Speaking up! Confronting hate speech

Research output: Non-textual outputs, including Creative WorksCreative Works - Original - Design/Architectural


'Speaking Up!' is an exhibition that aims to educate the public about the history and current uses of hate speech, as well as the importance of upstanding against it. The project created a range of challenges in the interpretive design and asked, 'how can we represent the fact of hate speech without using hate speech in the exhibition?' This was done purposefully through interpretive design to reduce the possibility of the exhibition triggering audience members who might have been at the receiving end of hate speech.

One particular example is how the "N-word" was handled in the exhibition. Collaborating with the curator, we created a section that included a graffitied mural of George Floyd and explanatory text written by an African-American scholars at the National Civil Rights Museum. As the graffitti over Floyd's image contained the N-Word ("N****** lives don't matter"), we discussed how this could be handled sensitively. I decided to use the graphic treatments from the exhibition to 'scrub out' the word. This was just one example of why the exhibition needed to be empathy driven.

This project was an examination of human-centred design approaches within the 'difficult exhibition' context. In particular, it drew on principles of co-design that elevate lived experience to that of expertise.

This project was a joint initiative of the Holocaust Museum Houston and PROOF: Media for Social Justice, with addition support from the Macmillan Genocide Studies Program at Yale University and the National Civil Rights Museum.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHouston, Texas
PublisherPROOF: Media for Social. Justice and University of Dayton Human Rights Center
Media of outputArtwork
SizeInterpretive Exhibition design
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2021
EventSpeaking Up!: Confronting Hate Speech - Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston, United States
Duration: 10 Dec 202101 May 2022


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