Faith Restored is a project conceived directly in response to the recent increase in negative sentiments towards religions. Initially, my research takeaway was how most religions have the element of water as a symbol of purity, to wash away negativity. That led me to take a step back and examine the contemporary social landscape that religions are set upon; there is blatant Islamophobia, Christianity is mocked openly on social media because of high profile scandals, Jews and Muslims seemingly hate each other because of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict… and these are only some of long list negative attributes associated with religion today. That in itself is an irony, because none of the religions are about that. Most if not all religion preach goodness, uphold moral values and sets exemplary standards to follow.
Therefore, Faith Restored a campaign designed -as its name suggests- restore faith in faith (as in religion). Simply put, it is a campaign aimed at denouncing falsehood with regard to religion, and also encourage people to take action against negative sentiments and hate speech, which have been proven to possess a far more dangerous impact if left unchecked.
The three main collaterals in the campaign are designed to each hold a purpose. The campaign strategy (which I dubbed the A-B-C approach) is as follows:
- [A]ction: Taking an active stand against negative sentiment
- [B]rief: Educating and raising awareness
- [C]onversation: Encouraging conversation to foster understanding
For the campaign logo, it features an incomplete circle (to symbolise something broken/a ‘gap’ that needs to be filled, and in this case, filled with the campaign), where the line the extends from one word to another, which lends to the meaning of ‘restore faith’ and ‘faith restored’.
Inspired by Donald Trump’s proposed wall, The Wall was constructed with actual hate speech and negative sentiments collected from the media (online, the news, etc) and anonymous survey responses as hosted on NTU Qualtrics. It is important to stress that the comments are real. The intention is to show how prevalent hate speech and negative sentiments, and by extension, how big of a problem it is. Audiences are encouraged to take action by actually removing the messages one by one.
The posters are straightforward with a clear message – negative stereotypes are one dimensional and myopic. In each poster, an image of the negative stereotype of a particular religion is juxtaposed against one that of what the religion actually entails, in order to bring across that direct contrast between the two. The images are based on actual well-known public figures who have tainted the name of the religion they have claimed, taking action in the name of the religion, despite it being entirely opposite of what the religion advocates. These people are Ho Yeow Sun, Jihadi John and Meir Ettinger. The call to action of the posters is to ‘go beyond the stereotypes’ and to consider the many layers of the issue at hand.
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CONVERSATION (Online Video)
The purpose of the video is to show the various opinions of youths with regard to hate speech – and to further encourage conversation about the issue at hand. Furthermore, in its construction as an online video that is highly opinionated, it will encourage other users to join in the conversation as well.