Russophobia. Fear of Russians.
CONCEPT & RATIONALE:
We chose to focus on Russophobia, or the fear of Russians – just one of the many forms of prejudice which humans have directed against a particular nationality or ethnicity, this particular one, at least in its modern form, rooted in the decades-long paranoia of the Cold War.
Our concept for aiding people in overcoming their Russophobia was a simple one: a booklet of simple information about Russia’s history, language and culture, and a set of instructions offering viewers guidance in “ways to appear Russian”, along with simple visuals invoking distinctively Russian art and aesthetics.
Obviously, this is not a concept we could hope to play seriously; bigotry and prejudice of any sort, sadly, is generally not the kind of thing that can be changed via reasoned argument – at least, not the sort that can fit into a single booklet. Rather, we go for an overtly humorous, somewhat sardonic tone in our booklet – one which serves to skewer and mock prejudice against other nationalities, and against Russians in general; though it also, to a light-hearted degree, skewers Russia itself. Our target market, therefore, is obviously not actual Russophobes, but people aware of the fundamental absurdity of being “phobic” of anyone based entirely upon their nationality or ethnicity.