This week we had to design and implement a flash mob. We had to pay attention to things like originality, impact, creativity, number of people involved and risks. The catchy part was that we had to mobilise ourselves in only 8 hours. I didn’t knew exactly what a flash mob is, so I researched about it. Back in the 19th century in Tasmania the word referred to a culture where women were kept prisoners. Also in Australia the term flash mob referred to a divided part of society. This genre has a modern origin, at least in the documented use of the term as we knew it today, because it was created in 2013 by Bill Wasick senior editor of Harper’s Magazine.
Here are one of the best flash mobs that I’ve found on the Internet:
Coming up with ideas for our own flash mob wasn’t as hard as I believed it could be. Our top 3 were: Ikea – act like you are in your own home, movie interpretations and star wars battle. The votes were really close between the first and the second option. We went for movie interpretations, as Ikea seemed to put a little bit at risk some conventions like legalities, permissions and negative press.
As we didn’t had to much time, we decided to start and rehearse what we were going to do. After half an hour of trying to sing all in the same time, we realised that it wasn’t the best option, because we won’t achieve the impact that we wanted. We thought about it and we came to the conclusion that we should go for Ikea, because is the most fun to do, it will raise a big impact and this is our purpose, people will talk about it and it was something original. So, we started to make a plan. We were divided in several groups because otherwise we could draw the attention of the staff from the very beginning and it was something that we had to avoid.
Each group was divided to a particular room: kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom. I picked the bedroom and me and my group came up with the idea of a fight between a husband (Alex Blaikie) and a wife (being me); Jessica Dash was the women with whom Alex cheated me, and Jack Harris was another man who was hiding in the closet. We wanted to make it look real, so we decided to make it a little bit extreme. We carefully changed our clothes without being noticed, we were all wearing pyjamas except Jack who was wearing only his underwear. I decided to take my role seriously, so when I ‘caught’ Alex in bed with Jess I started to scream at him and I even slapped him easily on the face. The staff heard us, so we were interrupted by them. To continue our joke, me and Alex asked the staff what are they doing in our bedroom and then we started laughing. We realised that things can take a wrong turn if we don’t go, so we packed our things quickly and left the building accompanied by two members of staff.
Things went out pretty good in our opinion, and the footage looked amazingly. Unfortunately when we went back to uni we’ve found out that we need to delete all the footage/ photos and comments that were in connection with our flash mob, because we violated some terms and regulations of Ikea, and some people were even banned to ever go to Ikea again. But sometimes isn’t it that whole point of creative activism? To ware awareness, to get a reaction, to not care what other people think…
Even though we didn’t had such a happy ending, I still think that if you are really passionate about what your doing sometime you can omit the rules, especially if you are aware of the consequences that you can get. In order to raise a big impact you have to make something out of common, something that will make people wonder: ‘ Hey, what’s going on? ‘, and I think that we did manage to do that. The purpose justifies the means.