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Open Manifesto

Identity, Identiteit, Identidad.

An essay by R.K.

{30th of March 2009}

 

As I stood in the departure halls of the Melbourne International Airport I felt a great sense of achievement. After 32 years of isolation I was finally leaving Australia to explore the world. It was going to be a fantastic trip that would allow me to experience many new places and cultures for the first time. Departing Australia I knew who I was and how I fitted into the world. I was comfortable with my own identity and what it meant for me to be an active participant in society. I felt safe and secure. I had my camera. I took a photo of myself and posted it to my Facebook profile.

 

The reason for this trip was to attend a community media festival and conference in the West African capital of Ghana, Accra, which was being hosted by the OURMedia network. It was their 7th, with previous events having been hosted in Australia, India, Brazil, Columbia, Spain and America. Founded in 2001, OURMedia is an emerging global network with the goal of facilitating a long-term dialogue between academics, activists, practitioners and policy experts around citizens’ media initiatives.

 

For the festival, I coordinated a collaborative project between my students—from the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University—and members of the OURMedia network. The brief requested participants to complete a range of simple tasks that explored themes the conference was to address, including ‘Identity, Inclusion and Innovation’. The tasks required participants to explore the following themes: creativity through typographic experimentation, collage, letraset, omnicrom and handwriting.

 

(The rest of this article is available, in print, in Open Manifesto #5)

Biography

Russell Kerr is an Artworker, Activist and Educator based in Melbourne, Australia. Since 2006 he has been the honours coordinator at ‘The Works’, RMIT University’s design consultancy. Russell has a Masters in Public Advocacy and Action from Victoria University and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with Honours from the University of Ballarat. He has recently commenced a PhD at RMIT University that explores the development of ideology in graphic design education.

 

Kerr’s work is in the permanent collections of the State Library of Victoria and the Centre for the Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles. Russell is a founding member of Australian Disruptive, a collective of graphic activists established to cultivate social change through graphic agitation. russell.kerr@rmit.edu.au