Monday, March 2, 2015

Currently Watching 3.2.15

I was originally going to write about Elementary, but while looking for something dumb in my favorites I came across this video from a few years ago. It has a pretty successful, far-reaching campaign, and it has been in circulation for a while, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of you have seen it before.

As far as I can tell, it was the effort of a large team to animate, each individual artist responsible for just a few seconds or lines. This creates a sort of patchwork quilt of animation, the diverse styles and interpretations coming together to demonstrate the many ways the feelings expressed by the poet can manifest. The poem itself was written by Shane Koyczan, who talks about the particular bullying of himself and two friends, the types and effects of bullying in general, and handling the pain as a child and adult. He wants to raise awareness of the severity of the problem, which is frequently dismissed by parents, teachers, and classmates as the child being overly-sensitive. Too often, children hear that they should just ignore the jeers and name-calling, that words can't hurt them, but Koyczan is tired of hearing it. Of course it hurts. The pain defines the lives of some of these children. Some never reach adulthood because of it. Some hear that they have no place in the world too much to bear.

Koyczan wants to be one more voice telling them they do have a place. He speaks of beauty not as a physical trait but as being worthy of love, and wants victims of bullying to find a balance where they can acknowledge their own pain but still find beauty in the world and themselves. He knows firsthand that victims cannot forget, but wants them to overcome, to reach a point where they can look at themselves and be proud that they didn't give up.

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