Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Journalists descend

Day 5: Media Frenzy As expected, journalists flooded our headquarters today. I was (and will be) at a training for work all day and week so I was cut off from anything going on. According to Biedron however, there was basically a line of people wanting to interview him; from print media, radio and tv. My favorite was Biedron telling me about a reporter from TVN. (TVN is the largest private tv company, with a Polish version of CNN...usually they're fairly 'liberal'). This guy evidently asked Biedron "But why are you guys trying to provoke so much by using these words?" to which Biedron replied that it would make sense if another campaign tried to shed light on anti-Semitism or racism. "But you're not equating your situation with Jews or Blacks are you?", the reporter asked. He continued, "It's not really hate towards you. Maybe it's people trivializing you or a misunderstanding, but not aggressive hate. So why are you using aggression? It is an internal problem in your community, why not solve the problem yourself". (Lord have sweet mercy...and these are supposedly the "good guys"!) This example of stellar journalism will be aired on Saturday. Luckily I was told that another group of TVN reporters also came today and were very supportive. Biedron will be interviewed live on Radio PIN 102FM on Wednesday, 9.30 am if anyone is around. Otherwise, two newspapers have written about us today. Gazeta Wyborcza, who too is usually one of the most liberal mainstream papers (and the most widely circulated), wrote an article which was generally alright. But they included a little commentary by a specialist of advertisement language, Mark Kochan who says:

"This campaign which is supposed to be a protest against forms of aggression shouldn't be aggressive in style. I'm against ads which bring aggressive language into the public sphere whatever goal they serve. Billboards are supposed to grab the attention of the viewer, but not at any price. The message of the posters is missed; those who will get it, don't need it while those who should get it won't understand. This kind of poster could rather increase violence; is that what this is for? This campaign is unprofessional and not smart".

In my humble opinion...shouldn't the expert wait and see what the whole campaign is? But then again, who am I, right? Otherwise, Kasia (my roommate and friend) and I went to some bars and bookstores today to leave some postcards which are exactly the same as the posters. On the back is information about our gallery exhibition which is also funded in this project. At one bar, Jadłodajnia, we placed the cards in the bar and were about to leave. A woman in her 20's was sitting near by and immediately jumped up. She was desperate to know what the deal was with this campaign. She knew there was going to be another phase and was hoping to get the "secret". But we kept her in suspense, explaining that it would be out in a few days (which is a bit silly since both the 1st and 2nd posters have been printed in Machina...evidently not a widely-read magazine!). Still, she engaged in a discussion with us, since she studies Polish Language. In all she was extremely positive and impressed with the campaign. Plus one for us....from the streets! So that sorta put me at ease for a bit. My brother, who has never been an activist nor especially thinks this liberal stuff is something to support, sent me an email today saying it's a cool thing to do, but that I should watch out since there are a lot of nuts out there. You got that right, brother!


Anonymous said...

Take care, Greg! You're so brave! We will manage! Biedron

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