Interview extracts

All respondants said that social media played a part in their attendance at the banner making event, with several mentioning the only reason they had heard about it was through a facebook event.

One of our questions was which social media did they think was most influential in informing their knowledge about climate change. Responses were varied, with most people (5) saying Facebook, 2 saying Instagram and 2 saying Twitter.

We also asked which social media platform was most effective in mobilising people to get involved in climate activism. Responses were similarly varied; 5 said Facebook, 1 Instagram and 3 Twitter.

Respondants voiced conflicting opinions about the platform Twitter. Some saw it as important in generating public interest and knowledge around important issues; “just seeing what’s trending gets you interested and knowing what’s going on. So that’s pushed me to be more active and involved in things like this.” However, one student stated that Twitter was “more of an opinion war, which is more dividing than uniting I would say.”

Interestingly, people seemed to use Instagram more as an informative tool than a visual or aesthetic one, which is what the platform was designed for. One respondant said that she is particularly drawn to long captions as a source of information; “people put quite long captions [on Instagram] especially if they’re quite passionate. I feel like that’s where I get access to a lot of activist’s posts… I tend to just go to the caption especially if its really long.”

Many students stated that social media was a crucial organising tool and useful in inspiring people to take action. One respondant said that public interest and pressure from social media motivates others to get involved; “I think the reason that climate change has become something I’m so passionate about is because I see so many people on social media voicing why its important to show up.” She went on to say that social media is “the biggest thing in our generation that pushes people in my opinion. Because it’s where people talk to each other the most… you learn so much from it.”

Although social media clearly played a key role in the success of the banner making event, and also the popularity of the Youth Strike for Climate Justice on Friday, respondants also voiced doubts about the effectiveness of social media in generating political action. One stated that “sometimes it kind of paralyzes you, you don’t know which [event] to attend.” This sense of futility in social media activism was recognised by others; “it’s really easy to think you’re doing something by tweeting a thread about climate change and then not actually doing anything about it.”

Therefore, there seems to be a tension between social media as an informative and organisational tool which is necessary in building political movements, yet also as a tool which encourages apathy or ‘clicktivism’ without any real, meaningful change.

Facebook as an organising tool

Following on from the primary data collected at the banner making event regarding how social media mobilised peoples action in regard to climate change as well as reading ‘Regarding the Pain of Others’ and considering Maryam’s findings about the role imagery plays in mobilisiation, I realised that my assumptions about the effectiveness of visual imagery in relation to mobilising against climate change were more of a personal opinion than a widespread feeling. I thought it was interesting that a significant number of interviewees mentioned Facebook and specifically the role of Facebook events in mobilising them.

I remembered a chapter of a book I read in a Second Year Geography module about the role of social networks (meaning personal relationships here, nothing to do with the social networks we now have on the internet) in leading to the formation of the punk movement in London rather than Manchester. I felt that despite being a very different case study some of the theorisation used may provide and insight into why facebook is an effective mobilising tool.

Climate Strike Banner Making Event

On Thursday 14th of March, Issey and I attended a banner making event for the Youth Strike for Climate Justice organised by some students at King’s. We took part in making banners and placards to hold at the protest, and also interviewed attendees in how social media has played a part in their involvement.

For most of the people we talked to, this was their first time engaging in climate activism at university. They had either come across the event on social media or had deliberately sought out events happening that they could attend. It seemed that social media was essential in popularising the event, particularly on Facebook. Several responses involved reflections on how social media has been a very effective tool in informing them about political actions and protests which has encouraged them to take action themselves, including the recent wave of youth strikes around climate justice.

There also seemed to be a general doubt in the authenticity of online climate activism. Some respondents questioned whether people were involved because they genuinely cared about the issue or just wanted to look like they care without taking real action. However, others said that online activists who share their concerns and actions on platforms such as Instagram are key in not only informing them about climate change but also inspiring them to get involved in similar movements. Therefore, perhaps “performative wokeness” can in itself be an important mobilising tool, as it popularises the idea that activism is something we should all be engaged in.

These issues raise interesting questions over the authenticity and usefulness of social media; is it a genuine organisational tool that can mobilise meaningful action and the transformative change necessary to deal with climate change, or an opportunity for people to appear to be involved in trending public concerns without having to engage in “real world” activism that brings about change? Are movements built solely on social media doomed to burn out as the population moves on to the next trending topic?

Clearly the bridge between social media activism and material, transformative political change needs to be gapped. From attending the climate strike in Parliament Square today, it seems that the youth have used social media effectively to enact this. Social media has been a crucial tool in popularising the protest, and the movement seems to be building every day.

Climate Change and Participatory Arts

I have been searching for more secondary sources on climate change and social media, and found this fascinating piece exploring several examples of case studies done in the global south.

Most of our research so far has been strongly London-based and emphasises climate change’s effectiveness on the northern hemisphere and Western countries, but considering its cross-continental effects on the global south with a focus on Asia-Pacific is something worth thinking about too. Perhaps not for our presentation’s central point, but as an issue we can acknowledge – knowing that the effects on the global south, and the differences in social media usage and distribution of technology, will also create a divide in how people approach climate change and the urgency with which they do so.

I found it particularly interesting how social media is used as a tool for participatory arts practices and disaster documentation and archiving, as seen in the following source:

‘Screen Cultures in the Asia-Pacific’
Authors: Larissa Hjorth, Sarah Pink, Kristen Sharp and Linda Williams
Book: Screen Ecologies: Art, Media, and the Environment in the Asia-Pacific Region (MIT Press, 2016),  pp. 57-88
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1c2crsq.8

Points:

  • Social media (particularly mobile media and its platforms) allows users to become active members in the experience, management and aftermath of environmental disasters
    • Example: in Japan, in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in March 2011, mobile phones were used extensively to capture and disseminate images around the globe. For many people, Twitter messages and still and moving images taken with camera phones not only embodied the effect and affect of the disaster but also became the repository for various forms of personal and communal grief and bereavement (Hjorth and Kim 2011)
    • Note that national Japanese broadcaster NHK had deliberately withheld information from the public on the government’s orders
    • Social and mobile media act as both witness and alibi
  • In contrast, those without access to mobile phones had less opportunity to mobilise and take agency in the dissemination of information and media about environmental disasters
    • Example: in the Philippines an initial lack of images surrounding Haiyan was due to the fact that many affected people shared one mobile phone among a family, and most of these phones did not have cameras. Instead the images that emerged from the disaster were by professional photojournalists. They were well conceived in terms of the conventions of photojournalism, with attention to composition, and could be interpreted as being highly contrived. These were not the highly personal, intimate, DIY images associated with mobile media.
  • New media artists e.g. New Zealander Janine Randerson
    • In 2008, Randerson monitored the effects of climate change on animal and bird migration, then combined scientific data visualisation with found amateur footage from YouTube to create her video installation Cascade
  • Camera phone apps and images can be used for documenting, sharing, communicating, and critically commenting on environmental disasters to everyday experiences of the environment, but themselves contribute to the perpetuation of the consumer society that is a factor in climate change
    • Digital platforms break down parameters between the amateur and the professional, leading to a democratisation of media usage and dissemination
    • Camera phone as a critical part of the environment being an embodied and affective experience of place
    • Note that accessibility expansion via social media must be understood in relation to ways in which the technologies are part of globally distributed corporate and institutional power relations supported by national agendas and consumer cultures
  • Mobile media nevertheless still plays a significant role in the making of critical and participatory arts practice in relation to climate change
    • How can environmentally responsible uses of digital media engage in the mitigation of climate change through arts practice?

W9: Assembling our ideas

Theories vs. reality: then the conflict within the reality 

Gentrification has evolved into an academic source that is removed from Ruth Glass’ original definition of a class struggle. Using statistics and charts in contemporary theories of gentrification removes the lived experience. Then we argue that this multi-medium approach shows the reality and lived experience. The language of theory vs the language of the lived experience.

Think about artists, are they part of the solution or the problem. Whose voice is heard, the experience of gentrification from the gentrifier and the gentrified – artists giving local people voices (same with Grime). Artists part of gentrification, but they are more willing to adapt.

When did gentrification start in Dalston and Brixton. acknowledge that Brixton is further along than Dalston but is a more positive example. Sites: Dalston Studios and Pop Brixton and the way they are both related to the market.

‘Everything must go’ lyrics links to Alex Wheatle’s thought that people can’t live in the area they grew up in.

Marking criteria: “creatively” important in the way we present it, what we say, what we display. Each members contribution is “discernible and complementary.” “Methodologies,” need to reflect on the methods we used and why we used these approaches.

Need to do:
Look at academia on art and gentrification.
Need to set up our theories. Look at the Ted Talks on gentrification, how do these speakers present their theories.
Think about race.
Theories conflict with lived reality. Theory is about class. Whereas, what we have in London is a city built around multi-cultural identity and gentrification is directly affected that.
By next Wednesday have a concrete plan of the theories and questions to ask George.

Meet: 11am-1pm Monday 18th and 2-4pm on Saturday 23rd.

Conflict Group C: Theories on Gentrification (Summarized)

Imagined Theories vs Felt Realities in the Gentrification process of Dalston and Brixton:

1- Theories on Gentrification:

‘One of the reasons that stage models of gentrification were developed was to cope with the temporal variations in gentrification that were already apparent in the 1970s. Gentrification stage models were designed to represent gentrification in an orderly, temporal, sequential progression.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

‘Gentrification in a nutshell: real pain of gentrification resides – the refurbishment that become de facto mass purging of poor residents, the choking off of the supply of social housing since the 1980’sm the granting of planning permission to new luxury blocks, the cynical redefining of ‘affordable housing’ to mean anything up to 80% of market rate (used to be 50%), developers buying their way out of their legal requirements to build affordable housing by paying cash to struggling councils, the eviction of poor families, most often people of colour or people with less fluent English’ (Dan Hancox, Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (p. 234))

-Ruth Glass:

-Definition:

– ‘Glass identified gentrification as a complex urban process that included the rehabilitation of old housing stock, tenurial transformation from renting to owning, property price increases, and the displacement of working-class residents by the incoming middle classes.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

 – ‘the process by which working class residential neighbourhoods are rehabilitated by middle class homebuyers, landlords and professional developers’

 -Redevelopment ≠ Gentrification: ‘Redevelopment involves not rehabilitation of old structures but the construction of new buildings on previously developed land.’

-Hamnett and Randolph’s (1986) ‘value gap thesis’:

-emphasizes the political and institutional context shaping the actions of developers, landlords, buyers, and renters in central London at this time. It was the ‘value gap’ (the relationship between a building’s tenanted investment value and its vacant possession value, the former being a measure of the rented building’s annual rental income, and the latter a measure of the property’s future sale price when it is converted into owner-occupation—the landlord sells off the building when the gap widened sufficiently) and its attendant tenurial transformation that was the main producer – (Loretta Lee, The birth of Gentrification)

-‘the private landlords, who were to profit from the flat break-up in central London after 1966, when private rented flats were sold into owner occupation and gentrification’

-Rachmanism, and landlords taking advantages of lower classes.

-Stacey Sutton:

– ‘She says that gentrification is a process by which higher income/status people relocate/invest in low income urban neighbourhoods (which have typically been disinvested in by the public and private sector) typically to make the most of low property values, but by doing so they typically inflate property values, displace low income people and alter the culture and character of the neighbourhood.’ (Jake Glasmacher)

 -Tom Slater – Gentrification of the City  (From Jake Glasmacher’s notes)

-Smith and William debate over gentrification

-Production Perspective :  ‘emphasises the role of capital and its institutional agents in creating gentrifiable spaces.’ VS Consumption Perspective : ‘a consequence of the uneven investment of capital in certain land uses, its devaluation through use and systematic disinvestment, and the opportunities for profitable reinvestment created by these capital flows

-The new middle class: ‘Gentrifiers view living in the central city as “a mark of distinction in the constitution of an identity separate from the constellation of place and identity shaped by the suburbs – Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of cultural Habitus.

-The Costs of Gentrification: Displacement

(+ Cultural consequences, Artists are affected, Community sense impacted, Social Enclaves built…)

 -Loretta Lees:  – The Birth of Gentrification

-Definition:

-Classical gentrification (original term used by Ruth Glass): ‘disinvested inner-city neighborhoods are upgraded by pioneer gentrifiers and the indigenous residents are displaced. Working-class housing becomes middle-class housing.’

-When did gentrification start in London?

-Post-War reconstruction (Brutalism, Blocks, Internalization of the City of London…)

Ex: Abercrombie Greater London Plan (1944) / New Town Development Act (1952)

-The 1969 Housing Act (‘The act provided local authorities with the power to      allocate discretionary improvement grants.’ / ‘As the grants had to be met pound for pound by the improver, they automatically favored the more well-off improver or developer and aided the gentrification process’

-The theory of the Gentrification process as following stages:

-Early Stage Model (1970-80’s) – ‘explain the process and predict the future course of gentrification mirrored Glass’s definition of classical gentrification’

-Stage 1: Group of people move in and renovate properties for own use.

No displacement yet, vacant housing taken or part of market.

Artists or people having skills to undertake renovation

Small areas concerned

-Stage 2: More people move in and fix properties for own use.

Capital for investors scarce, only a few may renovate for resale.

Promotional activities, some displacement, media interest in area,   neighborhood’s name may change, Renovation spreads…

-Stage 3: Focus of media on area – Urban renewal and developpers move in

Individual investors may renovate for own use still.

Prices escalates, physical improvement more visible

Displacement continues and may increase

Middle-class residents freshly arrived: housing as investment and place to live

Demand for public resources and promotion of area

Tension between local and gentry emerge

Police activity – reduce crime

Bank interest: reinvestment and loans to mid-class

 

-Stage 4: Mid-class moving in, Business and managerial middle-class

Measures to reinforce the private investment taking place (public controls…)

Buildings appear on market (speculation)

Commercial activities emerge

Price rise àDisplacement intensified, concerning renter and owners

New neighborhoods concerned to supply demand of mid-class

 

-Gale (1979)

-‘formulated a classic gentrification model that underlined class and status distinctions between old and new residents in a gentrifying neighborhood. Gale’s model of classical gentrification emphasized population change in terms of the displacement of former working-class residents.’ (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification)

-The Gentrifier Type :

-Late twenties or thirties adults, childless, numbering 1 or 2 by household

-Educated, professional or managerial

-The Gentrifier Type by Loretta Lee:

‘The pioneer gentrifier works in the cultural professions, is risk oblivious, wants to pursue a nonconformist lifestyle, wants a socially mixed environment, and rehabilitates his or her property using sweat equity. Then more risk-conscious mainstream professionals move in, some with young families. Realtors and developers start to show an interest, and as property prices increase the original residents might be pushed out. Over time, older and more affluent and conservative households move in, attracted to what is now a safe investment. Eventually, gentrification is seen to stabilize at an endpoint of mature gentrification.’

 -Rose (1984)

-One of the first to question the conceptualization of gentrification and its process:

-She ‘criticized stage models for lumping together different processes and effects; she preferred to see gentrification as a ‘chaotic concept’ in which different actors, housing tenures, motives, and allegiances coexisted. For Rose, ‘the terms “gentrification” and “gentrifiers” … are “chaotic conceptions” which obscure the fact that a multiplicity of processes, rather than a single causal process, produce changes in the occupation of inner-city neighbourhoods from the lower to higher income residents’  (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification) 

-Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (London: William Collins, 2018)

-Is Gentrification inevitable?

-‘Urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural.’

-When did Gentrification start? Who planned it?

-2000’s and New Labour government’s (Ken Livingstone elected Mayor, Tony Blair’s government): urban regeneration plans hatched to ‘make the inner city the engine of bourgeois modernity, cosmopolitan culture and aspiration – the New Labour project’

-The LDDC ‘was the flagship of the hyper-gentrification that would follow across British cities, legitimizing New Labour’s urban renaissance, of which renovating and demolishing of council estates was also a vital part’

-1991 One Canda Square completed – ‘A bankers’ skyscrapers that watched over the grime kids’

-New Labour Urban Task Force (1998)– ‘promote a lasting urban renaissance to stem urban decline’

-Richard Rogers appointed architect – 1999 report Towards an Urban Renaissance

-The New Deal (1998) – Aiming to reduce unemployment, which actually ‘made it much harder for artists to live on the dole while honing and improving their craft’

-What aim the gentrification targeted?

-Gentrification – ‘would create new neighbourhoods with a mix of tenures and incomes, including opening up council housing to more of the population’

-Through what means was it implemented?

-Faster Compulsory Purchase Orders – to get people out of the blocks they wanted to demolish.

-Plan to use estate renewal using private finance initiative

-The consequences of Gentrification:

-Tensions, Protests, Displacements, Rise in prices…

-‘urban regeneration is almost always a zero-sum game: for some people to ‘come back’ to the inner city, others have to leave’

-Social enclaves: ‘gated communities had proliferated in east London around the turn of the millennium, especially in developments aimed at the wealthy new arrivals working in the City of London or Canary Wharf’ – Lack of integration and interaction with local communities

-Cultural impacts: ‘Artwash on iconic blocks by council, Legendary record shops replaced with boutique coffee shops, Blocks replaced by luxury flats…’

-Cut in funding: no youth clubs, activities…

-Wiley: ‘the market culture of the Roman Road had weakened considerably as a community hub. That market culture was massive. The difference today is people go to flipping Westfield or Bluewater’

-‘Working-class people were being decanted from the estates of inner London in the name of urban renaissance’

– ‘[ …] the urban renaissance is also making life harder for those who remain, in the inner city’s increasingly isolated social-housing blocks

– ‘With this process – not to mention Tory cuts to benefits, youth services and the removal of EMA – has come a further narrowing of opportunities and horizons for young people from poor backgrounds, and a further intensification of postcode wars, youth violence and territorialism’

-The areas concerned : neighborhood nationalism, consequences and causes

-Sociologist Les Back – ‘neighbourhood nationalism: a positive identification with the local area and the people in it, one that often transcended racial divisions, sharing slang and culture, to create a sense of civic harmony, even while racism and hostility remained commonplace in the city and the nation at large– the idea that ‘if you’re local, you’re all right’.

-‘The consequence of neighborhood nationalism, of outward pride and inward claustrophobia, was that anything beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood felt at best an alien landscape, and at worst like enemy territory’

-Post-code wars

-Lack of money to travel, confined in an area – London public transport most expensive in world

-‘While capital must be allowed to move around the world unhindered by the state, the same freedom does not apply to poor people in the west’s ‘global cities’’

Week 8 – Meeting Notes

We met and how to address our research the question in relations to our individual research and how to make ties between them. We have worked out a general structure of our presentation and are meeting on Sunday to collate our research.

Looking at our question it is clear to see that the theme of the social media’s role in mobilising people chimes with our earlier intentions (see meeting 30/1/19) to discuss the role of the internet in climate change activism in regard to: Appealing to the public, manifestos and dispersing thier message but throughout our meetings and discussions we have narrowed down our scope of research to social media and mobilisation which is a more specific process that incorporates these themes.

The element of conflict in our presentation is that conflict is inherent in the work of activism, as it is protest against the state as a result of disagreement.

 

‘How can the spectacle of social media be an effective way to MOBILISE people in face of climate change?’

 INTRO

Why the use of social media > its borne out of inadequacy of traditional structures to deal with issue e.g. academia and policy. And using social media b/c it captialises on spectacular society. (Zhui Ning)

– Definition of mobilisation actually creating change.

HOW

– Contextual understanding of mobilisation > how to animate and audience with reference to literary effect of this and specifically look at essays on it. (Maryam)

– How > interview with XR > specificity of case study. (Issey + Ruby)

– Contradictions of how they use social media reflects the contradiction in their organisation/politics. (Ruby)

IS IT EFFECTIVE?

– Visual representation > Whether effective > Critical > if visual imagery if effective in mobilising people (Issey)

– Spectacle of performative wokeness, clicktivism etc.  > does it feed into action or is everything just on appearances with no concrete progress/resulting in change? (Georgie)

CONCLUSION

 All convene with our research on Sunday to discuss

A Case Study – glacier996girl

 

Previously I wrote about fashion and climate change and XR’s utilisation of fashion media’s obsession with the spectacle to increase awareness for their cause via increased media coverage. This week I will look at the work of climate activist Elizabeth Farrell and how she uses the medium of instagram to convey her message.

She uses visual imagery to raise awareness about climate change. She emphasises the important of making climate change visual (which we touched on in our discussion of climate change as a wicked problem and out inability to see if our action has any affect on the outcome). She also mentions ‘the importance of changing the ‘eco friendly’ aesthetic in order to appeal to younger generations to come’1.

Image from Polyester Zine

Like XR she dresses the importance of peer to peer conversation in mobilising about climate change:

“Since I’ve started, there’s been an increase in the amount of people talking about stuff. Young people are becoming more and more engaged. I think the main thing is really just to talk about it and have conversations about it, because it needs to be a political thing and if we are all communicating about what we want then hopefully, eventually that may happen.” 2.

“Communication is number one. The biggest most effective thing you can do is talk about climate change and create as many conversations about it3

It is interesting to see that because of her use of visual imagery her work has been picked up by fashion media and she has worked with with designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Gucci. However recently her activism pace has slowed down, it would be interesting to interview her to ask if this is a result of her workload (she is now studying Geography at Birbeck) or whether she is questioning the impact visual imagery can have in the fight against climate change.

ACTIONS

  1. Later in the week I will be co-hosting a cross-society banner making workshop for  King’s students attending the youth climate strike on the 15th of March. Whilst there I intend to interview the attendees about the role that social media played in their mobilisation/motivation to get involved in climate change protest.
  2. Ruby and I are also intending on interviewing members of the extinction rebellion media team at some point in the near future.
  3. Continue to read Susan Sontag’s ‘Regarding the Pain of Others’ to learn more about how members of society respond to imagery.

Further Reading:

Glacier Girl is reinventing the eco friendly aesthetic for the tumblr generation 

Meet Glacier Girl: the hero the world both wants and needs 

The Glaciers: Introducing Elizabeth Farrel 

 

The Society of The Spectacle

A Situationist International detourned poster – I cannot find the artist behind the work.

Last week (26th February) we tried to finalise our research question and decided on:

“How can the spectacle of social media be an effective way to mobilise people in the face of climate change?”

In my essay I looked at the relationship between the spectacle and action/mobilisation in the context of the events of May 1968 in Paris as the concept of ‘spectacular society’ and the other work of the Situationist International movement is often cited as a key influence to the May 1968 movement. In our group project we will be applying the theory of spectacular society to social media and analysing how this mobilises the public in the face of climate change.

The concept of the ‘spectacular society’ was theorised in Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’. In this text he formulates that, “The spectacle is not the domination of the world by images or any other form of mind-control but the domination of a social interaction mediated by images”1. As a result we have become ‘slaves to the spectacle of consumerism, entertainment, escapism, work, politics’ 2

The society of the spectacle results from the success of capitalism in fulfilling basic needs necessary for survival. In order to find new markets late capitalism  take a consumerist turn. Debord argues that “the present stage is bringing about a general shift from having to appearing – all having must now derive its immediate prestige and its ultimate purposes from appearances.”, late capitalism makes us obsessed with image and appearance above all else. This can be seen in modern advertising however the society of the spectacle is not confined to media/advertising and ‘cannot be understood as a mere visual deception produced by mass-media technologies, it is a worldview that has actually been materialised’. It is propagated by everyone in society rather than imposed from above and is an identification of all human social life with appearances. 

It is clear that societies fixation with social media is symptomatic of the spectacle. Although some argue that the spectacle of social media serves to distract the public from important issues, we will instead be looking at how playing into societies obsession with the spectacle is in fact an effective way of mobilising the public and creating change. 

 

Further Reading: 

Guy Debord predicted our distracted society – John Harris

How Situationism changed history – Luke Haines 

 

Week 8 – Meeting

This week we decided to focus mostly on finding a creative framework for the presentation.
We came up with the idea of creating a court transcript inspiring ourselves from other cases and especially Coy’s.
We said we could use our script as quotes and present scholars’ arguments based on our readings as responses to the jury.

We then thought at this creative option in terms of methods. Fictionalising the case would enable us to fill the gap of what a real court would have missed. Also, we decided to base our court case on the story of a trans girl who is no more allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. We chose to focus on the debate surrounding the access to toilets for trans because we already had many readings on that topic, and it was also a key theme of the documentary Growing Up Coy. We also made the decision to fictionalise our story around a trans girl who sees her access restricted to women’s bathroom since it seems to pose a problem to a broader majority when someone with male genitals uses women’s bathroom than when it is the other way around.

Plus, we said it could be interesting to imagine that the school always thought of the kid from our case as a girl, and just recently realised that she had male genitals. It would create a clear contrast from Coy’s story whose parents had first registered their child at school as a boy. In that sense, our case would highlight the gender fluidity of a child whose sexual anatomy is not yet fully developed (see The Theory and Practice of Childhood: Interrogating Childhood as a Technology of Power – J. Breslow, 2016). We also discussed whether we should specify if the kid of our story is willing to do a sex reassignment surgery when an adult or not.

Finally, we ask ourselves how our presentation would be displayed: Would we shoot a short video where we could see the different opinions of the jury? Would we be the jury of our own case or would we ask other students to join our project? Would we only show on the powerpoint some quotes from the brief we created and directly react from them? By the end of the session, we did not come up with a clear answer, and we will have to decide on that next week.

Our task for next week: write a 200-word text narrating the story from which our case will be based on, and share it on the google drive. Think about the circumstances of the case, the school and the family’s reactions, the specific characteristics of the child, the request made by the plaintiff, etc.