Poverty: ‘unacceptable’

'Unacceptable' campaign sends wrong message to those impoverished, says Radical Health Alliance.

The Radical Health Alliance believes “Unacceptable” messages are those that people pass by without consideration every day (see above) as opposed to the Coalition To End Homelessness’ campaign, which the group suggests further stigmatizes homeless people.

You’ve seen the uncomfortable images around town on buses, shelters and malls since Feb. 13: “Unacceptable. How did you sleep last night?” But while the message sends a retort deep into your guilty conscience, one group says the campaign has missed the mark entirely.

The Radical Health Alliance has launched its “Jam Unacceptable” initiative in response to The Coalition To End Homelessness’ “Unacceptable” poster and social media campaign. While it may be well-intentioned, the alliance says the coalition missed an opportunity to de-stigmatize those living in poverty.

Instead, the original campaign adds to the stigmatization through stereotypical imagery of the group they intend to assist.

“The coalition’s campaign reinforces mainstream understandings of how to conduct one’s self politically,” says Seb Bonet, alliance member. “We’re not looking to have a fight with the coalition — our goal is to take widely accepted images and twist them in a way that complicates the message and looks at it another way … that’s ‘culture jamming.’”

Just to show the contrast, the alliance took Victoria-specific images of privilege — like the opulent Uplands neighbourhood sign — and added the tag line: “Unacceptable. Housing for all, not mansions for some.”

The alliance, which formed through the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG), is a collective of front-line service workers, researchers, activists, students and other community members. The group has a continued mission to illuminate the root thinking that perpetuates poverty.

The coalition was unable to comment by press time.

“We must stop fixing our gaze on those who are homeless when talking about fixing these issues,” Bonet says. “Let’s turn our gaze on the privilege of Victoria and see the ongoing criminalization of those in poverty.”

To see more, visit radicalhealthalliance.wordpress.com/projects/unacceptable. M

— With files from Colin Cayer

Just Posted

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read