Today I appeared on UOWTV to give an interview about The Pigeon Hole Project (see below). Lights were blaring, cameras were rolling, and me being me, I forgot to say some important things.
So, I’ve made this post in order to extend on some of the things I spoke about in the interview as well as provide additional relevant information.
The aim of The Pigeon Hole is to challenge individuals to consider how they are Pigeon-Holed. This could be how they see themselves, how they think they are seen by others, or possibly a stereotype they know has affected them in the past. Through The Pigeon Hole, individuals are able to confront their stereotypes, embrace them, and move past them. While users are able to see the stories of others, and gain a better understanding of their fellow university students. Thus, the project acts as a platform through which everyone’s voice is heard, enabling us to learn from each other, and grow stronger as a community.
Why I started the project
I am a high-achieving female student. In an academic climate, I have always felt that assumptions were made about my intelligence because of my gender. From a young age, an intrinsic guilt manifested in my psyche, causing me to avoid acknowledging my talent and achievements, because I thought I would be judged about them. I didn’t think I was allowed to be smart. It was only through combatting this perception I had of myself that I was able to overcome it, and consider my intelligence as a strength, not a liability.
I wanted others to be able to become empowered in the way that I did – by tackling their stereotypes head on. So, I created the Pigeon Hole to enable individuals to so, whilst giving them a platform to share their story, and celebrating who they are through the portrait-style photography.
My Favourite Pigeon Hole
My favourite thing about the Pigeon Hole is the unexpected stories that arise from the process. One of my favourite stories was Michelle and Nikiya’s. They felt Pigeon-Holed as ‘mature-age(d)’ which is a perspective I wasn’t aware of until I met them. It really opened my eyes to how different the university experience is for every individual student.