The Harry Potter Alliance’s #MyHungerGames Brings Awareness to Stories of Income Inequality

May the odds be ever in your favor.
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The Harry Potter Alliance grew out of a group of HP fans who wanted to take the good messages of their favorite book series and enact them in the world around them, and has become one of the awesomest examples of “fan activism.” But they aren’t entirely focused on HP-themed causes; they also often organize campaigns of awareness, fundraising, and community service to coincide with the release of new The Hunger Games films, and this week’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I release is no different.

The Hunger Games films have taken a meta-textually fascinating approach to their marketing; or, maybe, it’s the only approach they really could have taken. Outside of direct advertisements for the film itself, the movie’s campaigns have all framed the viewer of the ad as a Capitol citizen, deliberately exotifying and objectifying their subjects, simplifying what is a complex situation; and, of course, including plenty of tone deaf merchandise tie-ins like makeup and fast food products. It’s a campaign that I can appreciate intellectually if I think of it like an art project, and side-eye when I remember that it’s an ad campaign: it’s working a little too well, and the nuance and intent of a lot of it is likely lost on a lot of folks. Art shouldn’t bend over backwards to make sure everybody gets its real message, but ads for The Hunger Games aren’t art… they’re ads.

So this year, the HPA is encouraging its members, and everyone else, to contribute to the hashtag #MyHungerGames, intending the feed to become a repository of the real effects and complexity of extreme income inequality, one of the biggest allegorical themes of the Hunger Games books.

We want to hear your stories – the daily realities, the struggles, and the triumphs big and small. The ways race, gender, sexual orientation, bodily status, familial origin, and more intersect and inform how you’re treated. Economic inequality manifests itself in our daily lives and yet even alluding to it is frowned upon. Now is the time to shine a light on it.

Odds In Our Favor, as the project is known, is also collecting member selfies with The Hunger Games‘ distinctive three-fingered salute. But it’s not all social media. Odds In Our offers resources to understand the sources and severity of income inequality in modern society and links to help contact your local representative and encourage them to raise minimum wages. So get going! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Previously in The Hunger Games

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.