Huluku means ‘create’ in Swahili and is a global competition born out of a small UK government scandal which itself arose from a really clumsy piece of marketing used during the escalating Pandemic crisis during 2020. The poster featured four home focused scenes involving a family in one, a female figure with a baby in the second and a female figure cleaning in the third.
All brilliantly bad examples of the failure to gender mainstream and especially poor when you consider the first house featured the only male figure on the sofa – relaxing.
The UK government rightfully came in for some stick but at CIEDA they felt that the decision to use that specific digital art could well have been the result of the lack of range of available stock along with the inability of the creators to think inclusively.
So even if it was an easy and quite innocent graphic design mistake to make it still got signed off, released to the public and allowed to further stereotypical impressions as well as the negative impacts on the sub-conscious.
Next up on the list is Detective Pikachu – a cuddly film with Ryan Reynolds. If you watch it, just take a look at how inaccessible and exclusive Ryme City really is for the pokemon who are apparently meant to live in a inclusive environment and shared space with humans. The problem lies not necessarily with the film itself but more that the producers didn’t take on board the need to show how barriers have been overcome in their film. Inclusion is easy to speak about but hard to do.
Huluku is a competition which is about exploring these key themes but in a safe space where creativity is not contained or restrained but simply allowed to develop through the creator’s more informed expression. It’s about ‘including by design’ as much as possible. A good place to start is with our art and design.
The win for everyone is that they will start to see some brilliant digital art come out of the competition for everyone to use and get inspired by – the UK government included.
The competition is around the theme of authentic representation. It’s about digital art like illustrations. Huluku is a free to enter global competition, it is about learning how to make a positive change – not seeking perfection.
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