How to Stage a Hunger Strike Like Aida Fernandez
Aida Fernandez starving in South Dade.
Photos by Swampdog
Aida Fernandez is staging a hunger strike in a tent on her Hibiscus Farm in the protected wetlands of South Dade near Chekika Park in the Everglades. We found her event through a hand-painted neon sign posted on an electric pole and decided to check it out, cause hey, a lot of Miami girls starve themselves, but how many do it for a cause. Here, in pictures and words are the methods by which Aida's protest successfully promotes itself. Not into hunger striking? You can apply these concepts to your own concerts, club nights, art shows, or any other event you want strangers to show up to or know about.
Street Promotion: Any event attempting to draw a crowd ought to use it. It is a simple, cheap, and effective method for disseminating information. Message should be short, clear, and attention grabbing.
Break it down.
Explanatory Signage: Though the folks embroiled in the issue may be intimately familiar with every aspect of the cause, an ignorant stranger will need help understanding the basics. Give them something they can digest and form an opinion about.
Stand up and fight.
State Your Demands: A hunger strike is no silly game, it's an extreme measure of activism intended to draw attention in an urgent manner. Make sure to clearly state what it is you hope to gain.
Provoke with Symbols: The upside down flag is an official sign of distress that works as a rally of protest against governmental acts and draws the eye with its strong symbolic presence.
Tabling, Petition, and Web Presence: Having a member of your protest team available to answer questions, promote your petition, and direct the public to your clearly advertised website are integral to the staging of your event.
Get the picture?
Signage, Signage, and More Signage: One poster on one wall is not enough. Paint the ground so that a helicopter can see your message, plant statements at ground level, and declare yourself with words as strong as your will.
Invite the Media: The myth of the news is that The Company just happens to know about everything that's going on, everywhere, all the time. Most of the time reporters just sit around waiting for someone to call and invite them somewhere. Find contact information for every outlet and make sure they know about what you're doing.
Invite Your Friends and Family: Sounds like a given, but inviting your network and having them invite theirs is one of the most important steps you can take in staging a successful event.
No food, no life.
Invite Like-Minded People: People who are interested in related causes may be into yours as well. Make sure to let them know what you are doing and encourage them to see it in person.
Aida is starving herself to raise awareness about her fight against Miami-Dade County's DERM. Find out more about her struggle through her website mylandgrabbyderm.com.
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