'Hunger Games' fans rally to put odds in more Americans' favor
New Harry Potter Alliance campaign mobilizes fans to highlight how the message of economic inequality in 'The Hunger Games' is relevant to America today.
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM
The second installment in "The Hunger Games" movie trilogy just hit theaters, but for some fans, "Catching Fire" is about more than just entertainment.
Participants in the Harry Potter Alliance's Odds In Our Favor movement seek to "hack" the media campaign promoting the movie to make sure the story's message remains clear: The economic inequality of Panem isn't fiction for millions of Americans today.
"The campaign for the Hunger Games seems to be borrowing from the Capitol's playbook — a slick glossy spectacle that distracts from the central message of the story," said Andrew Slack, executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), a nonprofit inspired by the power of stories to create social change.
The Odds In Our Favor website asks fans to join the resistance by posting a photo of themselves doing the films’ iconic three-finger salute, which symbolizes opposition to the Capitol, the district that controls most of Panem’s wealth.
Participants are then asked to post the photo in response to advertisements and posts about the movie on social media.
"'Catching Fire' is being used as an opportunity to sell makeup and fast-food sandwiches," the movement’s website reads. "And we have a very simple response to that: Not on our watch."
— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) November 19, 2013
Hundreds of fans, including Richard Tumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, have already posted such photos (above).
As part of the campaign, the HPA has also launched the We Are The Districts project.
Participants are asked to join one of the 12 districts of economic inequality that represent a variety of issues — from healthcare access and unemployment to environmental justice and food security.
The organization provides each district with resources, information and calls to action that can help them make a difference within their realm of interest.
The HPA hopes that as fans watch the people of Panem realize the odds aren't in their favor in "Catching Fire," they'll make a similar realization about the imbalances in our world.
"At its core, 'The Hunger Games' is about economic inequality," Slack said. "The fictional future of Panem is upon us already: 25 million Americans can’t find full-time jobs, 22 percent of children live in poverty, and the top 1 percent control 40 percent of our nation’s wealth. It's time for fans to make sure that message doesn’t go unspoken."
Watch the video above to learn more about the campaign.
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