Posted on July 3, 2009 by safeliving
As the recession continues to bite the armed forces are experiencing an increase in the number of new recruits – which has risen 10% on last year. This surge of interest is seems not only to be a product of the recession but the Forces increasingly extensive and sophisticated self-promotion.
In addition to the web and TV based ‘Start Thinking Soldier’ campaign are a whole host of offline, regional events. Potential young recruits are being targeted at consumer events, shopping malls and schools using experiential events and arcade-style virtual reality simulators. Even in my local shopping arcade is a shop dedicated to promoting the exciting adventures a soldier will embark on with the added excitement of virtual reality gaming and cool buggies to drive.
The RAF have also launched RAF Altitude – an online magazine portal for young teenagers to sign up and learn about RAF career options. The interface includes areas to register and ‘Dive In’ to learn about RAF survival techniques, RAF history and a Youtube channel dedicated to promoting the cool life of an air force cadet.
To sew the seeds of military ambition at an even earlier age are Hasbro’s ultra realistic Action Man dolls (seen here in the window of Hamleys in April 2009). Hasbro recently reintroduced the dolls with special permission from the MoD. The figures will now come equipped with accurate replicas of the weapons used in the Iran and Afghanistan wars as opposed to the more fanciful inline skates, water pistols and snowboards.
According to BBC News:
‘The MoD says it hopes the figures will boost the profile of Britain’s serving forces. [It’s] an ideal opportunity to raise public awareness of the armed forces and what the personnel do day-by-day,” says Squadron leader Stuart Balfour. “We feel by children playing with these toys, it promotes things like discipline, sense of belonging to a wider organisation and team work.’
Filed under: design, propaganda | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 16, 2008 by safeliving
New Sciences of Protection Conference: Exhibition on the theme ‘Designing Safe Citizens’ by Cindy Weber.
On 21 September 2001 – ten days after 9/11 – the Ad Council in the United States launched its ‘I am an American’ advertising campaign. The exhibition unsettles the Ad Council’s smooth presentation of post 9/11 American patriotism through interviews with those for whom, very recently, US citizenship has been anything but ‘safe.’ These include the son of undocumented immigrant Elvira Arellano, Greg and Glenda Avery, Hurricane Katrina evacuees who became ‘internally displaced’ refugees, and James Yee, a US army Muslim chaplain wrongly accused of being a terrorist spy. The pieces show how the fantasy of unity, wholeness and security pedalled by the designers of safe citizenship in the US remain just that, fantasies. The exhibition disarticulates and rearticulates what it means to be a US citizen in a post 9/11 context, enactments neatly summed up in Cindy Weber’s provocative reversal the US motto “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, One) to read, ‘out of one, Many.’
The original Ad Council release
Greg and Glenda Avery: We are americans
James Yee: I am an American
Thank you to our fabulous Joseph Rigby for this great summary
Filed under: citizenship, conference, documentation, film series, propaganda, terrorism, war on terror | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 29, 2008 by safeliving
WALTER PICHLER. Small Room (Prototype 4), 1967 Photography: Werner Kaligofsky.
Generali Foundation, Vienna. © Generali Foundation
WALTER PICHLER TV-Helmet (Portable living room), 1967
This workshop explored ways in which the contemporary obsession with insecurity is generating new forms of technical promise, offering control and protection in the wars against terror and environmental apocalypse. Discussions ranged from Double Agents in the post cold war era, how design thinking is integral to understanding, envisioning and provoking thoughts about the future, how risk assessment and scenario planning creates its own future and how the war on climate change has been created from the same language and motivations as the war on terror.
Filed under: double agents, ethics, green, propaganda, security, terrorism, war, workshop 6 | Tagged: critical design, future | Leave a comment »