Aakifa Chida

What We Let The World Get Away With

Bachelor of Design Editorial Infographics Social Design Activism

The global desensitisation towards crimes committed against Muslims

"What We Let The World Get Away With" comprises of six sets of cards telling a global story. Each set features a combination of original Arabic calligraphy, infographics, facts, statistics, real life stories, and wordplay on quotes from documents and political figures.

Graphic design conventions have been used to highlight the misinformation and rhetoric used by people of influence and the media - which has created and perpetuates a growing animosity towards Islam and Muslims. Mass audiences have been desensitised to atrocities that are happening to Muslim communities around the world due to the false narrative that Muslims and the religion of Islam are the oppressors, disregarding the fact that most Muslim communities are the oppressed.

Design is used here as social activism, to influence a change in thought, and to highlight a pressing global issue. This project is intended as a mode of easily disseminating hard evidence about the mistreatment of Muslims around the world through strong graphics, confrontational statements, typography and information design.

The objective of this project is to raise awareness and draw attention to the serious global issue of Islamophobia. Multiple case studies from various locations are used to highlight that the aversion to Muslims is becoming increasingly common. Many people are desensitised to the seriousness of this hatred, while others continue to live in deliberate denial of its existence.

The information in this project focuses on facts, statistics, experiences of Islamophobia, and highlights how there are barely any consequences faced by powerful political figures who are guilty of ongoing discrimination. The common thread of hatred is shared throughout every country/location addressed in this project. The intended impact is to invoke emotions of shock, empathy and sadness. After the initial feelings of helplessness and anger fade, self-reflection should overtake the viewer as the realisation that this is yet another call to action. Most of the world participates in some form of Islamophobia, and the objective behind highlighting five major places where Muslims are unsafe and discriminated against is to show just how common it is.

Design and any other form of visual language is a strong tool which can be used for promoting awareness of any and every societal issue, if exercised in the correct manner. The sociocultural contexts in this particular project are the key driving forces behind every conceptual, content-related and design decision I made. The realm of Islamophobia exists in a much wider sociocultural context of prejudice and othering of “minorities”. History has proven time and time again, that almost every ethnic and religious minority which exists has been wrongfully discriminated against at some point. While nothing can be done to rewrite crimes of the past, it is important for people to be aware of how this pattern has developed and is still evident in contemporary society.