RAINBOWS IN DANCING SHOES
Updated: Oct 14
July 1st 2023, Soho London - Photo feature about Pride London, The Guardian
Continuing her collaboration with Dougie Wallace, one of the world’s leading social documentary photographers, Lida Hujić has been putting words in ‘white label’ fashion to his on-going projects. The article about Pride London for The Guardian to accompany Wallace’s photos is written with the assistance of CHATGPT. Lida’s first copy article was put through the application and the result was quite fun! It certainly saves time when writing captions! The online template of the newspaper photo essay requires a short description per photo, whereas social documentary photography is about the overall vibe on the streets (in this case focused on the collective experience of Pride), rather than each photo, per se). In such as scenario, CHATGPT is a useful partner!
Part taking in Pride is a subchapter of ‘Soho Unlocked’, Wallace’s on-going documentary project, which charts the re-emergence of life in the pubs, clubs, theatres and streets of one of London’s most diverse and culturally rich areas, following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in the summer of 2021. Initially focused on capturing moments still led by covid-protocols in and around venues, it soon shifted towards documenting Soho’s thriving LGBTQI+ community: defiant, diverse, friendly, colourful and cross-generational, somewhat reminiscent of Soho in the 1990s when new subcultures emerged that went on to have global mainstream influence. Within a year, Wallace collected an impressive body of work, so much so that he was invited as the inaugural artist at the newly launched Motel gallery space in east London, dedicated to all things photography, an event in collaboration with Crane Kalman Brighton photography gallery, Spectrum and 123 London. The point of this post, however, is not to seek any credit or lament the state of media, but rather to point out how accurate all the predictions were in The 2.5% book. Based on a robust model (‘the first to know innovation diffusion’) for anticipating paradigm shifts in consumption – rather than being about trend forecasting – this book has anticipated the rise of awareness and activism when it comes to LGBTQI+ cause, through insider connections.
Readers, if you do a search through the ebook, you can find the ‘rainbow revolution’ chapter – focusing on the subcultures that have put this issue to the fore, part of the Alpha types in this small but mighty minority of the 2.5% population. This is accompanied with another section in the book, dedicated to another type within the 2.5%, called ‘taste makers’, specifically ‘mob with a cause’.
Of course, LGBTQI+ communities have always been part and parcel of society – but what has happened in this ‘cool cycle’ (another term from The 2.5% book), is that the mainstream has picked up and started to recognise the importance of how one identifies in terms gender.
Neon Gatherings (taste maker/’mob with a cause’) were a radical group, among the early proponents of use of pronouns, in 2016 – when society didn’t talk about it yet. It would take a few years for ‘diffusion platforms’ to start using pronouns officially in their communications – such as the private members’ club The Wing in 2019. By comparison, Linked In only introduced pronouns as part of their 2021 revamp. The same could be said for MRS, the Market Research Society – where TFTK operates – as the first pronouns in email signatures started to appear in November 2021 – at first, linked to linked in profile.
That’s what the first to know innovation diffusion is about – ahead of time and accurate!