Broadcast yourself.

In the editing phase of the progress, I quickly acknowledge that I was the most comfortable with the software and most experienced due of my previous education. Editing in particular is a time consuming and creative progress, combining the pieces of shot footage, and creating a satisfactory montage. However, it was a very satisfactory thing to do, and all the team contributed with valuable comments and critiques.

For myself I have been thinking in what way the montage can contribute to the message we want to achieve. Additionally I also have been wondering about the website, we distributed the piece. YouTube has always fascinated me in particular. As the name already sounds with familiarity to TV and to reversed mass-communication, i.e. mass-self communication, YouTube is a platform which makes you think in different ways about broadcasting and communicating, in respect to the traditional media we have been using until 7 years ago (YouTube is founded in 2005).

Now we have edited the piece, and we have exported in onto YouTube, it feels like you are on the first day of school. Lonely, lost, and what will the cruel judgement of the crowd be? But in a way, the users are likely to behave in a particular way, and will our video be picked up? As likely as it is to use certain well known steps to optimize the viewer rating of the clip, I would also like to emphasize the product as the video as being a product of the arts. YouTube as we can also use the medium as a contemporary arts platform. In this case the art in terms of a song and music video. If we than can regard YouTube as contemporary arts platform as Sonesson (2002 :24) mentions

“Contemporary arts… repeat everyday trivial situation which have become standardized and repeatable not because of the presence of some popular memory, but because of being projected over and over again by television and other mass media: They exist thanks to the bardic function of television, as Fiske and Hardley call it, that is, in Jakobsen’s terms, thanks to the pathic function.”

This means, that although YouTube shows such a great variety if clips in the spectra, our society is likely to pick up clips who could decode as fitting in the Bardic function of the society. In short the Bardic function describes the active and cultural relations between TV and viewers. Repetition of certain notions and described in the arts, can thus be more likely picked up by a larger crowd.

I certainly hope that in some respect we have managed to use the essential narrative outlines for the story to this extend that our message can be viewed and read in the right way. If those ideas of Riots, Ninja, Life as a videogame or not; Ideas all be seen in the common knowledge of the masses, can be read in the way we aimed for. If that is the case, and it does get picked up, the true meaning of the video is achieved. In the mean while, why not help destiny a little bit with optimizing the film for searching and viewing on YouTube?

Emmy van Kleef

Reference:

Sonesson, G. (2002) ‘The Culture of Modernism: From Transgressions of Art to Arts of Transgression.’ Visio., 3 (3) Modernism pp. 9-26

Critical Reflection

Nowadays, we cannot count only on the media industry as they have shown more than once that they are not honest and ethical. Media often try to cover up or to modify stories. Journalists are not anymore trustworthy, and we do not know where the truth is. In these times, people demand to express their word in the public sphere. They push for being more informed about world issues, doing researches, finding viewers and listeners to share their points of view and thoughts and therefore seek to discovering more than what mass media tell them. Online media, especially blogs, give people a better knowledge of what is happening in the world. Moreover, with blogs, people can be free to have intellectual debates and an exchange of information with women and men from every part of the world.

I would categorise blogs as personal media and I would say that, mainly, what makes the difference between mass media and personal media is people’s behaviour. On one side, mass media make people become passive viewers and listeners; citizens are obliged to accept every kind of information without any debate. On the other side, personal media involve active participants who discuss, make questions, give answers and therefore can gain more control over media, from television to radio, extending to all other media forms.

By creating a blog, I realized even more, how many connections it is possible to have and how easy it is to exchange information. Initially, I did not understand why the topic of our project was the riots in London during last summer 2011. Then, later on, talking with my colleagues, I realized that this episode embraces many actual topics, such as: education, consumerism, policing, poverty, austerity, social exclusion, prison sentences, etc. Hence, therefore, we could focus on what most interested us.

When I started the project with my group, we decided to concentrate in particular on the education in private and public school and, looking at how teachers are so essential figures in educating young people. In particular, when students are from poor families who do not care about their education, teachers become the only guide for them. So, I started doing some researches among some different blogs, which talked about the riots, written by teachers for their students and I came across an article about a 31-years-old primary school worker, who was 31 years old, found in an electrical store in Croydon with the intent of stealing. I have attached here the link to the article the guardian , so that I can share this case with you, because it was not been discussed a lot.  I think it is one of the most important cases as this man had a job in a primary school, he was not a young guy lost, without any guide, but a person who had to respect the law in order to give the right example to children.

Most of the people involved in the riots, like this primary school worker, had exploited the circumstances of what happened, without understanding the dramatic situation that they were developing. Surprisingly, some guys told journalists they felt as they were playing a kind of game as everything was so easy to take and they were free to do anything they wanted. An article by the Guardian, in, in particularly impressed us, and it became the font of inspiration for our project. In this article, a 19- years-old man described how he robbed the shops in a very unusual way, explaining that he felt like a ninja on a mission, jumping in all the shops. Therefore, after numerous considerations, we decided to build our short movie around these words and the message that we got through them. We chose to create something original and entertaining, but which keeping always the message we wanted to give. The final idea was to create a music video that with a rap song describing the thoughts of ‘this ‘ninja’. The original plan was that the shopkeepers mouthed the song, in order to create a juxtaposition between the rioter and these hard working people, who were the most effected during the riots.

This has been the moment where we had the most discussions in because obviously everybody had a different idea in mind about how to reproduce the concept. I have to say that working in a group challenged myself a great deal in a way, that now I am more opened to take in consideration other people’s ideas. And at the same moment I have also improved my creativity and my critical thinking, due to the fact that working with other students on the same project put a kind of pressure on me as I wanted to give my 100% on this work.

During this term, I learned a lot through my colleagues; whom already had experiences with camera and editing. Although, everything was new to me, I had the opportunity to be active in these processes thanks to the theory lessons about film making and editing, and the help of my group.  Finally, when we decided the shooting day, everything was taking shape and there was an excitement in the air, which gives us the strength to finish almost everything in one day. The most difficult part was convincing shopkeepers to be involved in our project. We consequentially, had to speak clearly with them, to explain with patient and kindliness who we were, what our aim was and why. This task, for me, was the less difficult, as I greatly enjoy working with people and engaging them in something creative and unexpected. In fact, for me, one of the most satisfying moments in this work was when a shopkeeper gave us his help and believed in our words. Some of them, I realized wanted to listen and help us but, were more annoyed by the camera. Others, after shooting, spent extra time to talk about their experiences of the riots and how they felt nowadays; it was very interesting to share our opinions with them and, at the same time, it made me fell very pleased because we had been able to involve them into what we were doing.

These people were willing to help us because we were good at conveying and we have towards the message respected them. I believe that the same kind of honesty needs to be in a blog. The most important thing is to write our own words, without copying books, stories or other blogs. As people who want to read, who care about what happens in the world who have the need to broaden their contacts beyond their own country, know who is a true blogger and who is just someone looking for an audience. The latter type of people do not last long, as the lack of worthy posts, topics and comments is what makes a blog dies.

Paola Langella

Theoretical Work for Critical Reflection

This post aims to outline the theoretical concepts used in my critical reflection, so that its reader might have a better understanding of the models and jargon used in the below post, before it’s read.

Tuckman’s Concept of ‘Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning’

In 1965 the psychologist Bruce Tuckman published an article entitled ‘Developmental Sequence in Small Groups’ in the ‘Psychological Bulletin’.  It was in this work that he introduced the notions of ‘forming, storming, norming and performing’ (‘adjourning’ was added later, in a review in the mid-70s).  This model has since been referred to in a great number of texts that seek to explain group behaviour and inform groups on how they can be more effective.

As Passmore and Cantor wrote, “Tuckman…identified that all groups initially appear to have four sequential development stages in common” (2012:34).  In my own words, these are the stages:

Stage 1 – Forming – The group establishes their goal and tests social boundaries.

Stage 2 – Storming – Tensions in the group begin to emerge.

Stage 3 – Norming – The group establishes its dynamic.

Stage 4 – Performing – The group works to reach its outlined goals.

Stage 5 – Adjourning – The group disperses because goals have been achieved.

I chose to use this model in the below post because, I believe, it captures some of the fundamental stages that a group of people go through when they are asked to, or decide to, collaborate.  I also found it useful because it is highly flexible and can be applied to a variety of group formations, e.g. the norming stage might last longer for different groups.  Lastly, it is also clear to see the stages he outlined in a practical situation, for example, when a group is storming, even if the dispute is polite and mature, it is easily recognisable.

The ‘Learning Modalities’ Model 

This model doesn’t have a set author, but is regularly used in schools and colleges to improve students’ learning potential.  Hence, I first became aware of the model in upper school, when we were going through induction processes.  We each had to fill out an online survey that determined how we learnt best and consequentially which ‘type of learner’ we were and to what percentage.

At its most lucid level, this model centers on the fact that there are 3 types of learners:

Visual 

  • The most common type of learner.
  • These learners predominantly learn by seeing.
  • Characteristically, these learners are strong readers and rely on visual tools to keep them stimulated.

Auditory 

  • The rarest type of learner.
  • These learners predominantly learn by hearing.
  • Characteristically, these learners prefer to listen to information, rather than to read it silently.

Kinesthetic 

  • The number of kinesthetic learners is increasing rapidly.
  • These learners predominately learn by doing.
  • Characteristically, these learners need motion to keep their brains stimulated.

As mentioned in my critical reflection, I’m a strong auditory learner and subsequently don’t learn well through kinesthetic methods, aimed at boosting brain intake and retention, e.g. presentations and participatory/creative activities, and visual methods, e.g. diagrams, lists and readings.  This is probably because I’m dyslexic (Simon, please see hardcopy cover sheet) and thus have a poor reading speed and coordination.  However, I believe that this model was useful when critically reflecting on why I was not completely comfortable with certain areas of the project.

Carina Mansey

Critical Reflection

I wasn’t excessively excited when this module got announced, as I’ve learnt from a multitude of past experiences that I’m not entirely comfortable with team or practical work.  Drawing on the ‘learning modalities’ model, I identified some reasons why I struggle with these specific work forms.  I’m an auditory learner, as apposed to a kinesthetic or visual one.  Auditory learners are a minority; many writers, such as Walker Tileston (2004), suggest that this minimalism is due to digitalisation and multimedia.  Regardless of why there are so few people who predominantly learn by listening, Shelton in his work on the motion-media industry, constantly reiterates that motion-media is “kinetic-visual media” and that to create it “kinetic-visual planning” is essential (2004:269).  Being an auditory learner also incapacitates some of the key interpersonal skills that an individual needs in a group situation.  For example, I’m “easily distracted by sounds” and need silence when I’m working (Walker Tileston, 2004:17).  This means that when in a group, I simply end up listening to everybody else’s thoughts, and while doing this, I can’t formulate any creative ideas of my own.

From 17th April – 31st May, when the group was in the process of forming, I was relatively comfortable with the assignment, although the storming and norming stages were more difficult.  There are often overlaps between these stages, e.g. when a problem appears, or a new task is given, groups often exhibit storming behaviour (MindTools.com, n.d.).  On 1st May we were asked to develop a theme that could be looked at in connection to the London Riots.  I put forward the idea of looking at social media, because I’d just written an essay about it and was fairly comfortable with ideas concerning Autonomist Marxism and the ‘social factory’ (Tronti,1966), and thought that it would be interesting to develop this in relation to the riots.  However, Paola suggested assessing whether the education system had an impact on the lawlessness that was exhibited.

After many ‘creative debates’ and processes that focused on identifying and establishing an understanding of the target demographics, for each of the films concepts, we identified problems with both topics.  For example, community audits and empathy mapping indicated that getting work to a standard that the target audiences would be willing to view and share would be difficult in the given time limit.  Our fear was that our audiences (ironically), as free-labourers in the ‘social factory’, would not be motivated enough by our video to justify labouring.  Whether this labour involved commenting on our work, or simply promoting it, we were concerned that it, as a media product, would not act as a means of production, e.g. posting a link to the social media video, by way of comment, on a ‘Wired’ blog, would have been like giving the Pope a book entitled ‘A Beginners Guide to Catholicism’.  Yet, we wanted to meet our previously outlined ‘cognitive, affective and conative’ objectives, to trigger desired psychological processes in our audience, e.g. to raise awareness and get people to feel, think and act as a result of viewing the film (Snow and Farr, 1987).  We consequentially decided that it would be better to brainstorm new concepts individually and then discuss our ideas in the next timetabled workshop.

By the workshop on 15th May we had fully entered into the norming process and were able to focus on ideas that would be effective and feasible in the given timeframe.  Thereby we considered access issues in relation to cast, props, setting, etc, and looked at possible extraneous variables, e.g. weather conditions and bystander behaviour.  Finally, working from Emmy’s visualisation, we decided to make a rap video that documented the feelings of a rioter.  The video would rely on London’s urban landscape, with Indra as the main cast member and, apart from a ninja mask, we would not need any props.  In terms of our audience, the concept would appeal to a broad demographic.  This would not only include people that were still interested in the riots for personal reasons, e.g. shopkeepers (who also formed part of our cast), but students studying creative subjects and other young individuals who would be drawn to the film because of its inclusion of a ‘ninja’.

On the same day, the performing process commenced as we started to write the rap lyrics.  By the end of the meeting we had decided on a monorhyme scheme for each stanza (e.g. stanza one had an A, A, A, A rhyme structure and the following one had a B, B, B, B).  I then went away and wrote another 12 stanzas, including a few lines that Emmy had also suggested.  As the ‘rap’ ended up reading a bit like a poem, Emmy contacted a professional rapper who was able to change elements and write in a chorus.

When it came to shooting the feature, Emmy’s enthusiasm, Cindy’s filming, Indra’s acting, and Paola’s ability to communicate direction and persuade people to get involved, really helped create amazing footage.  Although, I soon realised that standing there, looking awkward and occasionally making sarcastic comments, wasn’t really contributing anything.  I knew that this would be the hardest bit of the task for me and I honestly felt embarrassed that my lack of practical creativity was making me seem like a poor team player.  After an evening of feeling miserable, I decided to go ahead and play to my strengths.  I thus started developing the blog, its images and copy.  I also agreed to sub-edit my groups’ work and to suggest changes.  Subbing was perhaps the most challenging task, as I found it hard to keep sentence meanings the same when correcting grammatical errors.

To conclude, even though I wasn’t totally comfortable with this project, it has been a good experience for my own maturation, as Cindy said it would be.  I need to continuously build my confidence and the only way I am going to do so is by placing myself into uncomfortable situations.  I’ve also learnt that I don’t need to beat myself up about not having specific abilities.  No one is good at everything and, at certain times, it’s more productive to stick to what one is good at.  So what if I wasn’t the strongest individual when it came down to practical creativity?  I have, like every other member, used my own skills to contribute to this project and we’ve, most certainly, successfully produced a piece of work that we’re all proud of!

Carina Mansey

Bibliography

‘Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing: Helping New Teams Perform Effectively, Quickly’ (n.d.) [www] http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm (16.06.12; 17:47)

GILL, R. & PRATT, A. (2008) In the Social Factory?: Immaterial Labour, Precariousness and Cultural Work form Theory Culture & Society, vol. 25, no. 7-8, pgs. 1-30 [Published by Sage] [www] http://tcs.sagepub.com/content/25/7-8/1 (16.06.12; 17:15)

PASSMORE, J. & CANTORE, S. (2012) Top Business Psychology Models: 50 Transforming Ideas for Leaders, Consultants and Coaches. London: Kogan Page Limited

SNOW, R. E. & FARR, M. J. (1987) ‘Cognitive-Conative-Affective Processes in Aptitude, Learning, and Instruction: An Introduction’ in R. E. Snow & M. J. Farr (eds) (1987) Aptitude, Learning, and Instruction.  Volume 3: Conative and Affective Process Analyses. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.  

SHELTON, S. M. (2004) Communicating Ideas with Film, Video, and Multimedia: A Practical Guide to Information Motion-Media. Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press   

TUCKMAN, B. W. (1965) Developmental Sequence in Small Groups from Psychological Bulletin, vol. 63, no. 6, pgs. 384-399

TUCKMAN, B. W. (1977) Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited from Group and Organization Managment, vol. 2, no. 4, pgs. 419-427

‘Tuckman Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing Model’ (n.d.) [www] http://www.businessballs.com/tuckmanformingstormingnormingperforming.htm (16.06.12; 18:53)

WALKER TILESTON, D. (2004) What Every Teacher Should Know About Learning, Memory, and the Brain. London: Sage Publications Lmt. 

Blogging

The second term of my course at the  LCC started with a unit that explored media as a practice. Furthermore, we were introduced to ‘blogging’, a new media that was already established in our daily lives, as solution to demand of constant communication and interaction with others via the Internet and online technologies. I was fairly experiences with of concept blogging as a practice when I did my first project for Media Institution unit in the previous term. On www.waiternatter.com I created a forum where people in hospitality industries could shares problems and interesting stories. I was excited about this unit as I could build upon my basic experiences with blogging and take it to another level.

To create the project we engaged in a group. Our first aim was to build up a blog.  A blog is considered to be a webpage that is publicly accessible. Blogs can be journeys either individuals or commercials.  Usually blog are a reflection of the creator’s ideas and contain online dairies entries presented in a journey formats. Others internet user able to access the blog and are allowed to leave any comment about the topics discussed in the blog. Other researchers agreed with the mainstream media and depicted blog as new forms of citizen journalism.

When the project’s criteria announced and we were asked to reflect upon last year’s London riot, it brought back memories about the experiences that I had allied with the riot (see Riot Experiences). To get to know the topic better, I browsed online blogs dealt with issues relating to the topic, such as education, poverty,  and even the used of social media during and past riot. Some blogs also reported on the chronology, and the caused of the London riot. There are ‘pro and contra’ about the issues.  However, through the differences of opinions, it brought people together to bond in the cyber community. With the sharing of stories and responses to posts, people were able to understand problems and try to find solutions.

I found the essence of the blog you need to look at the posts. A post is a form of expression where people convey what they feel about issues, create communication and debate. It is an open forum of content that is potentially accessible to anyone and where is possible to encounter unexpected. For example, I read this blog that talked about ‘poverty’ as a cause of London riot. The argument posted with different thought between agreement and disagreement about the topics. The posts engaging with each other and create a community around the topics. Each response generated more posts, more response and created something of relationship among them.

WordPress had been introduced as a format of hosting our blog. WordPress is free hosting blogging platform that has the most users. Along with all those users come some pretty neat stuff, such as an active developer community, a wide range of reference material, and a large base of people that we can turn to for help. I found the process of setting up a blog use WordPress always has been straightforward because step-by-step instructions. WordPress give us the option to use a remote server, which can be connected to any server across the internet. This is make it easy for us as a group easier to visit the blog on any computer and to make any adjustment needed using our admin password.

After brainstorm with ideas, we named our blog as ‘riotconnection’.  With the name we wanted to capture the essence of any issues connected with the London riot. During the set up of ‘riotconnection’, we built riotconnection@gmail.com. This is our group email account and our blog’s correspondent email. On the blog’s dashboard we created the lay out of appearance with main picture and background picture. The layout and pictures used had been changed couple time due to the shifting of ideas as the key focus of our blog and video.

Since the idea of ‘Urban Ninja’ became our main perspective, the layout changed with a black and white colour theme used images of riot squadron during the London riots as the background, and font image of ‘Urban Ninja’ as header. The appearance of the blog is the first thing that people see when they log in. I believe that it is important to make an excellent first impression online. People will be attracted to engage with the rest of the blog by the powerfulness of first impression.

Indra Saputra

How to create an effective message

ImageIn modern society people are flooded with messages of every kind. However, most of them are ignored, thus the constant communication can be inefficient. This raises the question of how to make a memorable message. I believe that a message should move people to express their own points of view, while also being efficient, relevant, worthwhile and compelling, especially if the message is broadcast on a social media network. The aim of using such a platform is to engage people in order to meet the desire for comments on one’s piece of writing, pictures or videos and to also broadcast one’s message through one’s own social network – in this way you can reach a wider audience and have a bigger impact.

The first step in preparing a message is to brainstorm ideas in order to find suitable ones that fit perfectly with the audience we want to reach. For our group, the most difficult task was not to find ideas, but rather to select one among a multitude. In fact, everybody had different opinions about how we could make a movie about the London Riots. Having a lot of ideas is much better than no idea at all, but my dilemma was to find one that did not rely on other people to be executed, because we had only three weeks to write a song, find a singer, shoot scenes and edit the video clip. I was not afraid of creating a rap song, but the fact was that we had to rely on people we didn’t know to agree to be part of our project. Finally, after three weeks of intense talks, we all agreed on creating a rap song and a video clip. By this time, in my mind, the most challenging task for me was to convince a singer and shopkeepers to be part of our project.

The target was to create an effective message with an educational purpose so that we could raise people’s awareness about the general consequences of their actions.

We decided to sit around a table to create the most essential part of our communication: the song.  Everybody contributed to building the lyrics step-by-step with a view to producing a credible piece of work. I had never done that before so I was excited about playing around with English words in order to create a lyric for a rap song.  I do not think I was really good at, but it was a great experience to share. Finally, Rina our native English speaker took the lead in finishing the song. Emmy submitted it to a singer friend of hers to see if our text had a good enough rhythm to truly be a song. After this process, I received the composition by e-mail and I was very surprised by the result of this collaborative work: the message was clear, sharp and simple, and this was a very good starting point in our bid to achieve efficient communication.  Moving people has no magical quality to it; for communication to be successful it has to be effective and the message has to be clear, comprehensible and credible. It must also create an emotional connection in order to spread its message widely and produce a buzz. The message is not only a matter of text, but also the result of the association of both text and images due to the fact that images emphasize and serve the text. In this sense, I believe that the message is more efficient when we utilise both features

I truly believe that the rap song is an original way of reaching young teenagers, coming as it does from urban culture and a lower social class.  For me, the meaning behind the lyrics that we produced for our song is complex and thought provoking. Thus, we felt that it was important to be jokey about the images we wanted to associate with each sentence of the song in order not to create a violent message. Lab suggested that we use irony and a humourous tone for the narrative of the video clip, which I believe is a good way to trigger reflections about the society in which we are currently living. We decided to consider both the viewpoint of the UK rioters and the viewpoint of shopkeepers; the former is represented through the lyrics of the song and the latter by the fact that shopkeepers say the rioters’ words  (the rioters in question were interviewed by the Guardian newspaper. See : The guardian – Article

The first day of shooting started with the selection of sentences that the shopkeepers could say; in other words, the shopkeepers were our cast and the selected sentences were their script. It is always somewhat difficult to discuss controversial topics, so we selected our sentences very carefully. Paola suggested writing them down, to help the shopkeepers to remember them.  It was essential for us to give them all the materials and advice we could to ensure that they were comfortable in front of the camera.

To summarise the message conveyed by the rap song has an educational purpose. The lyrics of the song provide food for thought without being moralistic and aim to trigger reflections about the consequences of our actions in society.

Cindy

It’s a (w)rap!

Creating a narrative.

The road from ‘idea into a video’ is often a long one. On your path you find many intersections and crossings, and often the road leads in a direction that you were not expecting. As the theme ‘London Riots’ was given for our video, we could channel this theme in a direction of our own liking. So what did we want to portray? We agreed upon making a video that would contain some sort of message; not only portraying something that happened, but also the reflecting after the action. ‘Education’ was the first angle we looked into, but somewhere along the research done in the first week I came across The Guardian – Reading the Riots, a project documenting the riots and interviewing the sentenced people. It showed that a lot of rioters went looting because of acquisitive desire. I found this exceptionally fascinating, because for me it was (and in some ways still remains) a mystery why the riots happened. One paragraph in particular stood out:

The hundreds of looters interviewed as part of the Reading the Riots study reveal complex and varied motivations. It was down to simple greed, say some participants. One 19-year-old from Hackney, who looted in Wood Green on the first night of the disturbances, put it in stark terms: “The rioting, I was angry. The looting, I was excited. Because, just money. I don’t know, just money-motivated. Everything that we done just money-motivated.”

 A number of looters complained about large corporations. A 19 year old man from Battersea described how he plundered shops at least 12 times, stashing the stolen goods in a hiding place. “I felt like I was like a ninja, on a mission … like I was jumping all in the shops, using front rolls, yeah, run in there get a bag out there quick, bum, bum, bum, put it in there, tie it up, put it back on my back, roll out, run to my little road that I know that no one else knows.” But he only took from “major consumer brands”, he insisted, “stuff that was like industries, businesses, like big businesses, like international businesses that are just raping the world anyway, that are just taking advantage of other people’s labour”. “So why can’t we take advantage of them for this one moment?” he asked.
See: The Guardian

After reading this, I realised that there was almost this feeling of excitement in his words, as if the looting was a game, and the shops were not real, and the things in the shops were not really valuable. It made me think about how this piece of text tells us something about the way we live in our contemporary consumerism society. We have built our society in such a way that, in our daily lives and in our regular habits, we are not being addressed as people anymore, but instead we are being addressed (consistently and forcefully) as consumers. In order to be happy and to live with quality, we need trendy clothing, the newest technical gadgets, expensive gifts and cute plastic flowers that move. Besides the fact that we are turning our planet into a waste dump, the triviality of consumerism also reflects back upon people’s consciousness. More than ever are celebrities and brands like our new monarchy, and the economy is treated as a religion. I can’t help but wonder if this society, where it is all just about money, reflects upon how people value their life, their morals and their place in our society. When so many efforts are undertaken to tantalise the greed of the few (the bussinessmen) wouldn’t the many (the people) follow with same aspirations?

So this piece of information inspired us to create a rap song. A song which centered on the idea of a 19 year old guy, who feels like he is just playing a game when in the riots, almost as innocently as if he were playing a video game, maybe a little unaware of the fact that what he is doing is morally unacceptable in our society. However, he is brought back to reality when he is being put into jail. I am anticipating that the video can create an honest attempt to show this paradox.

Emmy van Kleef