U+1F64C (the emoji karaoke)
All social media users are familiar with emojis - a mainstream medium of communication nowadays. They have been designed to be understandable from anyone, no matter what someones mother tongue is. However this popularity have also raised questions, since many people made complains about limited “vocabulary”. Things like skin tone, ethnicity, religion and LGBTQ families are some of the issues that led to design and introduce new emojis -mainly after 2015 (but still many seem to be missing).
Although emoji introduced a variety of 6 skin tones colours (according Fitzpatrick scale) none of the new emoji has racial characteristics. Additionally, emojis are based on a very simplified English language and therefore poetic/ complicated language, local dialects or local expressions from other languages are impossible to be expressed.
On the other hand, the song “Imagine" is an anthem of diversity (ethnic, religion, sexuality e.c.t) which encourage people to live together, in peace regardless their differences. It’s such a simple song, yet it has a powerful and deep meaning underneath those simple lyric lines.
By combining them in the karaoke U+1F64C I want to underline the uniformity (instead of the diversity), and the limited worldview of emoji /social media, as well the myth of technology neutrality nowadays.
* U+1F64C is the unicode for the emoji Raising Hands which can be used to describe the word imagine according to https://emojidictionary.emojifoundation.com
* For my emoji karaoke U+1F64C I use the yellow emoji, since that color was selected as a general skin tone to represent all the different races.
Video: Aimilia Liontou