Playfully encourage those who are mildly vaccine hesitant (not anti-vaccine) because of fear, concerns about it not being “natural” or are just more familiar or more comfortable with wellness language. Also to model a more lighthearted way of engaging for those who are on the same side.
A series of 10 images that talk about vaccines using the jargon and aesthetic of “wellness.”
Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine
Make it specific to another community.
What I think is funny is rarely what large populations think is funny, but apparently this resonated with a lot of people. It’s by far the most popular thing I’ve ever posted on instagram, by a factor of 7 in the first 48 hours. It was re-posted on some other accounts and in total over 11,000 people liked it, which means many more saw it.
I have a history of irritation with scams, pseudoscience, the idea that things are “natural” or “unnatural”, etc. I’d also recently listened to an episode of Maintenance Phase about the “Wellness to QAnon Pipeline” that was still rattling around in my head.
Friends like Merith Basey, Stephen Duncombe, Jean Raillia, Dread Scott, and others saw early drafts and gave me some helpful feedback, which is how it got less mean.
Original files can be provided for exhibition
Reflections from Steve Lambert
What was the process/journey of creating this work?
It was an idea I had late one night, made a note, and then couldn’t get it out of my head. It started with “wouldn’t it be funny if…” and I made an initial image as a proof of concept. Then I shared that image with a few friends and they reacted positively, so I kept honing it.
What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?
The first draft ended with “GET FUCKING VACCINATED! You privileged, self-centered, cockwombles!” Merith taught me the word cockwomble. But mostly the collaborators relayed that they thought it could work well without the turn at the end. I thought maybe it would make it more cathartic and funny, but I think leaning the other direction helped it work.
What were some of the responses to this work?
It went crazy on Instagram.
“This is the funniest shit I’ve seen in so long I love it 😂 so good!!!”
“I told my friend Michael from @bedsideroundz this was the best satire piece I’ve seen this year. 🏆🏆🏆”
“I love this so much ❤️❤️🙌🙌 I his is incredible and worded in a way I would have loved to but have always been to angry to express without sounding like I’m on the attack 😂”
“For some reason, it was the picture of avocados that made me laugh. This is so silly and so good 😂👏👏👏”
There’s also comments on the post, tremendously positive.
What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?
Make print brochures to take to health food stores. Make cheesy video commercials and put them on tv and online.
If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?
Free stock photos and the right font are your friend. Work fast. There was a point in the middle I wasn’t sure it was funny at all because I’d been working too closely for too long. So keep testing with other people if it’s funny because you may not be able to know.
Also, I got an unexpected amount of comments. The straight up misinformation I would write a slam-dunk response to or just delete it. Some people asked legit questions. You can get a sense of how I handled it in the comments, but I also wrote up a summary for a friend that I can share too – reach out if needed.