I started looking into my piece last night and thinking of options on how I can take it on that would result in it being a rather insightful and relevant essay, especially in these times. I haven’t made much progress yet but I think I should still write all my progression down while it’s still fresh so that I don’t forget about all the details.
This being only the beginning of the research progress did not stop me from running into a bit of a problem. Well, it wasn’t much of a problem, but rather something I was going to have to run into eventually. I’m glad it happened sooner than later though as it could’ve had bad consequences had I not done what I ended up doing. And yes, I am building up anticipation within a post! (It’s nothing too exciting though.) Without further ado, let’s get into it.
I feel like I should make a statement regarding the problematic bit of it and sort of explain where I was coming from before I say anything else. The questionable bit is listed in the 2) section of the list. Even while writing it down I was second-guessing whether ot not it even is appropriate for me to do that and in retrospect, I should’ve listened to my gut feeling and scrapped that idea. Looking back on it with a fresh mind, I would go out of my way to say that it was out of line for me to even consider doing that. Regardless of how good my intentions were, if it can be perceived in the wrong way, it will be. Even if it’s just by a few, that’s a few too many. Fortunately enough, I was able to reach out to friends who belong to the group whose experience I was considering of talking about and get their personal input on this “gesture”. And my concerns/fear was confirmed – while it is important to cover this topic, it could be interpreted as racial profiling had it come from me – someone who is not a part of the race, but only a bystander who can make a commentary on it using second-hand research and not personal experience as reference. Making this paralel that I had thought about making blured the line between addressing a relevant issue and racial profiling too much for anyone’s tastes.
Before I move on to explain my idea, I should also address the fact that the other option I had was making a paralel between sharks and the LGBTQ+ community. I feel as though this option is a lot more acceptable as I personally am a part of that community, therefore I can make a commentary on it based on my own experience and represent my own community, rather than talking from the outside perspective about the experiences of a community I don’t belong to. But it should also be taken into consideration that members of my own community may not be fond of me making a connection between the community and a predatory animal, even if my intention is to talk about how both are misrepresented in the media and experiencing the negative effects of that. (Fear, discrimination, hate, etc.) Overall, I feel like paralleling any sort of person to a highly predatory animal is not the smartest route for me to go down, because at the end of the day, these are people I would be talking about – beings that function based on will and intelligence rather than instincts and nature.
Overall I feel like just talking about sharks and how they are treated would be more than enough and I would not be overstepping any lines. Sometimes, it is smarter to not branch out too far from the source material and add to it rather than kill its initial objective with sticking additional topics to it, regardless of how important they might be. Making a blob of different subjects within a single essay would simply have been disrespectful in itself as the other topics I considered tackling within it deserve more thorough attention or care when handling, rather than being a sort of after-thought. Not saying it would have been like that, but I feel it would have lost its significance/importance had I done it the way I thought about doing it last night, which is using the shark piece as an entry point and then shifting the attention to the injustices regarding minorities and how the media portrays them.
Next time, if I feel my gut saying “are you sure this is ok…?”, I will listen to it before I even carry out asking anyone about my eligibility to talk about it. If I have to question that, should I even be doing it in the first place?
But yes, onto the idea. I thought it would be very interesting to look into the real-life treatment and in contrast to that – the portrayal of sharks throughout media, cover the finning of sharks, keeping them in captivity and the recent drop in numbers of the shark population worldwide. I could reference movies, documentaries, real life stories.
Sharks have become a staple horror movie villain and their “notoriety” in the mainstream media has been prevalent for almost 6 decades now. “Jaws” being the very predecessor of this phenomena. It will surely be interesting to look into what the directors/producers of these films had to say about their movies and what the actual idea behind them was. Did they intend on portraying the shark as the villain? Or was it the people in the movies that were the actual underlying evil, as they are in the real world? I certainly have a lot of research that I need to conduct before starting to work on the poster, which, by the way, I decided I would make a few versions of. It appears that all we really need to do is use the image of the artefact we chose and place it in the poster alongside text, which, is rather underwhelming, so I think I will try to pull more out of the bag for the poster, even if it will not be assessed. (Cut to me whining about how much work I need to do when no one actually asked for it, haha. I just feel like I need to do it to satisfy my own personal needs as opposed to doing it for the module.) An idea I had for the tagline/title of the essay/poster being “Behind the Jaws” or “Confined”, the former being the more likely of choices I will go with. However, I will make thumbnails and sketches for both, just for the sake of research. As for the essay, I think it will come round on its own as I develop my concepts and carry out my research, this will be an interesting experience. I am excited to start working on it.