In today’s world, social media drives discussion to soaring heights, no matter what that topic may be. For those interested in achieving social change, social media is often the best tool available to bring those points across. One recent video has become the latest addition to that wave of digital discussion for good, centered on a rising point of interest for Australians and others worldwide including travelers.
An Aboriginal Girl’s Viral Video that hit YouTube recently showed Jasirah Bin Hitam, a 17-year old schoolgirl, venture to Cottelsoe Beach in Western Australia. She then put on a blindfold and held up a sign to onlookers curious as to what she was doing. The sign read, ‘I trust you. Do you trust me? Let’s hug.’ At first, people are reluctant to approach her. But one woman steps forth, giving the teen a hug while saying ‘I trust you.’. This first hug would lead to many more – 100 in total. For Jasirah, it was a profound experience. “It was really emotional having total strangers come up and hug me,’ she said in an interview with local reporters. The video can be seen below:
The video was the result of a collaborative effort between Perth artist Peter Sharp on behalf of the Liberators International group and the youth-led Indigenous Communities Education & Awareness Foundation. The aim of the video was to work with the ‘blind trust’ principle – which works to defeat preconceived notions and stereotypes in public settings using simple approaches – to promote a better understanding between Australians and indigenous people. Sharp and the Liberators International group have had some notoriety due to a past artistic mission to have a ‘pop-up’ party on a commuter train in Perth, and are committed activists who work for social change in the country. The groups came together to work on this video due to a statistic that was released by the Australian Reconciliation Barometer from 2012 that states that only 13 percent of Australians trust Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders. The struggle by the indigenous people of Australia has been brought to the forefront on social media as of late, due to reports of communities in the northern part of the nation being left without access to basic resources. Sharp and Bin Hitam hope the cited statistic will change thanks to public perception being changed by the video, which has now had over 100,000 visitors so far.