Touch Up Sex Ed Campaign
Do memories of blushing teachers, condoms and cucumbers, and a commonly used animation teaching consent through the art of offering someone a cup of tea come to mind? Was there anything that was a bit of a turn off? An unnerving presence of embarrassment, confusion or unpreparedness perhaps?
As we at Megaphone sat down in front of our webcams to discuss the topic for our next campaign, we considered, as we slowly start to come together post our covid world, how it may feel to return to our normal lives and relationships. We discovered many shared experiences of outdated, biased, gender exclusive sex ed classes that oversimplified sex and sexual health as a mear biolgical transaction, lacking of any emotional impact or consequence. This made most of us feel unprepared and seeking other sources of education such as pornography and hearsay from our friends to fill in the gaps, giving us unreliable and sometimes damaging images and expectations of sexual relationships and sexual health. We decided- no more! And ‘#TouchUpSexEd’ was born!
You can view our exhibition by visiting our virtual gallery below, you will find the Megaphone Gallery entrance to the right of the ‘Hope’ room. There you will see a space filled with the responses of 21 participants (aged 16 – 25) of our public survey that asked questions regarding their sexual education at school, how effective it was, if there was anything that they wished they were taught, and how their education has impacted their expectations and experiences going into sexual relationships. The responses are sat beside archive material of past and present sex education campaigns, in addition to creative responses to the survey such as poems and graphic creations.
Megaphone is a group of activists aged 16-25 who use creativity to talk about the issues that matter to them, their peers and their community. The Megaphone programme gives young people the skills and confidence to find their place in activism, to amplify their voice and create change.
You can find the The Megaphone Showcase: An insight to creative activism below, presenting artworks and resources created by the group in early 2021, revealing and addressing concerns by young people for young people…
Sing Louder than Hate and Sing Out, Ananya Bhattacharya, Digital collage, 2020
These badges represent various aspects of my activism and creative work, and how they overlap. The idea of making personal badges was inspired by Ian Brownlie’s Performative Activism workshop, which discussed creating one’s own activist symbols. I used a very simple graphic design app, Adobe Spark Post. Each of the badges includes a crossword featuring different forms of structural oppression to demonstrate the intersections between these, and the need to fight against them collectively in order to affect real structural change. The megaphones allude to protest but also tie in with the musical themes, as suggested by the phrase ‘sing out’ rather than ‘speak out’. In the first badge, the megaphone on the left represents the prevalence of various forms of oppression and the platform given to the right to voice hatred and reinforce such oppression. Conversely, the megaphone on the right emerges from the text along the bottom, ‘Sing louder than hate’ to suggest the power of musicians to challenge these oppressive voices from below, standing alongside the marginalised, or as marginalised people themselves. I added in the instruments to enhance this idea of resistance through music, perhaps suggesting a band or an ensemble. As a singer-songwriter and an activist, I’m often inspired by protest music and music with political themes. I wanted to create badges for musicians taking a stand, in the vein of the ‘folk against fascism’ badges and signs I’d sometimes seen on musicians’ guitar cases (this particularly inspired me to include the guitar in there). The badges are a tribute to the long history of musicians taking part in and shaping protest movements and fights for justice over the decades, and a call for this musical resistance to continue.
Untitled, Olivia Horton, Graphic Design, 2020
I wanted to create something simple yet informative, that could be easily understood. Bringing awareness to the impacts that prejudice can have on an individual and just how easy it is to be misinformed, about what prejudice truly is. I myself do not have to suffer. But there are those out there who do. In the modernised world of technology and social media, it is clear that hatred is widespread and can be spread like a disease in a matter of seconds with misjudgement . However despite the hate or retaliation, there are always those you fight to make a change. A change for the better in society. And a change to create unity in such a divided world.
Happy Christmas? Wellbeing Baubles, Ruby Pinner, Ribbon, Thread, Polymer Clay,2020
I created these Christmas decorations based around workshops on craftivism and the use of slogans in performative activism. Throughout Megaphone and in my own creative activism, I’ve been really interested in opening up conversations about mental health; how important it is to talk about what is going on in our heads and to to ask people how they are doing. I wanted to portray the idea that any time is the right time to seek out help and to help others that we feel might be struggling, Christmas time included. This Christmas will be particularly different for everyone and I thought that these would be a good reminder amongst the tinsel, minced pies and madness, to check in with each other! These baubles are made using recycled ribbon, thread and leftover pieces of polymer clay from previous projects, so this was a little bit of creative upcycling too.