Create Not Hate, an initiative to bring more young people from ethnic-minority backgrounds into the creative industries, has debuted work ahead of Notting Hill Carnival weekend that speaks out against racism.
Though Carnival was cancelled this year due to Covid-19, the campaign aims to capture the street party’s spirit of protest, equality and fellowship. It was created by young people in London with the agency Quiet Storm, and inspired by their personal stories of racism and racial profiling.
A recent survey by Hope Not Hate found that two-thirds of black and minority-ethnic people feel there is bias against them within the police forces. Create Not Hate’s campaign tackles this issue and other instances of racism, with the tagline: “Time to check your prejudice.”
Create Not Hate was set up by Trevor Robinson, founder and executive creative director of Quiet Storm, in 2007. He reprised the scheme this year following the death of George Floyd in the US and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The programme connects young people with mentors from the advertising industry, offers support and training in the creative process and invites mentees to respond to open briefs and projects. The first brief was to create an anti-racist campaign focused on Notting Hill Carnival.
The Carnival work comprises two films conceived by Emmanual Areoye, a 17-year-old from Camberwell, that challenge negative stereotypes about race. With the theme “That’s not me”, the stories cover Shakespeare and the medical profession.
Areoye got involved in the initiative through Debate Mate, an organisation that partnered Create Not Hate and provides leadership and communication training, and was mentored by School of Communication Arts graduate Marley Muirhead. A fan of English literature and Shakespeare, Areoye said the programme taught him aspects of filmmaking such as how to direct, and now he plans to pursue acting and a creative career after finishing school.
“I felt really involved in it. It’s something I really want to pursue. I had so much fun,” he said.
Create Not Hate’s campaign also includes posters, T-shirts, face masks, digital and press ads. Channel 4 will air the films, and the other work will appear across Metro, Time Out, the Daily Mail, Spotify and outdoor sites supplied by Jack Arts, Clear Channel and Posterscope.
The campaign was co-created and produced by Robinson and Quiet Storm, while Total Media arranged the media.
Posters, entitled “The little things build up”, were designed by 16-year-olds Jaiden Chang and Raphael Azoba from Merton and Princess Fuller, Jennelle Fuller and Oshea Rumball from Hammersmith. They will be displayed along the route that Carnival usually takes.
Chris Medford, a 2020 graduate of SCA, and creative director Dave Dye were the mentors on the project.
Medford also illustrated the face masks, in collaboration with Havas London chief creative officer Vicki Maguire. Entitled “We are all human”, the masks send a message that all people are the same under the skin.
The T-shirts were designed by 17-year-olds Lilo Jones and Kieran Charles-Chase from Merton and 13-year-olds Anis Yahiaoui and Santonio Sinclair from Hammersmith, with help from the agency Exposure. The creators were mentored by Michael Arthey and Billel Labjaoui at Engine.
Robinson said: “None of this has been dumbed down by colleges or old creative directors forcing you to think. What we got was their pure, unadulterated views. They could just say what they wanted. That’s what the industry is really lacking.”
Create Not Hate will launch more work during Black History Month in October, including projects developed in partnership with Ridley Scott Creative Group, Red Brick Road and The Mill. Robinson is seeking funding and additional mentors to keep the programme going past October.
“We’ve got lots of ideas we haven’t made yet,” he added. “The industry needs this talent as much as the talent needs this industry.”