Monday, October 1, 2012

8 Things I Learned Editing a Pro-Choice video Campaign


For nearly one year, the team at Concentric Media worked on several video campaigns released in the fall. Led by Emmy-winning director Dorothy Fadiman, I worked on a video campaign called Choice at Risk, that shares stories of women who had back-alley abortions or stories from the family members who lost loved ones due to those unsafe illegal abortions. The campaign traces the history of abortion to the present in convenient bite size documentaries. Below I list just a few of the many things I learned about reproductive care, contraception and abortion, in no particular order, while working on this campaign.

1. Yes, it does seem logical, but it's good to know there is a report published by the Guttmacher Institute, proving that access to contraception = less abortions. Reports like this are important because even today, there are those who seek to stymie access to contraception, these are the same people who are against choice.

2.Republicans are obsessed with vaginas, and some women are choosing to embrace this interest.  Check out this video.

3.Ok, lets admit it, MOST men are obsessed or at least quite interested in vaginas, and us women think they're cool too! But some men have developed an unhealthy relationship with them, to the point that they think they need to control those who have them, because if their full power were unleashed who knows what might happen!? As Jon Stewart aptly pointed out, vagina's, "besides being able to repel rape sperm, can also be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, can detect radon and carbon monoxide, can convert standard DVD's to Blue ray…" Well, the list just goes on and on.

4. It's true, vagina's are amazing, but some politicians are afraid to even hear the word VAGINA said aloud, as if you just took the Lord's name in vain and will now be struck by lightening, or said, MotherF#$$ers, lets get this party started Aiiiiight, interrupting the dead silence at a local library. Michigan Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield was silenced on the house floor for using the word vagina in an abortion debate because politicians were that disturbed. Sorry boys, time to learn that saying the word vagina will not actually jinx you or bring death upon your family or unleash a plague upon our great nation.

5.When I was asked to design the logo for  Choice at Risk, I started doing visual research on herbs and contraception / abortion.  By research, I mean I typed keywords into Google images seeking visual inspiration. That's how I landed on Queen Anne's Lace also known as wild carrot (Daucus Carota), and eventually ended up reading Robin Rose Bennet's website . After absorbing her studies into the contraceptive nature of Queen Anne's Lace I knew that this flowering plant had to be in the logo. After the Concentric Media team worked and reworked the concept, we came up with what you see above. To me the logo is powerful because it stands for a long history of contraception and abortion that exists as long as women do. There is no better and more aesthetically pleasing way to learn more about that history than to check out the "4000 Years For Choice" collection by artist Heather Ault. Also, check out this video for a brief and more recent history.

6.When you ban or restrict abortion, women who have money, travel to a location where abortion is legal, woman who have just a bit of money, pay to have unsafe back-alley abortions and poor woman try a DIY approach. The end result is that the woman who have less money die or end up in the hospital. There are lots of stories here: choiceatrisk.org

7.There are people who thinks it's OK to murder someone, because they disagree with his/her activities, as was the case when Dr. Tiller, an abortion Doctor was gunned down while attending his church in wichita Kansas.

8.There are no plush vagina toys for sale although there are uteri. This could be a market niche.