What Zia Mandviwalla does is a form of translation, taking personal hardships and victories, and spilling them out on the screen, finding the right visuals for the right story. Her diverse and adaptable creative world freewheels between the crackling energy of her work for Spark, and her sensitive and nuanced stories of migrants, trying to hold onto a way of making a living in their cracked hands. Whatever it takes – that’s what Mandviwalla is committed to.
How A Code Is Breaking The Gender Binary
LBB Explores The Campaign, Nominated For A Glass Lion For Change
Being misgendered online is one thing – part of a long chain of everyday harms that cast gender non-conforming people as “other” and stops them from living as their authentic selves. But being forced to misgender yourself is a particular sort of pain.
That’s the problem that Spark’s Beyond Binary code is designed to address. A piece of code that can be applied to any online form, it’s about pushing businesses to consider the way they gather data about gender, interrogating whether we need such information from customers at all – particularly when the only available options are “male” and “female.”
“Often businesses default to asking for gender without considering how it might impact people on the other end of the form,” says Colenso BBDO’s Haylie Craig of the code, which made the shortlist for the Glass Lion For Change at Cannes, in an interview with LBB.
“When you look around, gender data impacts so much more than you might realise. This can have very real negative impacts on some people.”
Zia Mandviwalla, who directed the campaign’s film, sees her involvement as showing people how being forced to misgender oneself feels, translating both the problem, and Spark’s solution, into visuals.
“We wanted to do something that communicated effectively our message; not only the predicament that non-binary people are in, but how that makes them feel,” Mandviwalla says.
“And then what this code has the potential to change.”
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