Educational Interactive Exhibit
Street harassment is one of the most prevalent forms of harassment in our society today.
Most bystanders have the power but not the skillset to call out street harassment when they see it. They are often unable to empathize with people who experience street harassment.
Educate and empower bystanders to call out street harassment by creating an interactive traveling exhibition to help them.
Content Warning: This presentation addresses themes of sexual violence, and may contain disturbing content. Please take care and proceed with caution.
WHAT I DID
We can help bystanders to call out street harassment by teaching them through empathetic education.
Design an educational interactive exhibit that asks museum visitors to take a walk in someone else’s shoes to learn how to #callitout when you see street harassment.
WHY VCU ICA
"ICA at VCU presents the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world. You belong here."
- from their website
It serves as a link between VCU Monroe Park Campus with VCU's Medical Center, much like this exhibition serves as a link between bystander and educated ally.
"Hollaback! is an international nonprofit organization that fights street harassment through education, technology, and online and offline grassroots activism. Hollaback! and its allies have proved through years of research and grassroots activism that bystander intervention is one of the most effective ways to combat street harassment and deter perpetrators from future attacks."
- from their website
Statistics show that 85% of all women and 25% of all men will have experienced street harassment at some point in their lives.
The top 5 forms of street harassment from our survey were:
95% Honking car horn
We interviewed men between the ages of 25-40 and our data showed they were only able to identify overt street harassment and didn't know how to de-escalate the situation.
"I've been cat called so many times it's hard to even remember individual instances..."
- Survey Participant when asked to recall past experiences of street harassment
"HEY BEAUTIFUL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"
Here’s the ugly truth: anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator.
From our research, we learned that people who self-identify as an ally to any group don't always know how to identify subtle forms of street harassment but are open to learning. Street harassment is more than its stereotypical depiction in popular culture.
"HEY, LEAVE THEM ALONE. THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU."
Here's the good news: that means anyone can be a good bystander.
Good bystanders safely intervene in support of the victim. After going through this exhibition, they will have started to discard preconceived notions of what perpetrators and victims look like, and they can swiftly evaluate an attack to determine a safe and supportive course of action.
Leveraging the VCU ICA's position as a starting point for the monthly First Friday Art Walk, visitors are encouraged to visit the ICA and learn how to #callitout when they see someone experiencing or perpetuating street harassment.
THE ATRIUM SPACE
Visitors walk into the atrium on the way to the exhibit and are met with sounds emanating from the stickers using audio spotlight technology. The stickers were created from real phrases anonymously submitted to the group and this was designed to imitate how people experience street harassment.
THE GALLERY SPACE
Through the guided exhibit, visitors can both educate themselves, as well as experience street harassment by standing on the pink speech bubbles where they'll hear what was said to the people highlighted in the portraits using audio spotlight technology.
Each portrait has a story of what street harassment that person experienced alongside a statistical fact about how street harassment affects society.
In this space, the right wall highlights Hollaback!'s 5D method: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. Additional educational material would be distributed throughout the other rooms of the exhibition.
Learn more about Hollaback!'s training on their website here.
Content Warning: These audio clips address themes of sexual violence, and may contain disturbing content. If you are in a public space, please wear headphones.
THE GIFT SHOP
In addition to providing resources and educational material, there will be a gift shop with branded merchandise to keep #CALLITOUT alive in the world after the exhibit has ended. A portion of the proceeds would go to Hollaback! and their free bystander training workshops.
Since identity is intersectional, books would be included so visitors could learn more about the different identities presented in the exhibit.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM UTILIZING #HASHTAG ACTIVISM
I enjoyed having the ability to work on a team of strong women who were excited to do a social good project, and I learned a lot along the way. Design Justice is something I’m passionate about, and I believe thoughtful strategy paired with good design can empower people to grow into better versions of themselves.