Thursday, March 14, 2013

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The Tributes of District 504

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Session 10 - Making Meaningful Memes, Part I: Definitions and Critical Consumption

W H A T   I S   A   M E M E ?

If you have a Facebook account or have ever been on Facebook, then you have probably seen a meme.
Let's look at Wikipedia's definition of a meme here.

S O   W H A T   D O E S    T H A T    M E A N  ?

Memes provide commentary on events that are going on in contemporary culture, politics, entertainment. And cats. Lots of cats. Like this guy:

They are often meant to be funny by making a joke, pun or by pointing out the irony of a situation. The tone of a meme itself can also be ironic.

They can also be serious and raise awareness of an issue/s that the creator thinks is/are important: 

The National Resource Defense Council built this meme as a call to action to raise awareness about the budget cuts Congress will be voting on soon. They transmitted it on their facebook wall, then included a link to a petition supporting educational funding in their facebook status.  
This is a screen shot from Kristina's facebook wall.

Whether you are making a funny meme or a serious meme, one thing is for sure:

Boromir is right. 

Memes are created with the intention of being shared and spread through the internet and therefore should have the following: 
  • A specific message intended for a specific audience
  • Text that supports the image(s) and vice versa
It makes sense that most memes utilize the font style called "impact" - in order to make a meme that people will want to share online, you have to create one that has both visual and textual (written) impact. 


M E M E      C R I T I Q U E

So keeping that all in mind, let's take a look at some examples of memes below and
determine are they a meh meme (not much impact) or a mad meme (lots of impact)?

Consider the following to make your determination: 

1. What are you seeing in the meme? 
- Consider colors, composition, scale, font style, etc.
2. What is the message? 
- What does it mean?
- Who is the intended audience of this message?
- Does the message seem biased to you?
3. Is the meme "working"? 
- Why or why not? 
- Does it make you feel a certain way or create a certain response for you: happy, sad, hopeful, angry, laughing, disbelief, etc.
4. What would you have done differently if you were the designer?
- Would you use any of the elements of this meme in your own? 
- Are you inspired to take any sort of action as a result of this piece?

Example 1: 

Example 2: 

Example 3: 

Example 4:

Now let's take a look at the meme Ms. Kristina designed as an example of the exercise you will be doing today and go through the same critique questions:

Session 10, Part 2: "We Came, We Saw, We Memed": Making Meaningful Memes Workshop

We can think of memes as an inverted form of propaganda, as they are created by citizens, and anyone with the internet has the ability to create and disseminate (share) them, rather than being owned by a powerful elite or regime that has absolute control over their dissemination (Think propos or examples of propaganda from World War II).

Meme Workshop Instructions are here.
iPad Meme Instructions are here

(Created by Yaziria C, District 504 Tribute and Gray Elementary School 8th Grader)