The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CGMS – You Can’t Be What You Cant See.

 Kathy Loizou, Director of the Children's Media Conference, made these observations at the Children's Global Media Summit 2017 in Manchester

CGMS Session: You can’t be what you cant see.

Tuesday  5th December.

Aaron Haroon Rashid created 'Burka Avenger'. it's one of the few animations or kids' shows made in Pakistan. Also dubbed in Afghanistan India and Niger. it's about a female super-hero who fights the villains who want to disrupt or prevent girls' education.
In discussing why inclusivity was good for content makers there were some interesting comments:
The audience should be the most important aspect of the content creator's thinking said Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Shannon Murray believed that one of the key points about the audience now is they make money from media themselves. - if you don’t make inclusive product, the audience will just make it themselve.  Shabnam Rezaei suggested creativity grows for acommodating different points of view. Inclusivity improves your creative content, which improves your business.  Yassmin - kids have so much choice you need to keep up with what they want - and they want to see themselves.
Aaron Haroon Rashid thought that In the age of Trump - kids being encouraged to see and understand other cultures sis very important.  Yasmin believed that storytelling was the best method for this - " storytelling builds empathy and empathy builds understanding of other cultures".
Aaron explained why his animation had impact - it was in contrast to the prevailing international product served up in the countries 'Burka Avenger' serves. Yassmin - people are scared to be different.
Shannon: when building inclusive teams the quality of talent has to be good - not just "box ticking". The writing has to be authentic.  And to achieve that you might need to gather a number of people around the table.  Work for disabled teenage actors is better now.  But adults roles are harder.  The important thing is to not have special schemes and separate programmes - just put disabled actors in mainstream programmes.  She said that as an agency they get lots of calls the night before an advertising shoot for a bank for example and they say "we forgot the person in the wheelchair."
Yassmin said that she hated people saying they are colour blind .  Middle class white blokes know about being middle class white blokes but they don’t know about anyone else.
Adam Pearson, hosting the session asked: "how can we impower and change the world?"
Aaro: remember diversity isn't at odds with a commercial approach
Yassmin: you wouldn’t have an advisory group to design a male urinal. You’d get men to design it. So get the people who know what it's about to create what its about.
Shannon: good health is a privilege. Any of us could become disabled. Think about how you would want support to be.
Shabnam: the world is diverse so you need to get with this.

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