New app challenges Australians to live with racism every day for seven days
22 January 2014
A new app which encourages people to live for a week in the life of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman, an Indian student as they experience various scenarios of racial prejudice and which was jointly sponsored by Deakin University, was launched today. (Wednesday, January 22)
Deakin University's expert on racism and anti racism,Associate Professor Yin Paradies, said the app, developed with partners - the national anti-racism charity All Together Now, the University of Western Sydneyand University of Melbourne drew on the real-life experience of Aboriginal men, Muslim women and Indian students, who shared their own stories of everyday racism, to develop the app.
"Everyday Racism is insidious because it is infused in the recurring aspects of our lives we don't think about such as talk (including jokes), ringtones, memes, and behaviour, rather than the extreme incidents we are more familiar with," he explained.
"In Australia race and/or ethnicity and/ or religion are also used to denigrate another person's beliefs or practices.
"This is what makes the everyday Racism app so valuable because it highlights the debilitating effects this form of racism can have."
Associate Professor Paradies, who works in the University's Centre for Citizenship and Gobalisation heads up research teams looking at everyday racism and bystander racism.
"The app takes players through various scenarios challenging them to respond to instances of racial prejudice, from teasing or verbal abuse, to being ignored while ordering a coffee, or missing out on a promotion due to the character's cultural background.
"Our challenge is this: 'could you live for seven days experiencing the types of prejudices our game characters do?" he said.
"How does this make you feel?
"How do you think this would affect you if it went on 365 days of the year?"
All Together Now's Managing Director Priscilla Brice said the app was the first in Australia.
"No one else in the world has done something quite like this, in a game format," she said.
"The app is immersive and evocative, and it's designed to make you question your beliefs and attitudes."