June, 2018 from https://twitter.com/hashtag/disabilitytoowhite?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Ehashtag
  11. Unerman, S. (2016, July 14). Ad industry is failing to represent people with disabilities. Retrieved from https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/ad-industry-failing-represent-people-disabilities/1402234
  12. Wong, A. (2017). Guests: Vilissa Thompson and s.e. smith. Episode 4 Disabled People in Media & Journalism. Disability Visibility. Retrieved 22 June 2018, from https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2017/10/08/ep-4-disabled-people-in-media-journalism/ 
    Transcript from: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Disabled-People-in-Media-Journalism.pdf

 

Blog Design Review as a Fashionista

As an aesthetic enthusiast, blog design mattered to me from day one. So I had chosen a theme called “Libre 2” and started customising it. I’ve got an appetite for fashion and I’ll explain the features that make a blog important in reference to it.

One important thing about a daily outfit is the choice of your colour combination. Do you have too many cool colours and none of warm ones? Is it a blog style that reflects you?

Visual elements: Colour palette
“Colors are more than a combination of red and blue or yellow and black. They are non-verbal communication.” (Bear, 2018) Inspired by this concept, I chose to use a colour palette that represents some of my personality, which can reflect in my voice too.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 2.03.28 PM.png(Customising my blog’s look: colour palette – Pastel orange/peach and grey tones)

As you can see my blog’s palette has shades of orange and gray. For orange, the shades worn by my blog are pastel peach, shell, creamy white and scarlet. “The softer oranges such as peach are even friendlier, more soothing…less flamboyant…but still energetic.” (Bear,2018) That is exactly my personality, as I can be very outspoken yet my voice is soft and comforting. Also Jacci Howard Bear believes that orange can “get people thinking or to get them talking.”(Bear,2018) That is something I wanted to achieve from my audience. Finally, the lighter grey shades are sometimes used for the text.

Visual elements: Brand
For my blog, I placed an image in the header that showed a little bit of me, as I was not ready to have my face so publicly available on the page. It reflects my persona because of the nature elements (i.e. water, greenery) and kids riding their bicycles in the picture. That represents freedom and serenity for me.

My blog name is also somewhat unique because I made it to create a brand that is easy to recognise from the start. I found the use of my name too generic. Since my roots are from Turkey, I decided to use my last name as a part of my username. “The ancient surname Khan is a contracted form of Khagan…khan meaning “chief or ruler.” Since I have always been in leading roles to voice out my opinion, this would suit me. Also, to use another word for “voice”, I adapted the word anthem, which literally means national song. However, in this context, you can think that it’s my song and I choose to sing it or not.

To accompany the title “Khan’s Anthem”, I added a logo that my friend had helped me design. It is basically my name “Asma” in Arabic. To allow everyone to have some sort of understanding, I wrote my name in English beneath the logo.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.03.35 AM.png

Visual elements: Readability

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 1.10.58 AM.pngTo enhance the readability of my site and to make it look less formal, I used two different casual font types for the Titles and the paragraph text. For example, I used Libre Baskerville mainly because I like serif font for books. I used Merriweather for the body text. I have chosen these two “because serifed fonts are widely used for body text [since] they are considered easier to read than sans-serif fonts in print.” (Wikipedia: Serif, 2018)

I add a lot of photos or gifs that can support my blog writing. I believe that it helps my readers to picture a situation better. I mostly retrieve my photos from Flickr or Google Creative Commons images. I use Giphymaker.com to make some memes that will relate to my work. I did that in Semester A, because I felt that there need to be some funny elements, which can attract young adults such as other college students.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.11.52 AM.png
A lot of fashion items have holes, rips or cropped nowadays, perhaps that is to create space between the body and the clothing. In my page, I have dividers that show all the posts under each category. The main content under each category is in the middle of the page with a featured image or gif for each post. The titles go on the left side along with the date publishes so that readers can easily scan the titles while scrolling.

In addition, I have created an excerpt for the post so that readers can have an idea and choose to read if they are interested. However, for some posts I have simply designed it to show the first few lines of the blog along with a link to “continue reading”, which will lead them to the actual post.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.55.38 AM.png

Site Navigation: Navigation Bar

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.31.23 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.48.38 AM.png
Under the header are the set of items to mix and match each other just like our wardrobes, I have divided the course categories likewise. There are sections for each item on the navigation bar and the coolest thing is it is a sticky navigation bar which appears even when you scroll down. (Convenience at it’s finest!)  If you want to look at my work, you can navigate according to subject. Since a navigation bar can’t fit long titles, I used the course code. As for the course name, it will show up once you click the category.

Site Navigation: Aside and Footer

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.09.46 AM

We always incorporate our outfits with accessories so that people’s attention can be attracted to it while looking at our outfit. Likewise, I have added sidebar widgets on the right hand side of my blog. People can check on other articles that are archived by categories or months. Also, they can follow me on my blog and Twitter. A small Twitter feed widget is added so that my readers can quickly connect and view my latest tweets from the blog itself!

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.09.59 AMScreen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.10.14 AM
Lastly, the shoes always matter. For my footer, I have the widget that shows other blogs that I follow. This can help me to connect with people who know my mutual connections as well as allow them to visit my friends and following’s blog pages.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.10.42 AM.png

Site Engagement: Social Media sites

screen-shot-2018-07-19-at-2-34-28-am.pngOther than social media, there are my social sites icons in the navigation bar, which can link readers to my accounts. I have connected my Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Each time, I post a new blog, I will use the automatic WordPress Blog feature that helps me to share a link to my Twitter account and if  it is relatable to my career, then I will post on my LinkedIn account as well.

User Engagement: Insights and Statistics

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.52.02 AM
Hashtags are powerful. I use a number of hashtags on each blog post. The most common and frequently used are “bcm(course code)”, “UOW”, “uowhk”, “media”, “research” and other topic related tags. I believe this really increases my search visibility as in my statistics, I can see users from other countries. Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.55.21 AM

In this statistic from Year 2018, you can see that I had viewers not only from Hong Kong and Australia, which are the common ones, but also from the U.S., the Phillipines, Turkey, Kenya, India and more. I believe this has happened because of my hashtags.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 2.55.09 AM I can also view the user engagement on my blog posts, according to weeks or months. This can show me which of my blog posts are more engaging and I can adopt the similar style from those successful blogs. I also improve my site and writing based on the comments I receive and by reading or viewing other people’s blogs.

Blog design: Redefined

After reflecting, I changed the theme of my blog.

screen-shot-2018-07-19-at-3-13-54-am.png

This time, my blog looks more sophisticated and clean. There are only simple colours and a lot of white space. (Although the page is zoomed out in this image to show the overall.)
I also realised that this does not reflect my personality too much. One of my classmate’s feedback to this adjustment was that she feels “the blog looks tidy and easy to read.”

However, I don’t feel satisfied because I have a feeling like the theme to resonate with my voice is lost. Also, I do not like the part where the blogs are full posts on one page with dividers. This means endless scrolling to get to the next post. I prefer that people choose what they want to read and open only what they like.

Hence, I suggested to myself that I should rethink the theme and find a balance between my casual pastel-coloured blog versus the white-spaced academic blog. What do you guys think about my blog design? Should I keep it as it is now, go back to the old one or redesign an entirely new one?

Much love,

~k.a.

 


References:

Powell, K. (June 01, 2017) “KHAN – Name Meaning & Origin.” ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/khan-name-meaning-and-origin-1422541

Bear, J. H. (July 09, 2018). “What Do the Different Colors Mean for Graphic Artists?” LifeWire. Retrieved from https://www.creativo.com.au/articles/what-does-colour-mean-.html OR https://www.lifewire.com/color-symbolism-information-1073947

Serif (10 June, 2018) “Serif”. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serif

 

 

 

Hebdomad VI & VII: Digital Research Project Proposal

Photo-taking Behaviours in Time and Space


What does this project mean to me?
Rationale

Photo-taking has had a revolutionary progress, from film cameras and digital photos to instant film. My mother used to carry around a roll film camera to capture moments from our outings, since I was a child. Growing up, I must have adopted some of her passions to contain live moments into photographic memories.

I started by using my phone to take lots of photos, which ranged from random clicks to pictures of friends in outings. Then, I move to point-and-shoot cameras, also known as digital cameras to capture events at my high school, such as sports day and picnics.

In this project, I want to look at the different behaviours and feelings that both photographers and the subject feel. I also want to observe and pick up patterns during the photo-taking process with different cameras, in particularly film roll cameras and instant cameras.

The History of Photography
Background

Although the start of photography can be dated back to 200 years ago, I would like to start at the 1800’s.

firstpic.jpeg  “The first light picture ever taken”

This picture was taken in 1837 with a daguerreotype (see Figure 1) and it was one of the first portrait made by Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce , which was later adopted by many. (A Brief Timeline, 2016)

daguerreotype (Figure 1. The daguerreotype) 

1930s: The invention of roll film camera.

Photojournalists started using 35mm cameras (see Figure 2) affordable by average people such as Henri-Cartier Bresson, for use in war photography rather than staged portraits. (Masoner, 2018)

filmroll(Figure 2. 35mm Film roll camera)

1960s: Along with the film roll camera, Model 95 (see Figure 3) was introduced. It “used a secret chemical process to develop film inside the camera in less than a minute” (Masoner,2018) More people could afford modern Polaroids (see Figure 4) when the prices went down because the instant images that printed out of the camera with the click of a button were a showstopper.

model95 polaroid polaroid

(Figure 3. Model 95 Camera Obscura)          (Figure 4. Polaroid Instant Camera)

“The Polaroid camera was to the 20th century what the smartphone and social network are to the 21st.” – (Freeborn, 2018) 

Finally, the digital cameras and Digital Single-lens Reflex Cameras (DSLRs) changed photography to focus on producing high quality pictures that are posted mostly on online social media sites over memorable developed printed pictures for keepsake.

sonydslr (Figure 5. Sony Alpha 7x Full frame mirrorless camera)
How am I going to do this research?
Methodology

To show my audience of the realistic behaviour and poses, I will record the process of a picture being taken with DSLR and then with a polaroid respectively.

For secondary data, I will use the history of photography and some scholarly quotations to make my points valid. Also, I will use some of my mother’s developed film photography to show the difference of the past and now. This will be my personal narrative to introduce my inspiration behind this project.

Who will benefit from this research?
Stakeholders

I can identify 3 stakeholders that may be affected and learn something through this research.

First, I think this project can educate photographers on the evolution of photography. It will provide them inspiration to mix the different mediums. Also, it may help them to choose the right type of camera to produce pictures for different occasions. For example, a DSLR if it’s a portrait photoshoot and the pictures need to be touched up later on.

Second, advertising companies can learn of the behaviour from the people that are being photographed, such as about their preferences. Also, the ad companies can target photographers by marketing the right products, e.g. cameras or camera accessories that most users prefer.

Last but not the least, the audience can learn and notice their own behaviour next time they are in front of a camera. This can stir up conversations and more research into the topic by the photography community and the general public.

How will I present this project and what will I learn from this project?
Presentation and Expectations

To share my discoveries with you, I will use a video production method which will be a compilation of interviews, interesting facts, my personal sharing and some other online source material that I find worthy to share. The video will be uploaded to YouTube platform as it is the easiest to get exposure and then I will post the link and embed to my Twitter account and WordPress respectively.

In the video, I will be using the 7 elements of digital storytelling. They are as follows:

  1. The Overall Purpose of the Story
  2. The Narrator’s Point of View
  3. A Dramatic Question(s)
  4. The Choice of Content
  5. Clarity of Voice
  6. Pacing of the Narrative
  7. Use of a Meaningful Audio Soundtrack
    Additional for students:
  8. Quality of the Images, Video and other Multimedia Elements
  9. Economy(structure) of the Story Detail
  10. Good Grammar and Language Usage

 (Ho M.B. & Ahuja P.,2018, p.40)

This project will help me to explore my video production skills further. By doing interviews and to film that on camera, I can learn to speak confidently in a public setting. The project will also show my knowledge and experience in videography. My potential career companies can be impressed as I have taken up a regular class assignment, which could have been my knowledge on photography and my willingness to learn more about it.


  1. A Brief Timeline Of the History of Photography (2016) Dickerman Prints. Retrieved from https://www.dickermanprints.com/blog/a-brief-timeline-of-the-history-of-photography
  2. Masoner, L. (2018) “A Brief History of Photography and the Camera.” The Spruce Crafts. Retrieved from http://www.thesprucecrafts.com/brief-history-of-photography-268852
  3. Ho, M.B. and Ahuja (2018) Week 8 Research Project 2. UOW platform (Moodle) Retrieved from https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/course/view.php?id=16022

Case Study 2: Disabled people representation in the media #DisabilityTooWhite

Case Study Part 2 – Global Media Interventions



Last time, I talked about disability portrayal on social media, this week I am bringing another perspective to the table. In an article on Campaign UK, a fact has come to light that advertisements treat the issue of disabled people indifferently. There is an inequality seen on the exposure of disability, compared to normal people in advertisements.

disablednot(Figure 1: Models and Actors posing for Vogue’s Instagram ad for the 2016 Paralympic Games /img src: Campaign UK)

In this case, the article discusses how media doesn’t engage with the issue of disability often. When it does, it doesn’t justify the cause. For example, in Figure 1 a Vogue Instagram ad for Paralympic Games 2016, you can see people in wheelchairs who are “able-bodied models and actors”, but they were photoshopped to seem disabled. This can seem insulting to the disabled community because of the indication that their lives are less desirable and flawed so that they are actually invisible from the screen. (Magee, 2016)

A journalist comments, “what I see most often is that disability is rarely covered, and when it is, the coverage tends to be very patronizing, simplistic, and infantilizing.” – (Smith, 2017) The media’s misrepresentation is often more disturbing when the majority is white dominant. Vilissa Thompson started the movement #DisabilityTooWhite on Twitter to raise awareness on the idea that there is a lack of disability representation of people of color. After the hashtag went viral, there were both encouragement and criticism being tweeted. (Figure 2)

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 9.36.34 PM

(Figure 2: a search result on Twitter for hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite /img src: screenshot from my search on Twitter)

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 11.31.13 PMImage Description: Tweet by Aleksei!!! On Wheels  (@ai_valentin) on 19 May 2016: “I could finally get disability accommodations at my university when white coordinator was replaced by a Filipino man. #disabilitytoowhite” (img scr: screenshot from my search results on Twitter)

Some people felt a confidence to share their stories. A user shared: “I could finally get disability accommodations at my university when white coordinator was replaced by a Filipino man.” Others felt compelled to defend themselves.

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 11.45.08 PMImage Description: Tweet by [heart emoji] Dr C.J. Subko Listro [crescent and heart emoji] (@sarcasmlemons) on 19 May 2016: “White privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard. It means there are some types of hard that you’ll never experience. #DisabilityTooWhite

This user tried to argue that their life isn’t any easier than PoC (persons of colour) by posting a comment that argues “white privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard.”

vilissathompson.pngImage Description: Tweet by Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson) on 18 May 2016: “#DisabilityTooWhite when you search for Black disabled women images & end up finding your own pictures [frowning face emoji] – we need diverse stock images.” (img src: Huffington Post)

Disability activist Thompson further argues that, “if they’re not white, then showing the disabled person not having a lot, despair looking.” (Thompson, 2016) We see that even if there is a representation of disabled people in the media, there is little evidence to say that all races across the world have been covered. People immediately have a bizarre reaction to certain races like the one shared here with us. A disabled Paralympian TV presenter, Ade Adepitan comments:

“I’m black and disabled, so when people meet me you can see them thinking: “Flipping heck, you’re not allowed to be black and disabled.”

There can be so many things done to inform people to be more aware of people as more than just in a wheelchair or deaf. Media advocacy is needed now more than ever. Marshall McLuhan quotes, “the medium is the message.” The media has the power to promote the right campaigns and send out a positive message, so to reform the social stigmas or “the ugly duckling” image of the disabled in the public’s eyes. It yells in the campaign article that “the media plays a crucial role to help challenge people’s perceptions about disabled people and the industry is in a unique position to be at the vanguard of change.” 

Next time, we will be looking at how the media and other stakeholders can do better to represent and value the disabled.

Much appreciation,

k.a.

 


References:

  1. Magee, K. (2016, September 09). The invisibles: Why are portrayals of disability so rare in advertising? Campaign UK. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/invisibles-why-portrayals-disability-so-rare-advertising/1407945
  2. Blahovec S. (2017, December 06) Confronting the Whitewashing Of Disability: Interview with #DisabilityTooWhite Creator Vilissa Thompson. Huffington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2018 from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-blahovec/confronting-the-whitewash_b_10574994.html
  3. Wong, A. (2017). Guests: Vilissa Thompson and s.e. smith. Episode 4 Disabled People in Media & Journalism. Disability Visibility. Retrieved 22 June 2018, from https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2017/10/08/ep-4-disabled-people-in-media-journalism/ 
    Transcript from: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Disabled-People-in-Media-Journalism.pdf
  4. Twitter (2016) #DisabilityTooWhite. Twitter. Retrieved 23 June, 2018 from https://twitter.com/hashtag/disabilitytoowhite?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Ehashtag

 

 

 

 

Self-Branding: “I look up to myself”

Gig economy is the new trend of jobs and perhaps the future of it. It refers to people who “want the freedom and control that only working for themselves can provide.” (Scudamore, 2018) Nowadays, you can be your own boss and make your own rules by creating a corporate personhood. It means to give a corporate the same rights as a human being enjoys. That corporate is your personal brand.

The biggest business tool you can possibly own are your social media accounts. Everyone focuses a lot on a consistent theme and style for their personal feeds especially on Instagram, which is the contemporary Myspace. This consistency on multiple platforms can lead to self-branding, portraying yourself as a sellable product on the market.

“You combine hard work, creativity and self-determination, and things start to happen.” – Sophia Amoruso 

You put these 3 things on social media and (voila!) you have a presentable portfolio, allowing companies to find you. One of the many things an employer looks for when hiring is your social presence, such as your Instagram profile. When compared to a traditional CV, the cost that comes with this is that your image is no longer just defined by where you studied and worked.

 “A profile is a compilation of the utterances of many people packaged as the profile of one person.” (Gershon, 2014 p.283) What happens on your Instagram feed is vital. The input by others affects your brand, just as much as anything that you comment on others. Such as the photos you are tagged on may not be consistent with the image you have built on your page or some of the comments you reply may conflict with your brand.

There are also worries “that an online persona with whom they interact does not have a comparable offline body.” (Gershon, 2014 p.285)  You have to come off as a legitimate brand which is online and has a base. The Klout Score is a system that rates Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) on their online social influence. The higher the score, the more you are rocking your engagement and online presence.

A large following base can also be used to assess your legitimacy. Although many apps can be used to create a random fake followers base, more real users will result in more engagement, such as them using hashtags to talk about you. An example would be twin girls Lisa and Lena on Musical.ly. If you were to find them on instagram, you could search all about them using the #LenaandLisa tag. You can see below in Figure 1, how the search comes up about the twins.

IMG_1951.PNG

(Figure 1: Instagram search for Lena and Lisa)

Another popular method is the verified icon Figure 2 on Twitter or other social media platforms. It is only authorised by the social media site itself so people can easily trust that they are an official account. Most celebrities and growing micro-celebrities have it on their profiles.

verified.png

(Figure 2: verified accounts for Twitter, src: Google images)

On an ending note, I would like to sum up Gershon’s words that “participant structure and people’s efforts to inhabit a specific identity are fundamentally intertwined.” (2014, p.284) It means that wherever you build your self brand, it will be affected by yourself and others. So be yourself and be kind!

Much love,

k.a.


References:

  1. Ilana Gershon (2014) Selling Your Self in the United States. Political and Legal Anthropology Review. p284-286. Retrieved June 16, 2018 from https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/1354861/mod_resource/content/2/SellingtheselfintheUSAnthropology_Review.pdf
  2. Scudamore, B. (2018, May 09). How The Gig Economy Is Fueling A New Type Of Entrepreneur. Forbes. Retrieved June 14, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2018/05/09/how-the-gig-economy-is-fueling-a-new-type-of-entrepreneur/#79441ec76e11
  3. images from: https://www.pinterest.com/maya1andersson/sophia-amoruso/