The Defiance Project brings community together through acts of resistance during wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation
Taylor Rivera premieres #mydefiance campaign video ahead of PRIDE 2023.
Artist and director Taylor Rivera created The Defiance Project as a way to uplift the LGBTQ+ community in a time of human rights regression.
Today is the project’s official launch, and a minimalist yet riveting campaign video shared below shows how the movement envisions small acts of daily existence working to turn the tide against the rollback of civil liberties.
“It’s extremely important that we be louder, more than ever, because I think we’ve gotten a little too comfortable for too long. And this is sort of what happens,” says Rivera. “It’s an exhausting fight, but it’s one that we have to face together.”
The campaign video and project hope to empower LGBTQ+ people and their acts of #mydefiance. The Defiance Project has an Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok account. By sharing methods of being defiant, even if it just exists in a political body, the LGBTQ+ community can stand together, even during American setbacks.
“Good art isn’t really meant to be liked or loved, for me anyway, and has always been about creating an emotional reaction within somebody and starting a conversation,” says Rivera. “This whole campaign is geared towards awareness, and showing you that we look like everybody. That’s the message that I want to ring loudest.”
Defiant acts are difficult when it comes at the cost of safety or security. However, The Defiance Project isn’t only physically loud gestures. Defiance can be an act of educating yourself and family members about the LGBTQ+ community. It can be questioning the themes you see on television or dressing in a way that empowers you.
“That’s how a big act of defiance happens, you know, is by all these small little moments and pieces of the puzzle coming together for the widespread message,” says Rivera.
Rivera credits his crew members for helping The Defiance Project come to life. Campaign video credits go to camera operator/editor Lava Dreams, producers Marisa Grady and Megan Mantia, sound/graphics Guilherme Berbel, and on-set photographer Kelly Powell.
Rivera’s portfolio of colorful photos and intricate wardrobe design starkly contrast with the theme of the campaign video. The imagery is simply black and white with everyday people in their familiar outfits. In this stripped lens, Rivera says it reveals the idea that we’re all human.
The one pop of color in the campaign is the gold project logo seen in the beginning of the video. Gold was selected as the color to represent the sun and hopeful energy despite the dark and dreary time the LGBTQ+ community is facing.
“Somehow, some way, we have always figured out how to still shine our light,” says Rivera. “So it just feels warm and inviting, and kind of a light through the darkness.”