On Friday 12th June 2020, the team at Shhh Silk watched the documentary 13th.
Here is our combined reflection on the film:
13th is a compelling exploration into the history of racism and mass incarceration in the United States. It depicts the evolution of how the use of media projected racism and instilled fear of Black people into the public, especially through their war on drugs and crime. It highlights some shocking statistics in regards to incarceration. America holds 5% of the total world's population, however America holds 25% of the world's prisoners. 40.2% of incarcerated males in America are Black men.
America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. At the time of viewing 13th, American prisons hold 2.3 million prisoners.
As a team, we were quite ashamed of how little we knew about these issues. We were especially unaware of the issue regarding private prisons profiting off prison labour as a form of modern-day slavery. We believe as a brand it's important to make sure in the future we ask the question of brands or companies we may collaborate with to make sure they do not use prison labour, so that we aren’t naively contributing to this issue by possible association.
Overall 13th analyses the depth of racial inequality and mass incarceration throughout generations in America, which has urged us to continue educating ourselves on these issues.
View 13th here: https://youtu.be/krfcq5pF8u8
On Friday 19th June 2020, the team at Shhh Silk watched the documentary Our Generation.
Our Generation is a documentary that focuses on the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous Aboriginal communities, specifically in the Northern Territory. It outlines issues regarding Indigenous life expectancy, living conditions, and land rights that many Aboriginals face.
We learnt that the life expectancy of Indigenous Australians living in remote areas is 17 years less than the average Australian, with an infant mortality rate that is three times higher. As well as the life expectancy gap, Indigenous Australians are 40% more likely to develop diabetes than the non-Indigenous population. Listening to these statistics has made the team feel devastated about the drastic differences in health amongst our population, making us want to learn about organisations which are dedicated to closing these gaps.
Two thirds of the Indigenous population are currently living in overcrowded homes with up to 30 other people due to the lack of housing available for these communities. As a team seeing the living conditions in these overcrowded dwellings was not only hard to watch, but hard to believe is happening in our country.
As a team, we collectively had minimal knowledge about the Indigenous injustices occurring right now in our country, and this documentary has taught us valuable information that has opened our eyes and minds. We are eager to discover foundations and organisations which help Indigenous Australians, as well as understand what it is that we can contribute in assistance.
View Our Generation here: https://youtu.be/Tcq4oGL0wlI
On Friday 26th June 2020, the team at Shhh Silk watched Netflix documentary Disclosure.
Disclosure is a recently released documentary that focuses on Hollywood’s depiction of transgenderism and the ways in which these portrayals have potentially affected one’s beliefs and interpretations.
Throughout the documentary, there was a reoccurring theme of Hollywood films using transgenderism as a form of amusement or something of comedic value, which has possibly created the perception amongst audiences that being transgender is not something that is actually real or valid off the screen.
Another common theme was that of often creating psychopathic, murderous, and dangerous characters who were transgender, which has subconsciously taught the audience the false belief that transgender people are to be feared.
These limiting portrayals of transgender characters in Hollywood films and TV has led to restricted and problematic representation which embeds false ideas into the subconscious of the audience.
As a team, we appreciated the consciousness raising that this documentary offered as we have now become more aware of how media, specifically film and TV, can create a bias in our minds, which allows us to further work on dismantling these ideas.