Feb 13, 2017

Discover there is more to people than meets the eye through the ‘EQuê?!’ Campaign

For those of you who follow the Juventude Cruz Vermelha Braga page on Facebook, you will have hopefully been aware of the weekly pictures being posted for our ‘EQuê?!’ campaign over the course of the last couple of months.

The ‘EQuê?!’ campaign focuses on stereotypes. Preconceived ideas and beliefs we inherit socially, stereotypes can be placed on specific groups of individuals or certain ways of doing things. They are notions that exist and are omnipresent in our day to day life, and can have a strong influence on how we both think and act. Stereotypes have developed over the course of time, whilst new ones continue to develop, becoming part of an individual’s psyche through the influence of family, literature, internet and media, among other mediums.

Some argue stereotypes are a natural way for us to categorise, understand, and give meaning to the world around us, though I would contest how naturally these develop. We may develop these beliefs through natural assimilation but the agendas of certain people and organisations mean they impose certain immoral ideas on us that we then take on, either consciously or subconsciously. A current and highly topical example is the stereotyping of 1.7 billion Muslims as terrorists and a threat to Western ideals – like these ideals are superior to all others - by certain individuals and sections of the media in order to fit their agenda, a ghastly case of ignorance and racism. Therefore, to say stereotypes are dangerous is an understatement, they are extremely threatening. Generalisations like this can lead to discrimination of various degrees and undermine people’s understanding of one another. As a result, it is a feasible to argue that stereotypes actually hold us back and that we should do our utmost to counteract them, instead spreading a positive message.

This is where JCV – Braga’s ‘EQuê?!’ campaign comes in. Most appropriately translated as ‘SoWhat?!’, ‘EQuê?!’ is a campaign looking to challenge common stereotypes that have developed, dispelling the idea that people can be forced into certain categories or characterised in particular ways. With all of us at some point or another in our lives being judged or labelled, we want to show that stereotypes do not in fact reflect our reality and that there is more to people than simply meets the eye.

An online photographic project, each week a new image is shared on the Juventude Cruz Vermelha Braga page on Facebook, where we encourage everyone to like and share the image so that we can have as far-reaching an impact as possible. The participants are those who we encounter regularly in our daily lives and we want to show, that despite seemingly appearing to fit in to certain categories or groups, that they are unique people who challenge stereotypes due to their individual characteristics, qualities and experiences. They remind us, that despite differences, they are equal to us and each of us is our own individual being with our own identity; we cannot be shoehorned into categories. At the end of the article I will share with you the link to the relevant Facebook page as well as including all the photos that have been published thus far.

The ‘EQuê?!’ campaign is actually really simple in its premise. All it requires is some willing participants to have their photographs taken, holding a placard demystifying a common stereotype that if often levelled against them but is completely erroneous. Then after a little photo editing to include all the campaign images they are ready to be shared online. Following this it is a case of getting the word out and working hard to make sure the campaign reaches as many people as possible. Clearly a lot of this is done through social media but other efforts, including this blog, can help spread the message. Last week, Tania and Luis also conducted an interview with RUM, the University of Minho’s radio station in order to help disseminate the message further.

The link for the corresponding article on RUM’s website can be found here:

The phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is very applicable here. We hope this campaign will show there is more to people than meets the eye. I believe that this campaign contains a very important message and each and every one of us can take something from it. You may learn something new or realise that, for example, you had a preconceived idea about a particular group, whether intentional or not, and a relevant image discredits that belief.

Additionally, if you want to be more involved, you could be one of our participants! Take a look at the photos below and consult the Facebook page, and if you feel that you dispel a stereotype you can take a photo demonstrating just that. Just write your message on a white card and make sure you include the campaign name, ‘EQuê?!’ Then you can email your photo to us at dbraga.juventude@cruzvermelha.org.pt. It really is simple and does not take long and in doing so you will be helping to disseminate the message that stereotypes are misleading.

So, take the time to understand our motivations and objectives by having a look at the campaign and help spread our work to create a Juventude sem Rótulos! (Youth without Labels!)

This is a link to the Facebook page of Juventude Cruz Vermelha Braga:

You can also go directly to the campaign photos by using this link:

Here are the campaign photos thus far:

"I am blind but, I am independent, I work, I walk,
I take care of myself - E Quê?!"

"I am Muslim. I am not a terrorist. I stand for peace - E Quê?!"

"I have Down syndrome and I have a shop! - E Quê?!"

"Rasta does not always equal drugs! - E Quê?!"

"When I get emotional I cry! - E Quê?!"

"I am a woman and I don't need help parking the car"
"But I do - E Quê?!"

"I am Catholic and I go to mass every Sunday - E Quê"

"I am the coach tor for the national futsal team, and I dedicate my
free time to children with special educational needs - E Quê?!"

"I finished my bachelor's degree at 36 years old - E Quê?!"

"I am Muslim and I choose to wear a Hijab."
"I am also Muslim and I choose not to wear - E Quê?!"

"I was born, I grew up and I lived in a problematic neighbourhood
and I am not a delinquent - E Quê?!"

"I am a boy and my favourite colour is pink - E Quê?!

"I am Roma, I study, I work and I am single! - E Quê?!"

"Getting married? I choose not to do- E Quê?!"

"I am Roma and I promote the empowering of women - E Quê?!"