Take 20 creative, cutting-edge designers and expose them to Israel’s most pressing social change issues. Add the creator of the viral sensation “Israel-Loves-Iran/Iran-Loves-Israel” Facebook campaign and a place to meet. Sprinkle this situation with opportunity and possibility and you get four creative, cutting edge campaigns that can change public opinion and influence our leaders to take action.
This magic mix is a collaboration between Shatil and leading Israeli designers, Sany Arazi and Ronny Edry. The latter is the creator of the “Israel-Loves-Iran” Facebook campaign that inspired many copycat campaigns. Of the 200 people who applied within a day, 18 were selected to participate in the dynamic, high energy 10-week studio/lab, the first such initiative in Israel.
Asaf Cohen said the course gave him the opportunity to apply his professional expertise to the public sphere. He’d been waiting for just such an opportunity.
Despite the exponential growth of social media (we collectively send more than 30 million messages on Facebook and almost 350,000 tweets per minute), few Israeli graphic artists and marketing professionals use their skills to deliver social or political messages. Meanwhile, social change organizations need to innovate to get maximum exposure and influence public opinion.
Participants broke into four groups and chose four issues on which to work. One group worked with the Secular Forum, an organization of tens of thousands of parents working to remove religious indoctrination from textbooks in secular Israeli schools.
“They are talented to the extreme and working with them was a wonderful experience,” says the Forum’s Michal Shalev-Reicher. “They re-branded us, created a film clip and a photo and poster campaign and redesigned our website – services worth hundreds of thousands of shekels. It’s already making a big difference in our ability to spread the word.”
Other groups addressed the issue of the occupation and the needs of African asylum-seekers. One group workshopped ways to change the public’s stance on leftists.
“It gave me a lot of optimism,” said Atar Monnickendam, who owns a graphic arts studio. “We wanted to bring the ‘cool’ back to the left and stop this trend that it’s forbidden to be ‘left.’ We photographed and interviewed people from all sectors. It was moving to talk to people who don’t fit the stereotype, such as a Haredi from Netivot who is a proud leftist.”
Says Edry, “I am more proud of this than anything I’ve done in the past few years. And it was so much fun!”