Saturday, May 09, 2009

Domestic Violence Tombstone PSA

Using music, a tombstone and text I made a simple PSA on three statistics about women and violence. In the video I linked to Violence UnSilenced, a place where people can go to share or read stories about people in domestic violence situations.

People who are abused may not be able to talk about what is happening but in a private safe community place, web site or blog there can be a connection made to their personal danger.


I used Tombstone Builder. I started out with Tombstone Generator. Created a bunch of markers 15 to 20 or so. When I tried open them they wouldn't open. Grievous. This is no reflection on Tombstone Generator, I've used it before. I just was too upset to figure out the problem.

I then thought ok, I'll make my own but all of the real world tombstone makers have their logo or other watermark on the headstones. Understandable and because they are facing foreign mechanical knock-offs, I don't blame them.

I still needed a headstone. I found Tombstone Builder and I'm good to go. The music is from the Internet Archive, The Negro Prison Songs from Mississippi State Penitentiary. I assembled it in Serif Movie Plus X3.

My point in describing the process is that using basic tools and technology you can tell a story or convey information. Music helps a lot too.

Thoughts and Concerns

This was harder than I anticipated. I initially wanted to have parts of faces showing bruises. I did find those, most regrettably. I needed women of color. There is one recent woman of color who was assaulted by her partner.

Here is where the ethics kick in. I could make the case that this woman is a public figure and the photos have become public record. I could crop or distort the photos. I could focus on just the bruises.

To change factual photographs is not a good thing. It is dishonest. Damn me for taking a photo-journalism class but there you go, it is not a good practice to distort the actual recorded experience.

The second issue is that I don't know who took the original photos. I don't know who owns them. They look like police photos. Either way, I don't have permission until I find that out. Since I don't want to it is ok.

I decided not to use those photos. There is a real live person involved. I don't know this woman. I don't know the truth about her situation but I do not want to be perceived as benefiting from her sorrow.

It seems others have no problem doing so but I do. So yes, it would have been a better piece with photos but the ethical costs was much too high.

1 comment:

  1. I feel you are very ethically considerate and that is a good thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep it up.