As defined for the purposes of this statement, and as described by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships, ethics "are the moral principles that govern people's behaviors and how we conduct activities." It's the way that we figure out "what's right based off of personal, moral, legal, and social traditions."
As an artist, as filmmaker specifically, I find myself in contact and collaboration with many different kinds of people. This is not just culturally but also socially and with different creative processes - so they're different as artists as well. Design and illustration have a different creative process and timeline than does filmmaking. Even within design architecture has a different creative process and timeline than does graphic design. These, for example, are important roles in a film in terms of set design and titling. Being able to make sure that everyone is R-E-S-P-E-C-Ted and accommodated throughout filmmaking is the goal as it is a collaboration.
Now, what does R-E-S-P-E-C-T mean?
As clearly defined by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships:
Concerns and Fears
More specifically, I am currently working on a PSA for St. Vincent De Paul and we have constraints to this project (time, desires of the partner, etc.) that we have to work within. Understanding that St. Vincent De Paul has specific Catholic-based morals, enables my team and I to carefully construct something that aligns with their morals as well as something that we are passionate about (creation and storytelling).
With SVDP, being able to observe and understand the way in which they do things such as greet each other, the vernacular they use, etc. enables us to show proper respect to them. In our initial meeting with SVDP, we took a tour of their facility and heard their story. While I am not a religious person, the story of their founder and their call to action about giving back to the community through charity is touching and something that I value. While SVDP is based in Catholicism, they extend their reach to all communities which plays into the sociocultural context of their organization and the role that they play in the community. The power dynamic at SVDP isn't corporate or hierarchal in anyway, more so community based. There are providers and there are receivers but it is also reversed because both parties are constantly receiving and giving from and to each other. SVDP by design is an empathetic organization which makes it easy to understand why they do what they do. Those in need always know that they have an entity to depend on. While we have not spoken about concerns and fears, our group is dedicated to showing SVDP in a positive light rather than depicting those in need we will depict the resources of SVDP. We want to not only show those in need that they have somewhere to go, we also want to show those who can help and way in which they can. Last, but not least, ensuring that we trust each other. After meeting with our partner, we have a clear understanding of who they are as an organization, what they offer, what they believe, and how they want to express themselves.
Being able to work ethically, in the most general terms, makes it easier for projects to be completed and typically makes it easier to make decisions. What should we do? Well what principles are we working off of?
Things to consider and keep in mind in terms of ethics as defined by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships:
Conflict of Interest
Grossly Unethical Behavior (Abuse, Harassment, Hate, Harm)
Our partner, SVDP, knows that we are students which means our work may not necessarily be up to par with Warner Brothers but they know that we are learning and willing to do our best. Creating this PSA in a place where people come to receive assistance may cause some issues and sometimes embarrassment from those in need. When putting together our PSA we will be making it clear what we will be doing as well as ensuring that those appearing on camera will know when/why and have the proper forms filled out to use them. In terms of conflicts of interest, the only one that I can think of is the religiosity of SVDP. In the beginning, I thought that I would feel uncomfortable in the environment but SVDP, while based in the Catholic faith, they are very open-minded and welcoming. In the end of the day, the values of their organization align with mine. Last, but most certainly, not least, grossly unethical behavior is something to look out for in any area.
Ethics are ever changing as we become more and more self, culturally, and socially aware. Willingness to be openminded, analyze self and others, and change as more is revealed is highly necessary and encouraged.
As a community partner, these requisites for collaborating with others will be at the forefront of my mind always to ensure that a mutual respect and appreciated outcome with result.
All in all, I am excited to be creating this PSA for SVDP.
Each day we get on average 23 hours, 53 minutes, and 4 seconds to make it something we're proud of.