Standing Up: Creativity Scholars on Gender Equality

Over the past month, 2016 Adobe Creativity Scholars have shared their perspectives on numerous themes around social impact. Most recently, these emerging creatives highlight stories about race and identity. From three continents, this week’s Creativity Scholars record the reality of women’s issues today, in hopes of creating gender equality tomorrow. Using film, they expose discrimination, disrespect and violence against women and girls, compelling us to join them in their determination to achieve equality for women. 

“The Switch inspired me to create more films that spread the meaning of tolerance and that no matter how hard and difficult life can be, it’s important to never give up.” – Shanel Gray

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Tala Maragha, 19 (Amman, Jordan)

In her animation, MeterXMeter, Tala exposes the expectations that constrain Middle Eastern women. Her video shows women’s faces being painted black by a man’s hand as their lives are being defined by illustrations representing their prescribed roles – ultimately being placed in a box. Later, the women take control of the paint brushes and add vibrant colors to their faces while drawings reflect brighter possibilities – breaking out of the box. “By using simple language and simple ideas, I show discrimination against girls in our community in a whole new perspective.” ShanelGray01

Shanel Gray, 18 (Bronx, New York, USA)

Shanel wrote, directed and edited her video, The Switch that portrays women’s perspective on the disrespectful act of catcalling. The tables are turned when the catcaller, Carlos, experiences the same disregard. With newfound empathy, he intervenes when a young woman is being harassed. “I will use my creativity to spread awareness and tackle the issues of sexism, racism, and to promote racial integration and religious tolerance.”

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Mihai Tiu, 18 (Tirgu Jiu, Gorj, Romania)

The absence of dialog in Mihai’s film, Let’s Care More!, reflects how women and children silently suffer the terror associated with domestic abuse. During his film, we hear calming music playing while we see images of a daughter and mother enjoying their time at home – until the husband arrives. “Signs of domestic violence are not always recognized. Sometimes they are hidden, covered with a happy face. If we take a closer look, we will notice the abuse and can stop it!”

Lead Photo courtesy of Hiba Al-Nabulsi.