Aakifa Chida Will You Notice? Will You Change?

  • Tauira / Student
    Aakifa Chida
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    David Coventon, George Hajian
Judge's comments:

We noticed! A beautiful execution bringing with it great impact!


Islamophobia exists everywhere. In every community and every country. Cultural and religious minorities are often mistreated, wrongfully judged and discriminated against. Muslims in Aotearoa and around the world are subjected to such hatred purely because of their religious affiliations and beliefs.
This project uses communication design to impact, encourage and influence social awareness around Islamophobia through printed and digital resources. Design activism is employed to address negative behaviours and attitudes, to create change by catalysing a sense of empathy with victims and heightening responsibility and accountability within viewers.
The publication at the centre of this project is a combination of self-authored and compiled information to educate and create awareness amongst readers about the various levels at which Islamophobia is present in society. The publication was printed, collated, screen-printed, debossed, and hand-bound by the designer. The project is presented with a monochromatic palette of black and white. As the two colours (or absence thereof) exist as opposites, strong contrasts and dualities are communicated in the design. The use of black rectangular shapes acting as redactions are used to highlight certain bodies of text throughout the project. This is also represented through the black flaps with bold white text, which reveal hidden meanings and intentions behind the Islamophobic phrases that are presented. Copies are hand-stitched by Coptic binding with an exposed spine. This is intentional as the content within works to also ‘expose’ a social issue which is often dismissed, and also to show that the work contains several layers and components of information. These production methods cause the reader to pause and explore the flaps and inserts of the sewn-in panels.
The series of A0 posters, intended for public spaces, showcase insensitive remarks, questions and comments taken verbatim from conversations with the designer, to highlight the issue in a direct manner to a non-selective audience. The typography showcased in each poster intends to communicate the tone and emotion behind the phrases, while the large size and stark colour contrast communicate the weight and intensity which these words can hold. Many of the expressions can be a point of relevance to all people of colour who have been subjected to racial and ethnic discrimination; therefore, they have purposely been left slightly ambiguous. These posters are intended to catch a non-selective public off guard, as these spaces are not controlled by a digital algorithm.
Finally, the website is an ongoing public-facing platform that contains the content from other deliverables along with links to initiatives, petitions and sources of information.