I was sitting on my twin sized bed in an equally small apartment during my second year of college when I saw my future. Well, I didn’t technically see my future; it was shown to me by a YouTube video.
As I watched the video, my mouth slowly started to creep open until the very end when my palm immediately covered my lips and my eyes stared into the computer monitor. The screen went black, but I was still staring. In that blackness was, ironically, hope. Hope for my future, and hope for theirs.
The producer of the video had probably intended to reel in absent-minded teenagers scrolling through the internet to kill time. However, I doubt that he anticipated lighting such a magnificent flame beneath the seat of a twenty-year-old sorority girl. But I’m glad he did. Because his message shot me right out of bed and sent me running, passionately, down a new career path.
So, what was the video?
All sensory aside, it was a video produced in the Red Light District of Amsterdam that showed women dancing in a storefront window. This neighborhood is infamous for its legalization of prostitution where women are shopped for like commodities. In the video, they are partitioned into different cells –the women cannot see one another but can only see out onto the city streets.
Then, they start to dance –and not in the style of the Nutcracker. Oh, no. The women move slow and sexy to the music until the beat begins to pick up and they pop their bodies faster and faster to the rhythm of the bass, desperate to prove their worth to the shoppers below.
People gather at the windows and gawk at the free show, even pointing at dancers on the second story of the building. Before the crowd becomes too comfortable, however, the cells go dark and, above the building, a monitor begins playing a slideshow.
“Every year thousands of women are promised a dance career in Europe,” it says, “Sadly, they end up here.”
The audience was still. The audience was quiet.
These women were not prostitutes by choice; they were symbols of the women who are prostitutes by force.
My vision refocused after gazing into the blackness of my computer screen, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in communication to change the hearts of men shopping for a one night stand.
I wanted to craft messages in surprising, innovative ways to reach audiences that would not normally hear what I have to say; I want to use creativity and communication to cross cultural, physical and emotional boundaries and generate change.
This blog will be about the readings, artwork, music and all other classroom encounters I have in college that inspire me to create and, ultimately, communicate. Hopefully, the reflections I discuss here will be small moments that mark my path toward a promising and powerful career.