Clemenger BBDO and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission are addressing the everyday racism that occurs in this country with their latest project ‘Voice of Racism.’
The inspiring project challenges Kiwis to put themselves in the position of someone who is on the receiving end of racism and to feel the burden of consistent micro-aggressions through an audio visual data driven experience.
Renowned Kiwi filmmaker and anti-racism advocate Taika Waititi gives his voice to the data, which is played through a responsive mouth designed by Assembly. Every user who visits the site will encounter a different experience that reflects on the major issue of racism in New Zealand.
“Most people in New Zealand would say they aren’t racist. But racism is complex. It doesn’t always appear to be hateful. It can hide in the words we choose, our well-intentioned actions, our assumptions and the cumulative effect on people experiencing this racism is huge,” says strategy director of Clemenger BBDO, Bethany Omeri.
The hundreds of micro-aggressions delivered by the voice are the true personal experiences of real people from around New Zealand. NZ Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon says, “Every day in Aotearoa, people experience racism which hurts them, prevents them from reaching their potential, or from living their lives feeling welcome and secure.”
After the experience, listeners can unpack what they have heard, and from there, learn how to recognise and challenge racism within their own lives.
Since launching, multiple leaders and influencers from around the country have been praising the project and sharing their personal reactions and reflections.
Brigid Alkema, ECD of Clemenger BBDO, says the site has been created to be endless, with micro-aggressions consistently coming at you. The project has had people ripping off their headphone after only seconds of hearing racist comments.
“The aim of the project was to collect the raw, ugly truth, and present that in a way that lets you sit with that burden as intimately as possible. This experience is inherently a challenge. One you have to actively choose to opt into, ready to come face-to-face with that ugliness, willing to do the work and learn,” says Alkema.
“It’s too easy to agree that racism is bad and then not do anything about it. This project is asking us all to make a decision, care enough to keep learning, or don’t.”
Client: New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington
Media Agency: OMD Wellington
Production Company: Assembly
Production Company: Curious Films
Research: Premium Research
Music and Sound Design: Beatworms
Voice: Taika Waititi