360MC // Artefact 1 // Context

The context of my piece is that I see it as a viral video. There’s a lot of videos now plastered over social media which are used to educate other people. These mostly appears on Facebook, due to its quick and easy ability to share any content and the video culture that has drastically grown on the site, with help by its new video autoplay feature. As of recent, there has also been a sudden rise in social justice or social experiment videos, which are used to educate viewers.

I feel this is where my video lies in context. It’s short and to the point, without bombarding viewers with too much information in one go. I think it is an interesting piece which may capture people’s attention simply by its thumbnail and will keep peoples’ attention once they realise that the text is in alphabetical order.

I don’t feel like this video necessarily overly educates people but I feel that it would be enough for people to stop and think about anxiety. It lets them know that this is how it affects people and that it’s more than being just nervous. For me, it is important to make people think about what they’re viewing and the subject of the video.

The intended primary audience for my artefact is for those that aren’t particularly familiar with anxiety or those that believe anxiety is just a minor problem, due to the above reasoning of how I want to make people think. The secondary audience for this artefact is those that already suffer from anxiety or those who suffer but perhaps feel that they’re ‘weird’ or ‘abnormal’. I want them to see that they’re not the only ones who suffer and that there are others like them. This is only my secondary intended audience so my primary audience is my main focus with this piece of work.

I feel that it is effective as a short piece but if I wanted to properly educate people on anxiety, then this piece isn’t suitable for that. I just want people to think about something new or think differently about something they had already thought about.

360MC // Artefact 1 // Primary and Secondary Research

Primary Research

When researching for this artefact, I created a survey on SurveyMonkey and posted the link on my Tumblr. I find that I always get many useful responses using surveys and I felt that this would be the best way, rather than going on the streets to ask people which I feel would not get the best results. By using tags on Tumblr, I was able to target my specific audience and a lot more people open up with the option to be anonymous.

Through the survey, I found out some peoples’ nervous habits. These habits included:

  • Nail/skin biting
  • Leg/feet shaking/jiggling
  • Hair pulling/twisting/playing
  • Teeth grinding and lip/cheek biting
  • Blinking fast/hard
  • Feet/hand/fingers tapping/fiddling
  • Wrist cracking
  • Playing with clothes/biting at sleeves

This survey was a really useful method for me as I found habits that I didn’t know people do, such as wrist cracking. As well as looking at my survey results, I asked friends as well for their nervous habits and used my own experiences with anxiety to add to my primary research.

After going through my survey results, I selected those that were mentioned the most and used those within my work. I felt like these would be visually interesting and would work well within my piece.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 22.18.35

Secondary Research

For the first part of my secondary research, I looked up anxiety disorders and the habits people exhibit and why they do so. I found some interesting results about why we may have nervous habits in the first place.

Most likely, lip biting and other behavioral habits provide the body with some type of coping strategy. It’s the same reason that some people shake their legs when they’re nervous or blink too often. Something inside the brain wants to perform this behavior, and it may have some sort of coping component that the person is not aware of. – (Calmclinic.com, 2014)

I found that looking on forums is where I found most information concerning nervous habits. These forums feel a lot more personal than clinical websites, which mostly only seem to focus on nail biting or tics in general.

I found several forums and found more evidence that supported my primary research of the more common nervous habits.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 22.22.47 Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 22.23.03

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Through all of this research, I felt that I could sufficiently begin my piece.

During the editing process, I used Google to see what the most searched topics about anxiety were, and this is where I found the idea to use a phrase for every letter of the alphabet. This was a very simple device but I found it worked very well. For some words, I had to use different phrases or work out another phrase in its place, as some letters I couldn’t use a phrase that appeared as it wasn’t relevant.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 22.37.10

Bibliography:

Calmclinic.com, (2014). Why Do People Bite Lips When They’re Anxious? « Calm Clinic. [online] Available at: http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/lip-biting

The Depression Forums – A Depression & Mental Health Social Community Support Group, (2007). What Are Some Of Your Anxious Habits/quirks? – Anxiety, Panic, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, (PTSD). [online] Available at: http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/16332-what-are-some-of-your-anxious-habitsquirks/

Socialanxietysupport.com, (2012). Nervous habits – Social Anxiety Forum. [online] Available at: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f33/nervous-habits-217894/

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/62JXF52

360MC // Artefact 1 // Process & Development

For my first artefact, I drew inspiration from some of my friends. As I have an active Tumblr account, many friends that I follow blog about personal aspects of their lives and about things they struggle with on a day-to-day basis. I noticed that many of my friends suffer from mental illnesses; depression and anxiety being the most common of all. I decided that I would somehow make an artefact about one of these. Mental illness is something that I’m very interested in as it can be as damaging as a physical illness for someone but is treated in a very different way, due to its invisibility. I feel that this could be a very powerful FMP subject and I may consider taking it further on as an FMP idea, as I would like to be able to help educate people and raise awareness for such serious issues.

I wasn’t too sure how to go about it at first but I thought of how people have different nervous habits, especially those whom suffer from anxiety. Through primary and secondary research, I looked into symptoms, habits and problems that anxiety sufferers may face. Once I had researched this, I wasn’t too sure how I wanted to translate this information to the audience or how to translate how much of a massive problem anxiety is, as it isn’t just feeling worried or scared but much more.

I used myself as subject whilst filming as this made it feel a lot more personal and I wore my usual ‘lazy’ clothes, as I wanted to show how demotivating mental illnesses can be. I displayed various nervous habits and then, during my editing process, decided to repeat the shots a few times, to show how repetitive these habits can be. I found that during the editing I felt that it needed some form of text, however I didn’t want to write anything that would seem too ‘preachy’ or have so much writing that it would take away from the visuals.

After some deliberation, I decided to look and see what sort of things are searched for on Google that are anxiety related, which was an interesting task. I found a lot of information from this and then decided that after looking at the sheer volume of searches, I would take one search from every letter of the alphabet. I felt that this effectively showed the range of searches that are looked at and also effectively conveyed the issues that people suffer. Not only have I shown what people may see from the outside visually but I’ve also shown through my use of text what people don’t necessarily see.

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360MC // Character Profile // ‘The End’ Task

For this task, we have been asked to create a character profile. At the moment, I have two FMP ideas: one being a documentary and one being a short film. This is the character profile for my main character of the short film idea.

Name: ‘Autumn’

‘Autumn’ is a girl that every time she falls asleep, she wakes up somewhere else. She doesn’t know when it started or why it happens. She doesn’t know her family or even who she is. She decides to name herself Autumn, as it’s her favourite time of year.

Age: 19

After not knowing much about herself, one day she wakes up in a hospital bed. She quickly checks her hospital tag that tells her her date of birth, which is another piece of the puzzle of who she is.

Profession: n/a but carries books with her to study and learn because she likes to keep her mind fresh.

Character traits: determined, smart, eager, quiet but not shy, hardened.

What are they into, sexually?: initially wasn’t overly sure but has found that she has met both men and women she is interested in within her ‘new lives’.

What are their attitudes to death?: used to fear the falling asleep in case she didn’t wake up again but doesn’t seem overly fazed by death anymore.

Do they like chicken?: sure, why not?

Autumn likes to think of her waking up being a new life every time. She’s travelled the world, seen places that many haven’t seen and keeps it all logged within a journal she carries with her, that is stuffed with postcards, ticket stubs and receipts, as she’s scared that she’ll wake up and forget everything that has ever happened. Some of the lives can be interesting; looking out of your bedroom window in the morning to see the Eiffel tower is exciting. But waking up in London alleyways or hospital beds is scary. After a while, the novelty of it all wears off. Some days, she falls in love with a life but knows that the second she falls asleep, it will be gone. She doesn’t know who she is, not really, other than a profile that she has built for herself and a back story that she doesn’t know if is true or not but still believes it so intensely so that she feels a bit more tethered.

Death // The Last of Us

The death scene that I chose to look at was a scene from the 2013 PlayStation video game ‘The Last of Us’. The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic zombie game set in 2030 that follows the story of Joel, a smuggler still trying to get over the murder of his daughter 20 years previous, and Ellie, a young girl whom Joel has been hired to smuggle out of the city. I chose to look at this game in terms of death, although it is not a film, as the game has been praised for its cinematic vibes, with its cutscenes totalling to over 2 hours altogether.

The death in particular that I looked at was the death of Joel’s close friend, Tess. Although we don’t see Tess’ death in the game, in the cutscene beforehand we learn from her that she has been bitten by an ‘infected’ and she volunteers to stay behind to hold away hunters who are after herself, Joel and Ellie. Afterwards, during gameplay, we see her body on the floor in the lobby after the hunters have killed her.

I picked the moment in which Tess shows her bite to Joel as her death moment as this is the moment which, if you will, is the final nail in her coffin. Death for her is inevitable, although she choses a different way to die; she would rather die fighting than become one of the infected.

Tess'_bite

tessdeath2

360MC // Sex Task // Biphobia (and Bi Erasure Within the Media)

bisexual
to be sexually attracted to two different genders. traditionally seen as ‘both male and female attraction’, however, bisexuality also includes those who are attracted to two other genders, whom may not fit within the male/female binary.

what is biphobia?
- the aversion towards bisexual people and bisexuality as a social group or as individuals
- people of any sexual orientation can experience such feelings of aversion
- may be based on irrational fear or negative stereotypes

bisexuality erasure
bisexual erasure (or bisexual invisibility) is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media and other primary sources. in its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.


As a feminist bisexual woman whom is active within in the LGBTQIA+ community, I was instantly very passionate about this topic. Sexuality, gender and sex are three things that I find that I could talk for days about. When it came to deciding what I wanted to do, on the same day we were set the task I received two biphobic comments and one the following day… so that has spurred me to focus on biphobia and to also touch upon bisexuality erasure within the media.

I came out as bisexual in 2012 after developing feelings for an other girl. For years before this, I was confused about who I was. I mentally labelled myself as bicurious at school because I knew people would instantly say “you’re 15, you’re too young to know” and because no one ever told me that sexuality can be fluid. If you come out as one sexuality yet later find you were wrong and you now identify as something else, that’s fine. I worried that I would be setting myself and my identity in stone. It felt very definining, as if I was putting myself in a box with a label for people to stare at and question if whether or not this is who I really am.

Over the span of these 2 years, I have been confronted by biphobia on many regular occasions – from strangers and people on the internet to my family and my best friends. And even from the girl whom I was in a relationship with.

Friend: So, are you still bisexual? Is that still a thing now you and her have broken up? Or are you properly gay or straight or what?


Ex-girlfriend: I don’t like that you’re interested in a guy because it makes me feel like I was a shit girlfriend. All of my ex-girlfriends have dated guys after me.
Me: Well, I’m bisexual, isn’t that the point of bisexuality? I can date a guy if I want or I can date a girl. I don’t get why it matters?
Ex-girlfriend: Idk, it just makes me feel like crap.


Best friend: Why do you insist on being bisexual? Why can’t you just say you’re both gay and straight?


Best friend’s (straight) friend: So, you’ve never had sex with a guy? You don’t have the right to identify as bisexual. You’re a lesbian. Who is bicurious. You’re not bisexual.


Friend who sees me with my girlfriend for the first time: Whoa, wait? Are you a lesbian? Bisexual? You seriously just got a lot hotter. If you ever want a threesome, you know where I am.


Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 22.10.25These comments are literally only the tip of the iceberg. Although I have faced a plethora of biphobia, I wanted to hear from other members of the bisexual community who have faced it also and I wanted to hear their stories, so I sent out a survey on Tumblr and Twitter. Right now, I have 300 responses from people detailing their experiences with biphobia and the effects it has caused them. At the moment, I can only view the first 100 results due to SurveyMonkey’s limitation, I’ve analysed the information from these first 100 and hoping to access the rest of the data in the future, as I would like to carry on with this research in my spare time.

Out of the first 100 people, 0 people said that they hadn’t experienced or witnessed biphobia, with 3% saying they were unsure. 97% of people answered otherwise, with 66% answering that they had experienced biphobia, whilst 31% said that they had witnessed biphobia. For those who had answered that they had experienced or witnessed biphobia, I asked them to elaborate further in the next question as to what biphobia they had encountered.

Participant #74: I was told it wasn’t real. Called a slut, greedy, confused etc. My ex-boyfriend was convinced I was going to leave him for a girl because of it. Told that the gender of whoever I eventually settle down with will determine whether I am straight or a lesbian. The term ‘we all start off bi’ from a gay friend. A friend on Facebook shared a video (to raise awareness of biphobia) of a straight white male furiously ranting about why he hates bisexuals. He said things like bisexuals are just the ugly fat ones that nobody else wants. And other things. It was pretty horrific to watch as he was so hateful. When I was in university, the first week, I went on a date with a girl. I was really excited and told my flatmate about it who was a lesbian. Her response was, ‘but you’re straight…’ to which I told her bisexual (I had already told her I was) and she replied with, ‘yeah whatever, same thing’. The LGBT+ community at university was predominantly gay men, I never felt welcomed, taken seriously or a part of that community.


Participant #24: …The last example I have was when I attended a panel at a gaming convention about LGBT representation in video games. During the Q&A portion, I asked why there wasn’t more bisexual representation, and rather than answer herself, a panelist thought to ask the audience. What followed was the most humiliating moment of my life as I continued to stand awkwardly at the front of the room full of people as a lesbian in the audience proceeded to rant about how “Everyone has a preference, bisexuality isn’t realistic and it’s kind of gross” and many other harsh, cruel words that got her APPLAUSE from the audience. I cried for nearly an entire hour once I was in the only REAL safe space for the B in LGBTQIA that I have ever known – my own bedroom.


Participant #45: …The most hurtful things have been said by other people in the LGBTQIA+ community. It seems that because we have this infamous “straight-passing privilege” (which is no privilege at all), we do not share or understand their struggle. We can “choose” to be straight, or in straight relationships, according to these people. It’s quite striking, really, that we’re the only ones in the lgBtqia+ community which constantly has to reaffirm and prove the authencity of our orientation.


Participant #41: I was outed uncomfortably at work which led to my boss who is at least 10 years older than me ‘offering’ a threesome with him and his friend, despite him being in a relationship at the time. Members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community have repeatedly told me I’m ‘actually pansexual’ due to experiencing attraction to more than two genders. I have also been told I am transphobic for being bisexual, despite being a non-binary person myself who is attracted to more than two genders.


As mentioned, a lot of people found that biphobia not only existed from outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, but within it too. A common misconception within the LGBTQIA+ community is that bisexuals have something known as “bisexual privilege”, which is a privilege where we can apparently pass as straight, therefore we do not face the same struggles as our gay and lesbian peers. This is all false stereotyping and very much classes as bisexuality erasure, where one part of our sexuality is being disregarded for another, which makes our identity as a bisexual crumble. I have found, and many others too, that this really is NOT a privilege. Having to hide one part or have one part of our sexuality disregarded is not a privilege.

In my survey, I specifically asked if people had encountered biphobia from those within the LGBTQIA+ community. 60% of the first 100 people answered that they had received biphobia from within the community. 88% of people also said that they had encountered biphobia from outside the community (from heterosexual people).

After experiencing biphobia this week from a girl who tried to invalidate my identity by telling me my sexuality was incorrect, IScreen Shot 2014-10-06 at 22.19.10 have felt very, very low about the fact that I am bisexual and the fact that I came out about being so. I have felt that it would be a lot easier to hide who I am as it would end the multitude of comments, questions, insults and creepy ‘compliments’. I asked within the survey as to whether biphobia has made someone doubt their sexuality or wished their sexuality were different, etc. 88% of people altogether said that they have personally struggled with their identity after experiencing biphobia. These are some of the responses I received.

Participant #98: I didn’t want to be part of a community that was so hated, even by the lgbt community. It’s constantly made fun of in the media, there are straight girls who make out with each other to get guys’ attention and then are somehow counted as bisexual. We’re labeled as whores, if you get raped you were asking for it just because of your sexuality. I think it’s one of the reasons I had depression in high school, because I didn’t know how to identify my sexuality, bisexual was discounted in my mind because of all of this internalised biphobia.


 Participant #11: It took me 4-5 years to come to terms with my sexuality. The whole time it was like “am I actually or is this just a thing I’ve made up in my head?” Even now it’s like that sometimes. Sometimes I just wish I knew 100% what I was so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.


Participant #83: For a while I felt like it was a phase, but I’ve been the way I am for as long as I remember. I didn’t want to come out in high school because I didn’t want people to think I wanted attention, and I’m not really out in college because I don’t want to be told it’s a “college” phase. I also don’t feel comfortable going to LGBT meetings because I don’t feel like a part of it. Like I’m not queer enough. I’ve come out to a few male partners and friends and the response is always if I would want a threesome with them. Being bisexual doesn’t mean that I’m more promiscuous. It’s so hard to explain that to people, but I usually just don’t because I have the ability to “pass” as straight.


Participant #82: I came out to a few people and one of them was really supportive, the other not so much so I shoved myself back into the closet because it felt easier because I had so many crushes on boys and I wasn’t ready for the judgement and because I bought into that “we’re all a little bi/it’s just a phase/ it’s only for attention” rhetoric. But I eventually developed a panic disorder and one of the reasons is because I kept pushing down feelings I had for other girls and thought, “well I have 4 other crushes who are all boys. This one girl can’t really be that significant, I’m still straight.” …Sometimes I wish I were just straight or gay so I wouldn’t have to deal with all of this, I wasn’t confused about my sexuality/romantic identity until people kept insisting I was.


Participant #59: I suffered severe mental health issues as a result of internalised biphobia (suicidal thoughts, self harm, etc.) and it took four years from me realising to accept myself and start coming out (realised at age 12, didn’t come out until age 16)


Participant #28: I actively suppressed my desire for any same-sex partners for several years, stopped using the term and accepted descriptions of myself as “half gay” or “straight for now.” I internalized all biphobia and thought of myself as greedy and slutty for wanting different partners. I simply hid that part of myself from everyone, until I reclaimed it a few years ago.


Many responses to this question included that people had then suffered from internalised biphobia due to the biphobic comments they had received.

Aside from learning about people’s personal experiences on biphobia, I also researched bi-erasure within the media. Personally, I struggled to find anything that represented this sexuality well within television or film. Many times, when a character may be seen as bisexual, they tend to allude to the fact that they are, never wishing to state that they are bisexual and often throw it in as a passing comment.

In my primary research, the show ‘Orange is the New Black’ was mentioned often. Upon watching the show, not once during the show is the term ‘bisexual’ used, which I found to be very disconcerting for a show that prides itself upon being LGBT-friendly.  Throughout the show, Piper Chapman (the lead protagonist whom happens to be bisexual) never once describes herself as bisexual. There are times she tries to explain that she falls somewhere on the Kinsey Scale or says ‘I love hot guys. I love hot girls. What can I say? I’m shallow.”, but many members of the bisexual community find that this is a way to avoid using the term bisexual. Not only this but many terms such as ‘former lesbian’, ‘straight girl’ and ‘dyke’ have been used to describe Piper. Many comments directed towards Piper are used by other LGBTQIA+ characters, which touches upon my point earlier of biphobia within the LGBT community.

Just like in real life, bi erasure on Orange Is the New Black comes from the queer characters as much as from the straight ones. Alex, Piper’s ex-girlfriend, refers to Piper as a “straight girl” and asks about when she “went back to boys,” as though Piper’s relationship with Alex was merely a phase in a lifetime of heterosexuality. This particular biphobic trope is something bi people get a lot from the lesbian/gay community, as though having opposite-sex desires negates or trumps a history of same-sex ones. […] Indeed, it would be awfully unrealistic to tell a story about a bi character without portraying at least an occasional run-in with biphobia. But the bi erasure in Orange Is the New Black doesn’t seem to come from individual characters so much as it emerges from the fabric of the show itself, particularly since the characters on the show who erase or disrespect Piper’s orientation are never portrayed as wrong or flawed for doing so. - (King-Miller, 2014)

Another show that was mentioned many times within my survey was Glee. Glee has been criticised many times in the past, due to offensiveness and insensitivity, however their use of biphobia and bi erasure is probably their most widely known problem. Within season 2 during, a gay character called Blaine was suffering from confusion with his sexuality after developing feelings for a girl, in which another gay character told him that bisexuality was ‘a term that gay guys in high school use when they want to hold hands with girls and feel like a normal person for a change’. This was then followed up in a later season, a lesbian character said that her last girlfriend ‘didn’t count’ as she was bisexual and that she needed ‘a real lesbian’ for a change, whom she wouldn’t ‘have to worry about straying for penis’.

For one thing, Brittany’s bisexuality was one of the only things Glee always got right. It wasn’t about gender or genitals with her. It was about the person. It was about loving who she loved… She didn’t cheat on Santana, full-stop. She didn’t even break up with Santana! Santana broke up with her… [Sabotaging Brittany’s character] devalues the honesty and depth and white-hot loyalty of Santana and Brittany’s relationship, and it perpetuates all the bullshit stereotypes bisexual people face every damn day. – (Hogan, 2013)

Biphobia and bi erasure doesn’t just happen in every day lives. It happens within the media we consume, too. And it’s a shame that too many media products are making its bisexual consumers feel marginalised and discriminated against.

Bibliography:

Kinseyinstitute.org, (2014). The Kinsey Institute – Kinsey Sexuality Rating Scale. [online] Available at: http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/research/ak-hhscale.html

King-Miller, L. (2014). Will ‘Orange is the New Black’ Finally Acknowledge Bisexuality?. [Blog] Cosmopolitan. Available at: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/a6964/orange-is-the-new-black-bisexuality/

Hogan, H. (2013). “Glee” recap 5.02: Here Comes the Biphobia. [Website] AfterEllen.com. Available at: http://www.afterellen.com/glee-recap-5-02-tina-in-the-sky-with-diamonds/10/2013/4/

"Basically, I'm afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking." – Lars von Trier

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