STAND UP

Discipline 
Architecture
Film
Multidisciplinary
Visual and Critical Studies
Issue 
Digital Media
LGBTQ Identity
Partner Organization 
Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (JFLAG)
Semester/Year 
Summer 2011

Location(s):

Kingston, Jamaica

New York, New York

Team Members/ Disciplines:

Raine Paulson-Andrews | MArch

Kristina Kotlier | MArch

Roberto Gomez Hernandez | MFA Film & MA Visual and Critical Studies

Protesting the high crime rates against LGBTQ Jamaicans, STAND UP shared personal and community narratives via social media of Jamaicans who fled their island nation. 

Project Overview

STAND UP uses the unique characteristics of social media to create an active network between the LGBTQ community from Jamaica, the most homophobic country in the western hemisphere, and their allies through testimonial/solidarity videos.

In spite of the socio-political oppression and threat of physical violence, it was the first international campaign to create an active community for LGBTQ rights in Jamaica.

STAND UP partnered with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and its underground counterpart, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (JFLAG) to counter homophobia with community building, storytelling, and safe visibility.

STAND UP was an incredibly powerful experience, being able to meet and share the stories of dozens of brave people, putting themselves on the line to be able to love who they choose, was amazing. If I had been told that I would have done something as large as this, at the beginning of the summer, I would not have believed it.” – Robert Gomez Hernandez (MFA/MA, Film/Visual and Critical Studies)

Project STAND UP worked with a Jamaican team on video techniques that maintained anonymity and to create “safe visibility” for participants. Team STAND UP built upon the We Are Jamaicans Project featuring videos of LGBTQ Jamaicans and prominent community leaders/allies in and out of Jamaica and used their project website as a platform for exponential growth that synched with a YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

Outcome

STAND UP’s videos shared personal narratives of LGBTQ Jamaicans and their allies from three different countries and started a social movement that continued on past their time in Jamaica.

Prior to traveling to Jamaica, STAND UP launched an IndieGoGo campaign to extend the life cycle of their project, their fundraising goal was shared by GLAAD, the Huffington Post, CIMA, and other news outlets to support their campaign.

Although they initially envisioned gather 10-15 interviews while in Jamaica, Team STAND UP interviewed 60 participants for their testimonial and solidarity videos that were shared at a final premiere.