Emense’s premier public art project was a campaign that speaks to the everyday woman in New York, in a personal, warm, yet informative way, on the issue of sexism. Sexism is a real issue that many feel uncomfortable to admit to experiencing, for fear of being considered overly sensitive or man-hating. This campaign doesn’t hate men, or anyone. It just hates that being a woman has to be so damn complicated!
Our inspiration came from the Everyday Sexism Project. For those of us unfamiliar with the UK-based initiative, is a blog-type site, where women upload their stories dealing with the everyday sexism all women must experience, well, everyday. Women see and hear, and then they speak out to begin the process of curing our world of this disease. Such a straight-forward concept for a complex problem.
With this outlook, we created Just Want to Let You Know, a personal note campaign, where we selected 25 of the most relevant stories from the Everyday Sexism Project blog, and sent 100 copies of them into Union Square. Each was delivered in a tag, hidden in locations geared toward our every day, NYC woman. The recipients of the notes were to be struck by curiosity from the secret note and send an image of it into the social sphere to share in the cause.
Stats for note placement: These locations were chosen to reach our audience at a place where she would be least distracted. She’s in a mindset of chilling out with a cup of coffee, casually looking for some new makeup, clothes, shoes, buying everyday necessities. She’d be best prepared to receive a message that she could then contemplate and act on. Each story had a number 1-100. Here are the stats for their placement.
The Results: As of 7/16, we got 2 out of 100 responses via Instagram. This was not our desired or predicted goal. However, having been able to reach those women with the cause was an exciting benefit for us, especially within an $11.00 budget. Those 2 participants have a very special place in our hearts.
What’s Next: Perhaps a slim piece of colored paper with predominantly type is not the most intriguing thing in terms of encouraging random people to take part in a cause. We are going to aim for more legitimacy soon: legitimacy being the key word here. We will encourage these businesses we once hid our message in to openly promote the the cause, further pushing the point that sexism is a real problem, in the world, recognized by real people. The more people we can get to take this as a legitimate cause, the more we are legitimizing women’s rights to be fed up with existent sexism. Eventually, we can all render sexism completely illegitimate and, hopefully, nonexistent.
We truly appreciated the stories from Everyday Sexism Project and enjoyed our first public engagement experience, looking forward to the next chance to aid in the cause. We have high hopes for our public art projects to create positive impact in the world we live in.
Furthermore, thanks Xin Sun, our summer associate, for documenting the whole process with great photography! You’re an inspiration!
We’ll report back soon! Have pointers? Like our cause? Leave a comment and we’ll be in touch.