Good morning war ahead
There is no good morning escape forward with bright flowers, cute babies and dancing Ganeshas if one is in a group (and who is not?). Most of them are harmless enough, wishing them a good day, but sometimes they are used to boost a particular political vision, such as warning people who are not anti-nationals or talking about the importance of respecting authority. But now the war of the strikers has become political with the elaboration of their own visual narrative.
An Instagram account called @sodonechilling has been the creation and curation of WhatsApp forward, especially good morning and good night forward, which have the pastiche of those who circulate regularly in family groups, except with a touch. That they call themselves “the new one”, the page contains messages like: “Good morning! The detention center in the Goalpara district of Assam with a retention capacity of 3,000 people is nearing completion. Have a beautiful day! In a context of roses or quotes like Martin Luther King Jr., Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.
The people behind the Instagram account @sodonechilling, who wanted to remain anonymous, say: It's just a way to infiltrate a space full of fanaticism and misinformation, using a format and an aesthetic that people often receive in groups of WhatsApp and are familiar. with.
Ram, a 20-year-old graphic design student who creates such strikers, sees them as a way to go beyond the echo chamber of the people with whom he gets involved in social networks. The advances he made include one that says: A democracy that does not allow its citizens to protest peacefully and uses police violence to respond to criticism is not a democracy at all ... Good morning! He says: No matter how beautiful our Instagram posts are, he still creates an echo camera. The people I follow and who follow me are disproportionately liberal. What is the use of design if our messages do not reach the real masses?
But what is the reaction of family groups when these strikers become politicians? “The reactions have been diverse: uncles leave WhatsApp groups, others simply send thumbs up emojis and some send responses that are quite unpleasant. Any reaction is a good reaction because it means the images are working, says the team behind the Instagram account.
Krutika Harish Jain left his family group after a family member sent a striker asking them not to help victims of the Kerala floods, mentioning that it is a non-BJP state and, saying that it was all false news . She says: “But when @sodonechilling came up with this idea of counteracting the groundless strikers with the ropes - I thought so, this would be easier for people to digest than the raw ones - pack them in the same flower format as they use. ”Jain has made some strikers herself, with inspirational quotes from Gandhi, Ambedkar and Martin Luther king Jr, mostly written in Hindi.
It is also an attempt to reach a greater generation through a medium with which they feel comfortable and make them feel and take note. According to graphic designer Devika Gupta, who made some of these forwardings, “good morning messages are usually positive, but now family images are being used for a sharper message. That perplexes people and that is what makes it work.
The discomfort that derives from the inconsistency between the medium and the message is deliberate. Anupama Gopinathan, twenty, says: It's a way of saying OK, boomer all your uncles and aunts who depress you for your ideology. My intention in moving forward is to make people who survive thanks to privilege, uncomfortable, get out of bed and look outside. ”
Good morning messages are usually positive, but now family images are being used for a sharper message. That perplexes people and that is what makes it work. Devika Gupta, graphic designer
But some worry how effective these strikers really are. Sanya *, 25, has sent these referrals to her family, work and residential society group and has been asked to delete her messages or received no response. The Delhi resident says she tends to send messages with the ideals of democracy because she believes that people may be more receptive to them, but she is still unsure if they are working. A notion that has been very frequent because it is directed by students is that they are children, they don't know anything better. Sometimes, when we clarify things, I fear that it has the potential to feed the narrative that these children are getting into a car they don't know much about.
* Name changed to order