Recently, I was given the opportunity to do some really rewarding work for Amnesty International NZ’s “She’s Brave” campaign, aimed at stopping online abuse towards women.
The campaign was centred around using the “Sound of Unity” - a specific sound frequency (417Hz) that removes negative energy and creates positive change - to speak out against online harassment, which 1 in 3 New Zealand women experience. By downloading the Unity GIF (a visual representation of the sound), and sharing it wherever online abuse is seen, people could help end toxic conversations and encourage healthy and positive behaviour online.
As soon as I read through the brief I was sold on being involved with the campaign. With two daughters growing up in the age of social media, I felt it was an awesome opportunity to help make the online world a safer and healthier place for my girls in the future.
The cast consisted of several influential New Zealanders: actress Claire Chitham (pictured), comedienne Melanie Bracewell, musician Tiki Taane, presenter Erin Simpson (pictured), All Black TJ Perenara and his wife Greer, and personal trainer/social justice campaigner Richie Hardcore.
Because the campaign was centred around such a sensitive topic, I had to think quite carefully about how I was going to approach the shoot. As the main objective was to raise awareness and encourage positive change, I didn’t want the images to seem downbeat or antagonistic. I wanted them to send a proactive, rather than defeatist, message - all-in-all a solution-based approach. I also didn’t want to portray the cast as victims, but rather empowered individuals determined to make a difference. I needed them to appear natural and genuine - for the message to be real it has to feel real.
By utilising the Amnesty International colours (yellow and black) and constant lighting, I was able to achieve the images’ intended effect - provocative, empowering, and real.
Overall, I feel really privileged to have contributed to such an important campaign and helped convey powerful messages about how we can make the online world a safer place. For not only our daughters, mothers, sisters, partners, but all women.
If you’d like to learn more about the campaign itself and/or how you can help, visit https://www.amnesty.org.nz/soundofunity