We asked Laura Burns, the woman behind the website…a few questions about the project
How did you come to this project?
I’m a researcher on a new BBC Three film about the World Muslimah pageant and I produced the website featuring Dina to explain a bit more for audiences who might not know what the hijab means for women around the world.
Sounds fascinating, can you describe this project to us in your own words?
The website hears from some remarkable women around the world who all have different and personal stories about wearing the hijab.
What was the most exciting aspect of the site?
For me, it’s the head of Character Development at Marvel comics explaining why they have created a Muslim superhero.
What would you trying to achieve with this project?
A website that brings the vibrant online young Muslim community into the mainstream media and introduces a non-Muslim audience to people they might not normally come across. I wanted to show that Muslim women each have their own personal reasons for wearing or not wearing the hijab.
Is that what made you want to do it in the first place?
Yes, then I had a good introduction to the online Muslim fashion bloggers during the making of the BBC Three film, and I wanted to do more work with them.
Did it turn out as you expected?
It turned out better than I expected… but took much longer!
How does making this compare to what you do most of the time?
Personally it gave me greater responsibility. In terms of production values, it meant a greater reliance on contributors to shoot and send me their points of view, and technically that we had to work with very different formats in a short space of time.
Did you use any new or different technology?
We used the Shorthand application to create a nice sleek website that utilised the movements of the page to maximise the impact of images.
Yes it really looks great. What do you think audiences will make of it?
I think audiences will be introduced to new and interesting people and hear from new points of view.
It certainly does that, so how was it made?
I researched online bloggers that I wanted to feature and spoke with many people and chose the best elements that would build an interesting balanced story. Dina tweeted for girls to send us their hijab stories and we chose a handful of interesting perspectives from around the world and edited them into short clips. I then looked for other voices that would help me tell the story in a balanced way.
Building the structure into shorthand took a lot of playing around, testing and trying out different images and structures before we got something that felt right. Unfortunately it meant that whole sections had to be dropped, even though I was very sorry to see them go. The two interactive elements were made with the help of BBC iWonder and brought two separate BBC departments together to see how we can share from each other’s expertise.
What do you hope to learn from being on BBC Taster?
Is there enough factual material? Do you think there is the right amount of video content… or too much? How can the Current Affairs department use this format and interactive elements to explain the background of stories?
I’m sure the taster audience will give you the answers you need.
Which is why we’re here! Thank you. Oh, and a special thank you to Ion Lucin for the title font!