The No Evil Project is a nonprofit organization that uses art and humour to encourage conversation rather than confrontation in challenging stereotypes and helping people find commonality and understanding despite cultural, racial, religious, political, gender, physical & mental health, occupational, and socio-economic among other differences.
For photography events, participants pose as the Three Wise Monkeys: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil; pick three labels that describe themselves; and write a good deed to show they’re “not evil” and aren't defined by their labels. Participating encourages exploring our own labels, biases, and stereotypes, without the defensiveness these topics traditionally cause; while seeing the photos and stories of others online and in physical exhibits humanizes the labels we may not relate to, helps us find similarities with others that seem so different, challenges our assumptions, and starts constructive conversations.
We work with organizations to help challenge the stereotypes of the people they serve, companies for team building events, colleges for deeper introductions and discussing diversity, high schools as a social-emotional educational program including anti-bullying, and festivals of all kinds to capture the variety of communities.
Breathe No Evil
With the coronavirus and COVID-19, our traditional method of getting large groups of people together and having them touch their faces isn't ideal... However, we've noticed that while wearing face masks in public can help slow the spread, it's not common, and people may feel uncomfortable wearing them and seeing others wear them. The pandemic has also emphasized existing stereotypes and created others resulting in avoidance, discrimination, or violence towards people of Asian descent, people who have traveled, emergency responders or healthcare professionals, and those who have recovered from COVID-19.
This special edition of the No Evil Project aims to continue the spirit of the project, and let people participate easily on their own. For Breathe No Evil, everyone takes a selfie sharing the same simple good deed of wearing a face covering to protect others in their community. They also pick three labels to show that the pandemic affects everyone in some way, and that we can all come together help slow the spread despite our differences. Their additional good deed can be anything they've done in their life, or something specific to what they're doing during the pandemic.
Participation gives people who may be feeling helpless or isolated right now a voice to tell their story as well as an outlet to be creative if they wish, and to be part of something bigger in the community. Seeing all of these individuals participating in the same creative exercise and wearing face masks shows how the community coming together to support and protect each other, while encouraging and normalizing public health guidelines leading to a faster recovery from COVID-19.