A campaign about Islam and intolerance combined with flags as the ultimate symbol of nationalism. Those are enough ingredients to call it provocative. Agency NATIVE VML did it for People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), a South African non-profit that advocates for equality, justice, and human rights for all. So they do for Muslims. The campaign focuses on the fact that intolerance directed at the Muslim community is higher than ever, also in South Africa.
The visual message is about identity. Portraits of Muslim women wearing a traditional Islamic hijab, fashioned after the flag of their home country. It is the showdown that these women have a nationality and that they are Muslim.
Ms Tendai Bhiza at PASSOP:
Juxtaposing these two symbols creates such a strong impact and challenges the assumptions people have about Muslim identity
Ryan McManus, Executive Creative Director at NATIVE VML:
We are fully aware that certain quarters may find these images controversial, but the point of this movement is to challenge the prejudices people may have, and change the way we think about a culture that has been unjustly defined by the actions of a select few.
The portraits will be used in an outdoor, print and social media campaign. The agency hopes that this campaign will inspire people in other countries to create similar images that will spread the message and help shift the conversation. Preferably, with the hashtag #IAmMuslim both on Twitter and Instagram.