Fatima Mohammed Bham
Unity in Diversity
The world is made up of different cultures, ethnic groups, beliefs, and religious systems, but we are united by our diversity. Diverse groups in society live by unified morals and values: love, joy, honor, peace, and truth. With these values in mind, we have tried to create a language that unites, celebrates and glorifies diversity, but is still able to communicate the core fundamentals of each diverse group.
Natural water molecules inspired these fluid symbolic forms. Comparing water to ideological morals and values is the basis for every diverse group. Different water groups (molecules) represent different principles of life; Love –> Ripple, Joy –> Waves, Honor –> Waterfall, Peace –> Cascade, and Truth –> Meander. These principles are united to form one holistic core-featured symbol. By combining the eight symbolic elements derived from different languages, the symbols become interchangeable, forming a united yet diversified encompassing language.
Winner globalmurmurs 16/17
“Unity in Diversity” is not only the title of the project, but it is in many facets the representation of this – on the first glance – contradicting idea. The conceptual setup appears initially quite straightforward, with the visualization of five words: truth, joy, honor, love and peace. Each of the five words are visualized by a composed “fountain” of eight elements. The eight single elements communicate a visual translation of the word in eight different languages/cultures. In this construction, the symbol “TRUTH” is built by the following languages: Yiddish, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Bengali, Xhosa, and Zulu. In addition, the designers successfully incorporated the water element, which unifies humans in each of their symbols. The five fountains are designed with refinement and a delicate fusion of sub-symbols offering a unique and coherent visual language. Each symbol is distinctive yet follows one aesthetic idea.
As much as the language expertise of the international jury allows, the symbols are capturing the idea of truth, joy, honor, love or peace in each cultural context. “Unity in Diversity” was created by a group of four young designers from diverse cultural backgrounds, all studying in South Africa. The contribution of four personalities who are reflecting their own culture, but still managing to unify the visual appearance of the symbols, is another brilliant achievement of intercultural visual communication demonstrated in this work.
Assra Tajbhai is a Muslim woman born and raised in Botswana, and currently residing in South Africa. Her ethnic background is quite diverse. Her father is a South African Indian; her mother is a Pakistani of Syrian/Iranian descent.
Fatima Mohammed Bham
Fatima Mohammed Bham is a Muslim woman born and raised in South Africa. Her religion is everything to her. Her father is of Indian descent and her mother is of Indian and Turkish descent. Culture and tradition are very important to her; each person has a unique story, but we can be united by those differences.
Nikita Govender is a Hindu Indian woman born in Johannesburg, and raised in Cape Town and Durban, where her parents are from. Growing up around diverse cultures and ethnic groups made her the designer she is today, with the mindset and belief in what is communicated in her group’s 45 symbols.
Ssanyu Sematimba is Ugandan-South African. She was born in Uganda, but raised in South Africa. She was raised in a Christian home. She is very passionate about her faith, but does not believe in tarnishing the beliefs of others to stand up for what you believe in. Christianity is about love, and that’s exactly what she believes in. Loving and embracing everyone.