This art exhibit shows the grinding long-term impact of microaggressions

‘Worn Down By Words’ is a follow up to Zulu Alpha Kilo's ‘Micropedia'

Published On
Oct 20, 2022

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Canadian agency Zulu Alpha Kilo has created a traveling art exhibition to raise awareness for its "Micropedia of Microaggressions" that depicts graphically how these small everyday comments can grind people down. 

The “Micropedia of Microaggressions,” created by the agency in December 2021, is a website that aims to document and educate people on microaggressions. The site is separated into tags such as “race,” “class” and “disability.” Each section contains cards with a microaggressive statement at the top and a sentence at the bottom unpacking why the sentence causes harm. It has won awards including a silver Small Agency Campaign of the Year, Pro Bono, for Ad Age’s Small Agency Awards.

The new exhibit, “Worn Down by Words,” consists of four laser-cut paper silhouettes of people made up of several layers. Outside each silhouette is a microaggressive sentence such as “Where are you really from?” At the deepest layer of each cutout, which is colored red, is the person’s thought in response to that sentence–which in the case of this question is “I don’t belong here.” 

“By visualizing the impact of microaggressions in a simple and focused way, we’re all able to become more self-aware and empathetic to individuals’ experiences and the power of our words with the ultimate goal of affecting behaviour change,” said Stephanie Yung, Zulu Alpha Kilo’s head of design/executive creative director.

The art exhibit is being shown at public spaces including galleries, schools and workplaces. It has already been exhibited at Remote Gallery, Show Gallery, the Toronto Film School and Humber College. Both it and the “Micropedia” were created for the Black Business and Professional Association, the Canadian Congress on Diversity and Workplace Equity, Pride at Work and Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute.


Oct 20, 2022
Client :
The Black Business and Professional Association
Client :
The Canadian Congress on Inclusive Diversity & Workplace Equity
Client :
Pride at Work Canada
Client :
Diversity Institute
Agency :
Zulu Alpha Kilo
Chief Creative Officer & Creative Director :
Zak Mroueh
ECD & Head of Design :
Stephanie Yung
Art Director :
Andrea Por
Writer :
Christina Roche
Design Director :
Jeff Watkins
Illustrator :
Nabil Elsaadi
Account Team :
Rob Feightner
Account Team :
Letty Castillo
Account Team :
Amy Nguyen
Account Team :
Karla Ramirez
Account Team :
Alexa Macdonald
Client :
Nadine Spencer
Client :
Alex Ihama
Client :
Wendy Cukier
Client :
Colin Druhan
Agency Producer :
Jason Pearson
Agency Producer :
Kenneth Haz
Studio Director :
James Graham
Production Artist :
Jeanette Downes
Production Artist :
Ashleigh O'Brien

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