When I got the brief for this project I was immediately excited to get started on my avant garde project as the topic of God’s and Men that we were given allowed for a variety of substantial topics that would have an impact. I couldn’t wait to be able to convey my article with a mixed media product. I researched into the sacred feminine and modern day feminism. For this I did secondary research by the means of online research and creating a research log- documenting all I had researched. I then conducted a survey on the sacred feminine and feminism, to find out people’s opinions of current day feminism and the sacred feminine in relation to our patriarchal society. I spoke to my friend Katie Wilkinson who is an active feminist and recorded some of her thoughts on the topic. This all helped me and I found it really insightful. I looked into the signs and symbols of Christianity and feminism and I researched into some of the patriarchal text in the bible. I discussed my research with my lecturer Greg and he offered the lyrics of the song James Brown- it’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world as something I could quote in my article. I liked the idea and used it. I then ordered a life size mannequin online that was just the torso. I wrote my article on the mannequins body and painted the symbols onto paper and stuck them onto her. I wrote the article over her genitals and stomach. I wrote the article in a feminine handwriting and placed my symbols and writings mainly over her genitals so people have to look at them. I wanted to do this to make them feel uncomfortable and to really take in the message of the article which is equality for woman, hence the mannequin.
I have a few things I wanted to do differently but unfortunately time and money were against me. I couldn’t afford a mannequin with all her limbs and head so my article couldn’t be as long as I’d have liked. I would have liked to be able to quote a poem of Maya Angelou as she was a proud and active feminist who based a lot of her poetry on it. Sadly I didn’t have enough time. I would have liked to have enough time to research further into monotheistic and polytheistic religions and the routes to our patriarchal society, I felt my article was just a drop in the ocean. If I had more time another change would be that any bible quotes and talk of patriarchy would be in a masculine font or handwriting. I would have liked to paint and add a lot more symbols to the mannequin aswell. I tied my article in with the theme by speaking of how religion created a patriarchal society and how certain religions still allow for woman to be oppressed.

I am quite anti-mainstream media so when I had to write an article for a mainstream media publication I was lost as to what to write about. I decided to write for the Guardian as their articles leaned to the left but not as much as any of the other publications I had read and I found them less bias and more arty and for the people. I decided that I would write about a show I had begun watching on Netflix called ‘Orange is the New Black’, I really wanted to discuss the show as it was topical and the show had a different method of presenting their stories in the manner that it wasn’t the typical beautiful models and happy ending tales holywood has force fed us, instead it is gritty and real and explores the grey areas of life and really makes some good social commentary on the American society and their systems that they use. As the Guardian is more global in its reports I thought that this would be appropriate. I did research into Piper Kerman, the woman who wrote the memoir of her life in prison and whom the show is based on. I found out her opinions on the women judicial system in America and I then researched into how the said system works. I looked into statistics on women inmates in terms of mothers being arrested and if it was an increase or decrease in inmates and why. This made up my secondary research which I also recorded in my research log. I then conducted a survey as my primary research. I tried to find out people’s opinion of the show and found that not many people watched the show but of those that did they agreed wholeheartedly with the shows opinions and ways of conveying their messages. Once I had completed my research I wrote my article and got a few people to read it and give me their opinion on the article. I then edited it and used Adobe Indesign to create the layout of my article. I followed the Guardians layout with five columns per page, a main picture in the top middle area and I kept the font and font size as close to the Guardian’s as I could.  I could not attain the guardian Egyptian font which is the font that they use so I went for the helvetica font which is the old font they used to use and isn’t too far off. I then downloaded an image of a guardian newspaper page and opened it up in photoshop. I used the colour tester tool to find out what colours the Guardian used for their name and the top block of the newspaper. All the colours were in the RGB range and so with indesign I recreated it as closely as I could.  I did this by adding a rectangle for text and then changing the colour of the RGB as found out in photoshop. I then added the text. I had many problems with the program as the text would dissapear or jump around the page and duplicate itself. I got help from Niall who simply added more text boxes and this sorted out the problem. My next problem I faced was that when trying to save the article as a pdf it still had borders around each column. Brendan who is another lecturer at the college helped me fix this by finding text boxes I had duplicated and made their opacity 100%. This worked.
I enjoyed writing the article but once more there are things I would have liked more time to work on. I would have liked to make an exact page replica of the guardian but without the font and time to work on indesign that was not possible. Another change would be to the content of the article. I enjoyed writing it, however I still felt I could have gone much more into depth into one or more of the subjects mentioned in my article like the pregnant women in prison and how their families suffer or the prison institutes going private and making money off of the prisoners. I did not have enough time or article space to do so and I landed up doing just a brief recount of prison life and the show. I felt that the theme tied in with the article as the government act like God’s amongst men.

My independent media article was another favourite I did. I enjoy writing for such publications as they’re open to being controversial and are not worried about big companies that (don’t) own them complaining about what they write. I wrote on the topical subject of same sex marriage in the UK and how far we have come. This article explored all that has happened in the UK since same sex marriage has been legalised and all that has happened around the world aswell. I then spoke about Alan Turing and his life story and his pardoning by the Queen. For my secondary research I read many articles that had been published since same sex marriage had been legalised and found out all the big news revolving around it. I then looked into how the laws had changed over the years and I watched the movie of Alan Turing’s life in “The Imitation Game”, I then researched into him further. For my primary research I did a survey on people’s opinion of same-sex marriage and found them to be very accepting and open to the topic. I decided to write for Attitude Magazine, as they are a gay men magazine that allows for articles that have some personality in them. I wrote about the history of how men were treated in Britain and (condescendingly) discussed how the Bible forbids same-sex intercourse and so forth. I then went on to mention the countries that were taking a step in the right direction by legalising same sex marriage and I spoke of the countries that still kill people for being gay. I would have changed how much I spoke of Alan Turing as I only recently found that they have infact already done an article on him.  I followed their font and font sizes as they have them in their magazine as it was simple and easy fonts to find. I did not have enough space or time to create a three page article to fit their customary picture that they attach to each article that fits onto a page and a half. I would have liked to place the date and name of the magazine where they do and the size that they do but I couldn’t afford to buy a copy of the magazine and couldn’t find any images of examples of articles to find out exactly. Instead I placed them where I thought they went. For this article I had an easier time on Adobe Indesign as the magazine doesn’t have the same layout as the guardian. It is plain and simple and easy to replicate with just the article, it’s image and only a few tidbits like the date and page number. The article required three columns and a quotation of the best part of the article in a bolder text and placed in a box. I had no trouble doing this and completed it quickly. I did run out of time to do all my finishing touches so the start of the article with its first letter wasn’t large as I should have made it and I don’t feel like I stuck to the paragraphing as they did in the magazine as theirs weren’t as evident as mine with a clear break between each paragraph. I tied the article in with my theme by speaking of how religion has caused so many homosexual men to be persecuted, hurt and oppressed.

Overall I enjoyed the project and getting to explore such cool topics. I feel I need to work on my structure of sentences and I need to put my essays together in a more clear manner but I enjoyed getting my points across and learning more about my chosen topics and different publications. My favourite was the avant garde project as I had freedom to say what I want and really try and make a statement.
(Please not my images of working will be added to this evaluation by next Tuesday as they’re still on my Mac)


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