Dismantling prejudice is the theme of the latest campaign by the Swedish media group, Stampen Media, and it's one that finds Swedes opening themselves up to public scrutiny.
In today’s media landscape, fake news, fast news and filter bubbles present a wealth of challenges for both journalists and consumers alike. People's perception of the world around them can be easily narrowed and twisted as a result and researchers have warned against growing prejudice in our societies.
Stampen Media believed that the only way to tackle these issues was by supporting unbiased and well-researched journalism.
To emphasise this belief, Stampen launched a social experiment in Gothenburg, Sweden and documented it in a film entitled ‘Visible Thoughts.’
During the experiment, people off the street were invited to sit down on a chair placed in the middle of a shop-window, exposed both to passers-by and people following the event online. People were then able to label the person in the shop-window by answering a set of questions - knowing nothing about them, bar their appearance.
The answers were projected in real time in the shop window and online, exposing the bias carried by the people answering the questions.
“I get it almost every day” said one participant of the assumptions made about him, “people think I’m a criminal, or poorly educated. Or, that I’m dangerous or cocky, but that’s not true.”
The goal of the campaign was to start conversations around prejudice and to encourage people to want to get to know one another, outside of their own bubble.
“People only see what’s on the outside,” said another participant. “Get to know what’s inside. That’s what counts.”