#MEDIA ft. Freyja Sewell

#MEDIA is a monthly practice to shift more focus to our mission: creating an alternative to traditional media where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. We explore opinions, experiences and wishes that other media outlets will keep unheard.



FREYJA SEWELL

Designer

London



I am a firm believer in the logic of hope, that if we do not believe a problem can be solved we will not try, and it then becomes an impossibility for sure. Media, in general, appeals to our Negativity Instinct (as better explained by Hans Rosling among others), that we are more likely to pay attention to something scary or threatening than something beautiful or positive. The media does this not out of malicious intent (for the most part), but as part of a system that only rewards capitalist gains it pays for the media to target our worst fears, our divisions and failures. In a world with 24 hour coverage of 7.7 billion people this means there is a never ending stream of desperately bad news. I have had so many conversations with people who have lost hope, particularly who have lost hope for us being able to find any way to avoid total climate change disaster. This results in people who appear apathetic, who will not change their dietary habits or bother writing to a supplier to push for a better alternative, because with the current media landscape it seems pointless. Nurturing optimism in the face of the very real and severe issues that face us is my mission.



I had an experience very early on in my career that shaped me and my attitude towards the media. One of my first designs out of University in 2011, the HUSH chair, went ‘viral’, by which I mean I released it and, without doing much more, it spread far and wide and resulted in sales and commissions which continue to this day. I always keep this in mind when people are lamenting that the only way to get work out there is through expensive marketing or clever celebrity endorsements. Of course if you have money it will make things easier, this is not new. However that experience instilled a belief that it is theoretically possible for anyone to share and have their work reach the right people, it’s more complex of course, it certainly involves a great deal of luck, as any success in life will, but it’s possible, it’s possible in a way it just was not before social media when you would have had to go through more gatekeepers, and this is a good thing for creatives.


I wish media outlets would admit they are biased. We all are. The idea that there is one perfect source of honest news, a clear voice telling THE truth is nonsensical. All of our realities are constantly affected by the internal architecture of our minds, how we expect to see things, what information we happen to have been fed or found. Media outlets should be part of a developing social narrative where we understand our own individual limitations to seeing the whole picture, we must listen to other peoples stories, we must listen to data, and we must humbly accept the task of individually doing our best to maintain as accurate a picture as possible by not expecting one news source alone to be sufficient.


Written and edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of Freyja Sewell