Responses by BBDO NY
Background: 2020 was a year of mass uprisings as people everywhere took to the streets to tear down contentious symbols and fight for racial justice. They were actively looking for ways to be part of a growing movement. Color of Change’s AR project The Pedestal Project uses technology to give people an easily accessible tool to support racial justice.
Reasoning: Confederate statues are a grotesque and painful reminder of inequality and oppression. As more and more of them have come down, we saw an opportunity to repurpose the pedestals that once monumentalized hate to now celebrate a hopeful future.
Challenges: Really figuring out whom the AR statues should be of. We wanted those featured to represent America’s long fight for Civil Rights and capture the multiple generations of activists through the lens of historic, modern and future, who have and are fighting for the cause.
Favorite details: How empowering the AR experience actually is. There’s something super powerful about seeing statues of racial justice leaders like congressman John Lewis, Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza and activist Chelsea Miller standing on pedestals where the likes of Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee once stood.
Visual influences: We wanted our AR statues to not just be likenesses of our activists, but also be visual homages to their life’s work. Each statue captures a moment in time that cements their passion and dedication to the fight for racial justice. For example, like seeing a young John Lewis, hand raised, brow furrowed, tie flying and mid-stride depicted during the March on Washington in 1963.
Specific demands: The fact that this project is a blend of the digital and physical and is available on Instagram, one of the biggest social media platforms, made it easier for people everywhere to actively be involved with it. It further helped democratize the idea by giving people the power to pick whom they want to place on these empty pedestals.