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What does Perpetual Motion, Sisyphus, and the Anti-Vaxxer Movement have in common?

My time in New Zealand is coming to its end! Already we are so close to the end of the semester and this blog,  albeit forced,  has been a learning experience in patience, creativity and keeping my mind open enough to learn.

This semester’s work is coalescing in what I feel will be a powerful project in visual public discourse.  The assignment I am introducing to you now requires that we make a public piece about an issue of social importance to myself and my partner.  I’m very excited about this!

I am happy to announce I will be working with my partner, Jing, to make a perpetual motion machine similar to the Sisyphus Machine in the video below.  But this box is not simply a toy.  It will be a powerful statement.  Using what we have learned from Mirzeoff, experts in visual communication, and our extracurricular passions thus far, Jing and I will use this machine to make a valuable point about human intervention in nature.

This blog will be regularly updated to reflect the project as well as educate people further on the subject so that we can help inform the public as to the roles of science and medicine in the world today.  Look forward to the following:

  1. We will outline how we got the idea in this blog below.
  2. Our next blog will include research on the anti-vaxxer and anti-biotic rejection movements we have today and why they may have occured.
  3. Then we will post a detailed step-by-step description of the boxes creation.
  4. Finally one last blog that will serve as our public artist statement!

Where did we get such an idea?! 
Prior to joining design school Jing was a pre-med student with an avid love of human physiology, science, and biology.  My freshman anthropology teacher was also a medicinal anthropologist and I developed from her an interest in human evolution and anthropology of medicine.  As an activist and a trans person my own healthcare is also in danger in the united states because I am on Medicaid.

So when Jing brought up the issue of anti-biotics breeding super bugs, evolution marching forward because people don’t know how it works, and scientific research always needing to be cutting edge, I immediately jumped to the rejection of these ideas in the public space; most predominantly in the anti-vaxxer and anti-biotic movements.

Jing and I wanted to illustrate the idea that science and nature tend to perpetually leap frog.  If we are to stay ahead we must always be jumping; every day pushing science higher like Sisyphus!

We talked for hours about how we would illustrate these ideas on the sides of the box similar to the Sysiphus machine.  We want to simultaneously show humans success over dangerous diseases and what losing ground in those successes means on and around the box.  So for each side we will illustrate a concept:

  1. One side we show the discovery of penicillin.
  2. On its opposite the atrocity of plague, yellow fever, and Hepatitis.
  3. We will show on the length side of our box the evolution of humans riddled with death a people fail to realize evolution is a story of bottle-necks.
  4. On the back side we will tell a story of success over the past several generations due to vaccinations antibiotics.
  5. On top of the box will be the machine and the world from the perspective of a virus or bacteria.

We hope you look forward to the development of this project and hang tight while we create it over the next few weeks!  (that’s such a short amount of time!)

See how the Sisyphus machine is built!

Work Cited:

Continue reading “What does Perpetual Motion, Sisyphus, and the Anti-Vaxxer Movement have in common?”

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The Manifesto Blogs – Part 4: How we involve brick-and-mortar LGBT+ Organizations

In the past 3 [ 1, 2, 3 ] manifesto blogs we’ve published, a lot of heat has been placed on the brick-and-mortar LGBT+ organizations and the grant foundations that fund them. We criticize them in saying they are not proactively seeking to expand their reach to the ‘invisible’ individuals in need of it, but in this blog we at TYC want to make it absolutely clear that the LGBT+ organizations are not at all the problem. Rather, expanding their audiences is the solution to getting resources and support to the invisible community we feel needs them.

Partner organizations have thus far been unable to permeate the “closet barrier” – or access the invisible community of closeted, stealth, questioning, and under sourced – for a variety of reasons revolving around lack of resources of their own, lack of funding from organizations, the “overhead” myth, and traditional marketing, business, and media tactics that are not capable of reaching the invisible audience.

Trans* Youth Channel’s mission has been to get the invisible community these resources brick-and-mortar organizations have earlier in their journeys, but because partner organizations are just as limited as the invisible community and have their own communities in need, it is difficult for them to cater these sources directly; in reality they are simply too strapped doing their own thing. It is therefore better for us at TYC to provide services for the organizations to more easily provide their content while also benefiting the invisible LGBT+ community in our programs:

In our Weekly Digest Program we will provide partner organizations’ content and resources, while also opening up an anonymous channel for invisible community members to email organizations their questions and request more resources. In our Support Group program we are heavily integrating partner organizations into facilitator trainings and providing our trainings for free to those organizations who participate. And in our content creation program we are especially spotlighting the great work that LGBT+ organizations have done in a manner that invisible community members can take advantage of safely and securely at no detriment to them.

Are you an LGBT+ organization?  partner with us!

Our Weekly Digest Programnichole koester quote

Our weekly digest program seeks to keep the invisible community from having to dangerously search for scattered and difficult to find information online. We do the research for the invisible community, compile it, and send it directly to each invisible member’s private email address to save, download, and use however they wish.

How Partners Benefit

Partner organizations will directly benefit from this program in that we will offer each organization the opportunity to include their own expert content related to the weekly topic in the newsletter along with a link for members to contact them anonymously and inquire further about partner resources. Likewise if partners have any events or other things going on they can contact all 500 members of our list privately through our weekly digest to let them know quietly and discretely as opposed to often invasive social media and SEO tactics. The weekly digest is bound to be a boon for LGBT+ organizations and at the same time it provides the invisible community more opportunity to gain a trustworthy expert contact to help the invisible get over their hurdles.

 

Our Support Group Program

Our support group program – still in development – is intended for community members to have a safe space to talk, interact with one another, and get peer support without having to go to an LGBT+ organization or if you are unable to access physical resources or it is too much anxiety.

How Partners Benefit

Partner organization will be mostly involved in a fully comprehensive training that all support group facilitators will be required to go through. Partners can add input to the trainings themselves so that facilitators are learning about suicide from the Trevor project and Trans* Lifeline, or about domestic abuse from RAINN and SAVA. About race from #BlackLivesMatter and NAACP. Additionally, any participating organizations in the training will be free to send any volunteer they like through the training at no cost to them and allow them to jumpstart their own support groups quickly and at very little cost.

This partner organization opportunity benefits the invisible community by providing a huge community of professionally trained and certified support group facilitators to go out into local communities or to run groups online that closely emulate a real physical support group. They will have the confidence in a facilitator that understands and has the means to support them.

 

Our Content Creation Program

The content creation programs is a content development platform for V-logs and Blogs that will allow us to inform and educate the general public in addition to the invisible community about various identity related hurdles and how to face them. It is intended to be widely encompassing from “how to transition” to coming out and it is very “expert” driven with well researched, shot, edited, and developed works.

How Partners Benefit

This last program is a very wide and encompassing opportunity that will allow partner organizations far more agency in how they speak to and assist the invisible community. In Trans* Youth Channel curated and developed content we will carry ‘sponsors’ for our content, and exhibit organization’s content in our own. If a partner has an event going on for instance we’ll make a video on the topic for it and include its relevancy the invisible community. It works much like the old TYC, but it will be up to partners to contact us about any developments.

These great bonuses for our partner organizations are joined with a myriad of smaller bonuses including a Facebook group with every organization’s leaders able to communicate and talk with each other, direct social media advice and campaign development from us as an online social media driven organization, and more!

Our partner organizations are a significant part of our mission statement and our success hinges on the willingness and desire for brick-and-mortar LGBT+ organizations to care about the invisible community. We truly value our partner’s honest attempts to extend their reach to the invisible community and hope to continue facilitating this in the future.

Thank you so much to all of our partners.

 

Next week: Manifesto Blog #5: Funding our programs