The politics and ethics brief asked us to engage and reflect on our ethics of practice within the world. We were asked to address a range of key normative and meta-ethical concepts and apply these to various design situations. I decided to take the opportunity to explore the landscape of my own personally situated ethics, taking on a project identity which is relevant and can be explored within the interests of my own design practice.
The ethical grey-zone of the current abortion law in Gibraltar was something of intense debate during the creation of my film documentary and written report. Currently still classified as an illegal act, if guilty of having an abortion in Gibraltar, the mother and those involved in the act are sentenced to life-long imprisonment. While the topic of the ethics and the general discourse around the act of abortion is one that is popular within contemporary society, following the increase in feminist voices, it is not common knowledge that the British overseas territory, Gibraltar has yet to legalise the act.
As a designer and semi-local of both Gibraltar and the UK, I believed that I had the ability to balances my creative vision with a respect to the history of the topic, through the medium of film documentary. To create a visual piece which stimulate the feeling of ‘epistephilia’ both within the local community of Gibraltar, as well as on a more global scale. To generate a different perspective in regard to the topic of the abortion law and prompt awareness within a wider audience.
I approached the documentary as a means of research, gaining information from those closest to the topic and recording them to later quote in my report. Through these recordings, I found a common opinion. The opinion that the specific ‘life-imprisonment’ punishment was unjust and unproductive within the larger contexts and that there was a severe lack of education in regard to sex and relationships.
Through the recognition of the common thought, I was able to begin building a narrative within my film. Drawing on the shared opinion and using it as a means of triggering a change in the system. This link is what became the most invaluable theme within the documentary, the key aspect which transgressed the film. An opportunity to show all parties involved that whether or not they agree on the ethics of abortion, they DO agree on the injustice of the existing law. While this narrative does not determine the ethics of the overall topic of abortion, it does offer evidence of the arbitral law and begin to create rhetoric around the existing ideologies, hopefully triggering some form of immediate revision.