Project Update: Writing and Recording lyrics with Yunus

We met up with Yunus at a studio in Shoreditch to workshop lyrics for our Music Video. Yunus had produced his first draft of the lyrics. After a few small tweeks we recorded him reciting the dialogue and all reviewed his first draft on screen. This allowed us to look at the scene objectively and assess whether the piece was conveying all the messages initially brainstormed to our audience. When we were all happy with the progress we went out to a local park and recorded the full version in preparation for a full shoot. At this point we’re aiming to combine Yunus’ live performance  with animation in order to amplify the key messages and bring the words to life.

The piece so far is honest, to the point and at times controversial in nature… we love it!

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Say ‘Cheese’ and tell me about Propaganda

This week we showed the films we’ve made so far to a group of young people on the Mile End estate to see how clearly we’ve managed to communicate what we’ve learned. To find out we asked them about Propaganda before showing our film and then again afterwards. The results are in the video below.

In the second half of our workshop we had a go at taking some photographs around the estate to check out locations for the upcoming production of our bogus propaganda film.

We also wanted to try to capture the life of the Mile End community and the young people who live here.

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Project Update: Meeting with Yunus

Today we met with Yunus to discuss developing the lyrics for our music video. We want to introduce young people to the concept of media influence and the importance of getting educated about online propaganda. We decided the following key messages were the most important to us:

  • People are trying to influence you
  • There is Propaganda out there
  • How do you know you’re not being duped?
  • You need to get educated
  • You need to know how to get all the information
  • You need to learn to ask the right questions
  • You need to be your own person
  • There are consequences to being conned
  • Don’t be anybody’s chump.

Yunus has agreed to write some draft lyrics in response to these messages and will be recruiting a friend to produce the track. We’ll keep you posted…

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Bogus Propaganda Trailer

Here’s the trailer cut together from the footage we filmed in Workshop 5. At the moment we’re working on a script for our bogus documentary. We’re going to use an urban legend that people freaked out about a few Summers ago to draw our audience in and manipulate them. We’re then going to show them how we did it; educating them about how propaganda works in the process.

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Presenting information to our audience

Following up from the third workshop we gave everyone a chance to present the 8 techniques of propaganda in their own words. We thought it would be a good warm up to our films to shoot the guys and cut the footage into a short film…

This is the way the group described the Propaganda Techniques:

01. Presenting the Enemy – Negative people in the media portraying a group or product in a bad way, e.g Hoodies were banned in some shopping centres.

02. Assertion – Advertising something that your product os the best but no proof e.g “Worlds best chicken & chips”

03. Down with the kids – Adjusting with the group or audience to show them their like you e.g Politicians acting cool, Gordon Brown on you tube

04. Bandwagon – Fashion advertises in a way that, you must have that product and follow the crowd e.g “low batty’s”

05. Ommision – Leaving stuff out basically, selling something or telling someone all the good stuff and leaving out the harmful stuff

06. Diversion – telling one of your friends that ” if his your boy then he has to fight with you” the two has nothing to do with each other. what has fighting got to do with being someone’s friend?

07. Lesser of two evils – this technique only allows you to have very few options such as a crisis situation.

08. Transfer – this basically transfers someone ones skills from one area to another e.g David Beckham promoting pens, he doesnt even know how to speak.

It’s not perfect but we’re definitely getting somewhere. Here’s our video:

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Developing some ideas

This workshop was dedicated to developing some ideas for our films -to clearly communicate how the media can influence its audience.

We started by talking about how we like to get our information, which forms influence us and which we think are, frankly, rubbish. It seemed that the group are particularly interested in online conspiracy films, which got us thinking. We also concluded that the best way to teach someone something is by using examples. So we brainstormed ways to exemplify the 8 tricks of propaganda in a way that would grab our audience.

We ended up with the idea of producing a bogus propaganda film that convinces the audience about a certain person, issue or event, calling them to do something irrational in response. At the end of the movie we’d then stop everything and let the audience in on the fact that we’ve been manipulating them -showing how we’ve used each of the 8 propaganda techniques to make our film convincing.

We also had an idea for our second film. We thought we could make a music video that gets young people interested in learning about media influence and propaganda, kind of like a motivator.

In the second half of the workshop we brainstormed ideas for what our bogus propaganda film could be a about and we came up with lots of ideas, from conspiracies to documentaries and news reports. Finally, for fun, we made a record the workshop using a small video camera.

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Project Update

We met with Dr. Chris Hewer today to discuss the DD project. Chris is a Theologian and Fellow of Christian-Muslim relations at the St Ethelburga Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City of London. As well as suggesting a number of resources and possible contacts for taking the project forward, Chris suggest two possible subjects for our later films, both of which have the potential for developing our audience’s critical thinking -especially in relation to their understanding of Islam. There’s still some work to do, we’ll keep you posted.

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8 Tricks of Propaganda

We started our second workshop by introducing the young people to the 8 tricks of propaganda discovered in our research.

Together we tried to come up with examples of these tricks in the media in order to get a better understanding.

In the second half of the workshop, the young people brainstormed how this information might be communicated to their friends in an effective way. The general consensus was that, as it stands, the info is dry and lifeless. Initial ideas included:

01. Presenting the information through music and animation.

02. Making a film that demonstrates all the techniques in a clever and humorous way.

03. Keeping it short and presenting a wide range of examples.

04. Should be presented by local young people.

In the next workshop we will develop these ideas into some basic ideas for our films.

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Introduction

We kicked off the first workshop by getting to know each other and talking about the project and its aims. We also talked about how we receive information by discussing where we get it from and which sources we trust and which ones we don’t.

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Project update

We’ve spent much of the last six weeks networking in the local community and after a number of meetings with local community leaders and representatives from both local and central government, we’ve decided to tackle this project through two contrasting approaches.

01. An indirect ‘ideology neutral’ approach, which aims to empower young people to critically evaluate the messages they receive.

02. A direct ‘ideology specific’ approach, which aims to challenge a specific extremist ideology or ideologies.

We have decided to begin the project by making 2 films about media influence and propaganda (approach 01). To make these films we’re working with a local community leader and have recruited 6 young people to take part in the project. We’ve drawn up an 10 workshop plan for developing the films. These workshops will mainly take place in a youth club in Mile End and the first will take place tomorrow.

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Digital Disruption is a project to

challenge and disrupt extremist

messages on the internet by

building resilience in vulnerable

communities.


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