Weeks after the killing of George Floyd, it’s still difficult for most of us to even comprehend the sentiments of many in the black and other minority communities across the globe. But a lack of understanding can no longer be excused by a lack of information. Traditional media has been busy creating very compelling products such as this compilation of articles from The Atlantic or this interactive story from NYT.
But beyond paper and TV, it’s the social media field where media is no longer spearheading the movement. On the one hand, individuals – many of them graphic artists – have shown their support for the cause using their creativity on Instagram; on the other hand, we’ve seen massive mobilisation from grassroot communities around the world.
Probably the most positive outcome of this crisis is witnessing the power of these groups to use new media to reach and engage people. In that sense, it’s fair to say that the valiant efforts of UN Let's Fight Racism site seem small compared to the visual content, campaigns and initiatives from sites like Black Lives Matter, The Bail Project, Equal Justice Initiative, the American Civil Liberties Union or Campaign Zero, to name just a few.
If there were just one image that could represent the power of visual communications it could be the solid black avatars that adorned Instagram accounts for the #BlackoutTuesday movement (started by the music industry, but followed elsewhere) – a 'visual silence' only broken by ads.
We can't say how much impact all this will have in solving deep-seated issues but it presents a stark picture of how many of us feel right now.