Taking Action ~ Achieving the Goal
My personal project is based around making people aware about a terrible issue that is effecting people all over the world. My goal was to raise awareness about a horrible topic through a beautiful delivery. I chose to do this through a spoken word poem. Spoken word poetry is performance poetry that is presented to other people that is suppose to make them feel something. The spoken word I wrote discussed the issue of human trafficking within Japan and how that could make the victim’s feel so that we are able to feel closer to the topic and possibly understand a little more. This promoting awareness around the subject as even though it is poetry, it can make it easier for people to hear and see as I also make a video to go with it. This was a good challenge and goal for me as poetry is something I enjoy writing in my free time and is one I believe can help people understand. Writing about something so serious and trying to let people know about the issue was a hard and challenging task as I wanted to make sure many people could hear it and at least try and see where I’m coming from. I don’t think I could have done this project any other way. Link to spoken word video.
Human trafficking is a very taboo topic, one that is not talked about a lot as in Japanese culture sex and trafficking in general is looked upon as something that should be overlooked and kept within a family (Segawa, Aiki). Because of this, I wanted to create my goal to fit well with my global context, personal and cultural expression, in order to make people aware of the issue and to feel something about what is happening. I realised that making people be able to say “I understand” was unrealistic as no one can truly understand something unless they are/have gone through it themselves. This is why my global context was essential to the overall success of my product. The global context is the lenses in which we look and study our chosen topic. This includes topic areas such as identities and relationships, personal and cultural expression, scientific and technical innovation and so on.
My goal was the drive and the purpose of my whole project. It defined what I had to do and how I should be going about my project. But most importantly, how my global context backed it up. The global context I chose was ‘Personal and cultural expression’. This made it a lot easier for me to create my product as I had a clear goal in mind as well as why I was doing my project. The only way to tell the effect this had had on people was to see their reaction to the video in the end or after they heard to spoken word and get their feedback. Sometimes it was easier just to go off of their reactions though. An example of this is when I read my first draft aloud to a close friend of mine who then gave feedback on how I delivered the poem as well as some of the metaphors I used. This goal context basically means how can I create something that will raise awareness for people who are struggling which links back to my goal. Therefore, I am using the power of words to try and make people feel something by the way it is presented and crafted but at the same time telling them about something that is hard to talk about.
During the personal project exhibition, parents and teachers listened to my spoken word and just based on their reactions throughout the poem, as well as their feedback, I could tell how it impacted them. They expressed looks of concern, empathy, ect. meaning my spoken word worked. However I know there are parts that could have been improved upon which would make the project better. I feel that one of the issues that came up was the age of the people who could listen to what I had written. I realise that human trafficking is not something that is appropriate for younger people such as grade 7 and lower. This made it difficult to share my message with their community when they came to talk to me at the exhibition. However, the solution was just that it either had to be explained to them in a way that was suitable and not graphic, or they would have to talk to their parents about it. Another issue I faced was the communication between my target audience and I. I feel I could have done a better job if I talked to more people about my work rather then just one teacher. This way I could get more feedback about how it effected the wider community and also how it sounds to different ages. By doing so I could adapt my poem accordingly and make it the best I can. Lastly, as I was filming the memory card got full very fast and we ended up having no space after the first few minutes. This was an organisation mistake as I did not prepare myself for the shoot in time to make sure I had a card with a lot of space on it. Even though there were a few issues that came up along the way I feel I felt with them well and in the end they made my project better.
For my final product I feel that overall I did a really good job. Not only did I follow my TSC, task specific clarification which is used as a guide in order to achieve the highest level of achieved, but I enjoyed the process of creating my spoken word video. I think that I got a 8 because I did follow the TSC very closely and achieved everything necessary to get the top mark. The video quality is really clear and includes many different kinds of shots which suited the video and the message of the video. There was 15 different shots in the end which I feel added to the final video and made it more interesting to watch. In terms of the speaking of the poetry, I thought that the way I spoke it not only made it easy to follow but easy to get the message of the poem. I had very good diction and tone so that the poem made more sense and so I could hook the listener better. The changes in mood to me seem logical and fit the words spoken at those particular times as when I was editing my video I had a close friend look over it with me and double check it worked.
Because I wrote the poem it is hard to say the impression it left on me, but as I was speaking it, the impression it left on me was the emotions I was feeling as I was speaking. As for how other people felt, I have been told not only by parents and teachers, but also by famous poet Naomi Shihab Nye that it was interesting to listen to as well as made them think about the message behind the poem.
In terms of the actual writing, I can say there was more than 3 metaphors used in the poem and that the words I chose purposely add to the poem immensely through the way they were spoken and the word choice. Moreover I put a lot of passion and honesty into my writing in order to make it as authentic as possible. All the evidence shown above suggests that the product when placed against the criteria achieves my goal.
This project has caused me to think outside of the box and think deeper about how I can effect and inform others. It made me look into human trafficking as a whole and really try and understand what it would be like feel like to be in a situation similar to theirs. The research forced me to go through what I already knew as well as what I need/want to know more about in terms of my topic, goal, and global context. This made me more driven to make sure that I understood my topic and that I felt comfortable enough to explain it to others with confidence. The global context really only backed up my goal and my intentions for the project. It made it a lot easier to be focused about what I wanted to achieve. Personally I have become more empathetic I feel. With such a sensitive topic a lot of the time people just end up feeling bad for the people who are going through the experience and can’t speak out about how it is affecting them. When people hear about this their reaction usually is “Oh, I didn’t know it was an issue.” This made me want to share my poem more. I wanted to show people the more emotional side and be able to connect to them them through words to make them feel something, to make them think about what it would be like if it was them. This really I feel was the best learning outcome for me. Before this project I already was involved in a lot of service and when people would ask me about it I could only respond with facts and try to explain the situation. But now I feel having a creative outlet for my topic made it a lot easier for people to connect and understand. Going through the process learning how to tell people about “a hard topic through a beautiful message” was the most important outcome as a learner for me. We are taught how to write poems about things that are going on in the world but we are not taught how to make people feel something from the writing. Learning how to do that, was an amazing feeling and I am really thankful that my project enabled me to learn a lot not just about my topic, but also about how we speak to others about things that are hard to talk about.