An awareness campaign developed in Nottingham to tackle micro-aggression, prejudice and stereotyping has now reached two million people worldwide.
Harriet Evans and Paula Akpan, both Nottingham university graduates, developed the project which uses photography, the human body and written words as tools to highlight the lasting impact of everyday injustices and degradation.
The images, displayed across participants’ naked backs, are then shared on social media to highlight their feelings and their personal experiences.
The use of the backs for a canvas came from the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign. But this was abandoned after participants said they worried such explicit photos could prove embarrassing and even find their way back to employers.
Starting in their kitchen, they invited friends over to air their frustrations at the everyday discrimination they experience and from there the idea went viral.
Harriet says their plans for the future are to travel to more countries and spread the word.
“Plans for the future are to travel and to educate”
Since its inception in July 2015 and their social media success, the UK-based project has effectively initiated a social debate around daily prejudices faced by people from all walks of life.
It has succeeded in reaching over two million people, spanning 45 over countries, with each photo reaching an average 23,000 people.
The duo have started giving small workshops in schools and aim to expand this into universities and businesses.
The words are always chosen by the model themselves, allowing a personal point of view to be projected.
The women also hosted an exhibition hosted of some of their most profound work, along with a 15-minute talk discussing the impact and inter sectional nature of their project.
This was then followed by a photo shoot as an opportunity for those who witnessed the art to them become it.
Paula and Harriet received the prestigious “Points of Light” Award from the UK Prime Minister for their work on the project, in February last year.
They have also been featured in publications such as the New York Times, the Huffington Post, AFROPUNK, Teen Vogue and Buzzfeed. The pair have also exhibited their work in New York and Nottingham.